HB1582 (2018) Detail

Relative to the authority of the moderator to verify the device count.










AN ACT relative to the authority of the moderator to verify the device count.


SPONSORS: Rep. Porter, Hills. 1; Rep. Cahill, Rock. 17; Rep. J. Schmidt, Hills. 28; Rep. DesMarais, Carr. 6; Rep. M. Smith, Straf. 6; Rep. McConnell, Ches. 12; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21


COMMITTEE: Election Law






This bill authorizes a moderator to conduct a verification count of machine-counted ballots.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT relative to the authority of the moderator to verify the device count.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Section; Authority of Moderator to Verify the Device Count.  Amend RSA 659 by inserting after section 60 the following new section:

659:60-a  Authority of Moderator to Verify the Device Count.

I.  The moderator may, at his or her discretion, conduct a verification count of electronic ballot counting devices.  The verification count shall be conducted publicly in accordance with RSA 659:63 and following the procedures in RSA 659:64 through 659:69.  After the polls are closed, but before the results are announced in accordance with RSA 659:70 and in a time frame consistent with RSA 659:75, the moderator shall publicly and randomly select one or more electronic ballot counting devices and one or more contested federal or statewide offices for inclusion in the verification count.  Constitutional questions may also be included in the verification count.  The moderator, with his or her assistants, shall visually inspect each ballot counted by the electronic ballot counting device and count the number of votes cast for each candidate for the selected federal or statewide office or constitutional question.  The moderator shall then compare the verification vote count with the vote count generated by the electronic ballot counting device.  If the vote counts differ significantly, that is, if the percentage difference between the 2 counts were applied to all votes counted by electronic ballot counting devices for that office or constitutional question, it would have changed the outcome, the moderator may repeat the procedure for additional electronic ballot counting devices.

II.  If the moderator finds discrepancies between the electronic ballot count device count and the verification count, the moderator shall announce the results of both the verification count and the electronic ballot counting device count and shall direct the clerk to use the verification count when completing the election return.  The clerk shall inform the candidates for the office involved of the discrepancies identified, and the candidates shall have the opportunity to request a recount under RSA 660.  The moderator shall report discrepancies greater than 0.5 percent to the secretary of state.

III.  The secretary of state shall investigate a discrepancy reported under paragraph II and, if necessary to address the reason for the discrepancy, review the contents of the memory cards used during the vote count for the office or constitutional question.  The secretary of state shall determine if changes in the ballot design, the voting instructions, or the electronic ballot counting device programming are needed to remedy the identified discrepancies, and shall publicly report and publish on the department of state's website the results of the investigation and provide a copy of the report to the standing committees of the house and senate with jurisdiction over election law and to the attorney general for consideration of possible legal action.

IV.  No candidate for any office on the ballot may request or participate in a verification count.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


HB1582 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 23, 2018 House Hearing
Feb. 13, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 6, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1582 Revision: 2321 Date: Nov. 13, 2017, 9:17 a.m.


March 6, 2018: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA RC 195-139 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 79

: Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass

: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 14-6; RC)

March 6, 2018: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/06/2018 (Vote 14-6; RC) HC 9 P. 39

Feb. 13, 2018: Executive Session: 02/13/2018 11:00 AM LOB 308

Jan. 23, 2018: Public Hearing: 01/23/2018 10:30 AM LOB 308

Jan. 3, 2018: Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Election Law HJ 1 P. 16