SB 283-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
SENATE BILL 283-FN
SPONSORS: Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Rep. Hoelzel, Rock. 3
COMMITTEE: Election Law and Municipal Affairs
This bill requires the secretary of state to study the use of high speed, optical/digital scan ballot counting devices for use in conducting post-election audits of electronic ballot counting devices used in state and federal elections. This bill also modifies the rules relative to electronic ballot counting devices and clarifies counting procedures for write-in votes counted by electronic ballot counting devices.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
8Jan2020... 2829h 19-1067
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 New Section; Preparation of Voting Materials; Electronic Ballot Counting Devices; Post-Election Audit of Electronic Ballot Counting Devices. Amend RSA 656 by inserting after section 44 the following new section:
656:45 Testing of Equipment to Conduct Post-Election Audit of Electronic Ballot Counting Devices.
I. The secretary of state shall study the use of high-speed, optical/digital scan ballot counting equipment for use in conducting post-election audits of electronic ballot counting devices used in state and federal elections. The secretary of state may purchase, using existing department funds, equipment to conduct testing of the audit procedures. Additionally, the secretary of state may, with the approval of the ballot law commission, use ballots cast in prior elections and may, with the approval of the municipality, used municipal ballots cast in prior elections to conduct such testing.
II. Tested equipment shall meet the United States Election Assistance Commission's Testing and Certification Program requirements, or be eligible for approval by the ballot law commission, and shall enable completion of any post-election audit between the day following an election and the day prior to the last day to request a recount.
III. The secretary of state shall complete the study by November 1, 2020 and file a report on his or her findings with the ballot law commission and the appropriate house and senate committees.
2 Electronic Ballot Counting Devices; Rules. Amend RSA 656:42, VII to read as follows:
VII. Each electronic ballot counting device shall have a removable memory [card, a metal bar covering the inserted memory card, a canvas cover closed by 2 zippers, 2 hard shell covers on the front of the device, a hard shell cover on the rear of the device, and 3 communication ports in the rear of the device] device which can be secured in the device with a tamper evident seal that will disclose unauthorized access to the hardware and software inside the device. Electronic ballot counting devices that are stored in a canvas bag or storage case when not in use shall have a bag or case that is capable of being secured with a tamper evident seal.
(b) The town or city clerk shall preserve each memory [card] device used at each election until after the recounts for such election are complete and any and all legal challenges to the outcome of that election are adjudicated.
(c) The town or city clerk shall securely preserve each memory [card] device used in any election as directed by the secretary of state.
(A) The connection of the  zippers on the closed canvas cover of the counting device carrying bag, case, or the device base for devices stored in their bases.
(B) The [metal bar in front of the inserted] memory [card] device.
(C) Electronic ballot counting device housing[:
(i) The seam connecting the 2 hard shell covers on the front of the counting device.
(ii) The seam connecting the hard shell cover on the rear of the counting device.
(iii) The 3 communication ports in the rear of the counting device] and all ports or access points to the device hardware or software, such that the seal(s) would be broken if the device is accessed.
(7) Whenever the town or city clerk receives a memory [card] device from the vendor, the clerk shall break the memory [card] device seal, insert the memory [card] device in the electronic ballot counting device, and apply a new seal. The clerk shall lock any programmed memory [card] device not inserted into an electronic ballot counting device in a safe and record the names of individuals that have access to such safe on the activity log.
(8) Whenever the town or city clerk removes the memory [card] device from the electronic ballot counting device, the clerk shall immediately return it to the memory card programmer or, if programmed locally, secure the device in a safe and reseal the [metal bar in front of the] empty memory [card] device slot or port.
(10) The clerk shall test all electronic ballot counting devices and memory [cards] devices in the possession of the town or city.
(11) Prior to placing the electronic ballot counting device or any memory [card] device into service in an election, the moderator shall certify that there is evidence that pre-election testing was conducted on each electronic ballot counting device and each memory [card] device in the town or city clerk's possession, and that these ballot counting devices and [cards] memory devices have passed the test.
IX. Any electronic digital image of a marked ballot made by a ballot counting device, whether stored on the device, on a removable memory device, or on a government computer, shall be non-public and exempt from RSA 91-A.
659:64-a Counting Write-In Votes.
I. In a town or city that uses a ballot counting device approved by the ballot law commission pursuant to RSA 656:40 and which prints an image of all write-in votes as part of the device’s report of votes cast, a moderator may use the printed images to count write-in votes in place of examining each ballot to obtain the name of the person who received a write-in vote.
II. The moderator shall cause all write-in votes, whether viewed on the ballot or on the print out, to be examined for write-in votes that are for a person whose name is printed on the ballot as a candidate. Provided the voter did not overvote for that office, a write-in vote for a person whose name is on the ballot, shall be counted as a vote for that candidate. The moderator shall include that vote in the total of the number of votes cast for that candidate, adding votes by write-in to votes by a marked oval.
III. A ballot where the voter marked the oval beside the name of a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot and also wrote that same candidates name in as a write-in shall be counted as one vote for that candidate. The moderator shall include that one vote in the total number of votes cast for that candidate. The write-in shall not be counted separately as a write-in vote.
IV. If the moderator shall not use the device report of printed images of write-in votes to fulfill the requirement for publicly announcing all persons receiving votes and the number of votes that person received, the printed images shall be stored for future reference and kept in the possession of the town or city clerk. If write in votes are tallied using the device report, the report shall be marked “name on ballot” or “NOB” beside each write-in vote that was counted as a vote for a candidate whose name was printed on the ballot.
V. If the device report is used to tally write-in votes, a copy of the report shall be preserved with the ballots used at the election. The printed report showing the write-in votes in the voter’s handwriting shall be a non-public record, and shall be exempt from RSA 91-A. The moderator shall also provide the clerk with a copy of the printed images of all write-in votes to be available as a non-public record to assist with post-election reporting.
VI. For all state elections, if used in the ballot counting process, the moderator and the clerk shall retain a copy of the printed images of all write-in votes to be available for reference if needed to resolve questions regarding the return of votes. The copy shall be a non-public document and shall be stored and used in a manner that limits the risk of exposing, through recognition of handwriting, the candidate written in by any voter.
I. Section 9 of this act shall take effect November 1, 2020.
II. The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.
SB 283-FN- FISCAL NOTE
AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2019-2829h)
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill requires the Secretary of State to study the use of high speed, optical/digital scan ballot counting devices for use in conducting post-election audits of electronic ballot counting devices used in state and federal elections. It also modifies provisions governing the use of ballot counting devices. The Secretary of State's office assumes it would purchase two high speed optical scan ballot counting devices for approximates $7,500 each. In addition, the associated memory cards and programing would cost $2,500 per machine for a total cost of $20,000.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the proposed modifications to the existing requirements for ballot counting devices used by municipalities are somewhat less restrictive than current provisions and would not likely have a significant impact on municipal revenues or expenditures.
Department of State and New Hampshire Municipal Association
|Feb. 13, 2019||Senate||Hearing|
|March 14, 2019||Senate||Floor Vote|
|March 28, 2019||Senate||Floor Vote|
|April 9, 2019||House||Hearing|
|April 23, 2019||House||Exec Session|
|Oct. 31, 2019||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 5, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 5, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 19, 2020||House||Floor Vote|
|Jan. 3, 2019||Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Election Law and Municipal Affairs; SJ 4|
|Feb. 13, 2019||==TIME CHANGE== Hearing: 02/13/2019, Room 102, LOB, 11:00 am; SC 10|
|March 14, 2019||Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0850s, 03/14/2019; SC 13|
|March 14, 2019||Committee Amendment # 2019-0850s, AA, VV; 03/14/2019; SJ 8|
|March 14, 2019||Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-0850s, MA, VV; Refer to Finance Rule 4-5; 03/14/2019; SJ 8|
|March 28, 2019||Committee Report: No Recommendation, 03/28/2019; SC 15|
|March 28, 2019||Sen. Bradley Moved Laid on Table, MA, VV; 03/28/2019; SJ 11|
|March 28, 2019||No Pending Motion; 03/28/2019 SJ 11|
|March 28, 2019||Sen. Feltes Moved to Remove From Table, MA, VV; 03/28/2019; SJ 11|
|March 28, 2019||Sen. Gray Moved Ought to Pass; 03/28/2019; SJ 11|
|March 28, 2019||Ought to Pass: MA, VV; OT3rdg; 03/28/2019; SJ 11|
|March 20, 2019||Introduced 03/20/2019 and referred to Election Law HJ 11 P. 74|
|April 9, 2019||Public Hearing: 04/09/2019 01:30 pm LOB 308|
|April 23, 2019||Executive Session: 04/23/2019 01:00 pm LOB 308|
|Retained in Committee|
|Aug. 29, 2019||Subcommittee Work Session: 08/29/2019 01:00 pm LOB 308|
|Sept. 12, 2019||Subcommittee Work Session: 09/12/2019 01:00 pm LOB 307|
|Oct. 31, 2019||Executive Session: 10/31/2019 11:00 am LOB 308|
|Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-2829h (Vote 16-2; CC) HC 50 P. 8|
|Jan. 8, 2020||Amendment # 2019-2829h: AA VV 01/08/2020 HJ 1 P. 40|
|Jan. 8, 2020||Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-2829h: MA VV 01/08/2020 HJ 1 P. 40|
|Jan. 8, 2020||Referred to Finance 01/08/2020 HJ 1 P. 40|
|Jan. 21, 2020||Division I Work Session: 01/21/2020 02:00 pm LOB 212|
|Jan. 28, 2020||Division I Work Session: 01/28/2020 11:30 am LOB 212|
|Feb. 5, 2020||Executive Session: 02/05/2020 10:00 am LOB 210-211|
|Jan. 29, 2020||==CANCELLED== Division I Work Session: 01/29/2020 10:00 am LOB 212|
|Feb. 5, 2020||Executive Session: 02/05/2020 10:00 am LOB 210-211|
|Feb. 19, 2020||Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 02/19/2020 (Vote 19-0; CC) HC 7 P. 10|
|Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 19-0; CC)|
|Feb. 19, 2020||Ought to Pass: MA VV 02/19/2020|