The Bulletin Board

Lawmakers pass voting-related bills during Tuesday House session

By: - March 15, 2022 11:46 am
A man stands at a voting booth

The voting bills are now headed to the New Hampshire Senate. (Getty Images)

The House passed a handful of voting bills on Tuesday with bipartisan support, tightening election laws during a session where testimony has highlighted distrust in elections, even though evidence of widespread election fraud is lacking.

Over-voted ballots – ballots that have corrections, stray marks, or too many selections – would be counted by hand if House Bill 1163 becomes law. The aim is to create a standard among towns that use machine scanners, which accept these ballots but don’t count them, and towns that don’t use machine scanners, where the ballots are already being hand-counted.

House Bill 1457 directs town clerks to store and log ballot materials after an election in case of a recount. The version passed by the House on Tuesday was pared back from the original bill, which would’ve had ballots shipped along with a police escort to Concord for storage in a secure room with barred windows, motion-activated cameras, and restricted access.

And recounts that do happen would be expanded to include a partial recount of one or two additional offices, such as votes for president, U.S. senator or representative, governor, or executive councilor, if House Bill 1467, which passed the House, becomes law.

These bills, which passed without discussion on the House consent calendar, will now make their way to the Senate.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee reported on energy and environment for New Hampshire Bulletin. She also previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.