CONCORD – New Hampshire voting rights advocates praise the passage of electronic poll books, which will modernize, secure and streamline elections in the state. The New Hampshire Legislature passed Senate Bill 113 today with strong bipartisan support.
SB 113 will authorize a trial of electronic poll book devices for voter registration and check-in at future municipal and statewide elections and was part of a modernization package that ACLU, America Votes, League of Women Voters NH, and Open Democracy advocated for to relieve congested polling locations and help towns and cities’ Election Day burden.
Having a closed, electronic database available on election day makes it easier for officials to maintain accurate lists of eligible voters and make sure that only eligible American citizens are able to participate in our elections.
“I’m thrilled that the legislature has taken this pragmatic step forward in modernizing our election process,” said bill sponsor and longtime champion Senator Bette Lasky, Nashua. “New Hampshire prides itself on a tradition of strong citizen participation in elections. But we also know that high voter turnout can create long lines at the polls. We must do everything we can to ensure that voting is accessible and efficient for everyone.”
“This pilot is a commonsense solution that gives communities the opportunity to test the system and help election workers process voters more quickly and ensure that busy Granite Staters have every opportunity to participate,” said Olivia Zink, Open Democracy Executive Director. “The program also provides enhanced features that will ensure less errors on the voter rolls and increased efficiency that helps free up more local resources post-election.”
All towns and cities participating in the trial program must have adequate back-up systems and cover all costs associated with electronic poll books. The programs covered in SB 113 must also meet certification standards established by the Secretary of State.