http://www.laconiadailysun.com/opinion/letters/102380-michelle-sanborn-2-27Senate Bill 109 was voted down last week by the state Senate. They refused to authorize town moderators to perform a public, random, verification count on vote-counting machines. With only voiced support for SB-109 from a few senators, it is clear that the New Hampshire Senate would rather assume vote-counting machines are accurate than to have evidence of their accuracy.
An amendment was recommended by prime sponsor, Sen. Martha Fuller Clark during the session, but the Senate would not overturn the committee recommendation (3-2 ITL) in order to consider the amendment. The amendment addressed concerns expressed by the Attorney General's office.
In order for the governed to give consent (as articulated in Part 1, Art. 1 of the New Hampshire Constitution) and hold elected officials accountable (as Part 1, Art. 8 of the New Hampshire Constitution declares is their right) through a vote cast, people in each town, city, ward and unincorporated place have a fundamental right to vote (as we see in Part 1, Art. 11 of the New Hampshire Constitution) and receive a verified accurate vote count.
The responsibility for verifying the accuracy of that vote count is held within each community and constitutionally assigned to the town moderators. But the Granite State is approaching 90 percent of municipalities using secret, proprietary software in vote-counting devices without any specific clarity or method to a moderator's constitutional duty to verify the accuracy of the vote-counting machines. SB-109 proposed a means and a method for town moderators to fulfill their constitutional duties and state law where vote-counting devices are used.
Moderators take an oath pursuant to Part 2, Art. 84 of the New Hampshire Constitution and are bound by Part 2, Art. 32 to govern the election process, to openly oversee the counting of votes on election night and make a public declaration of an accurate vote count. In a better political climate, SB-109 might not be necessary, but town moderators have recently had their constitutional authority questioned and challenged by state election officials, and it is absolutely necessary to reaffirm in explicit law, authority that empowers moderators to fulfill their constitutional duty to openly and accurately verify votes counted by vote-counting devices.
Why do state election officials and our senators object to town moderators fulfilling their constitutional duties and numerous state laws that hold them accountable for an accurate vote count? Reach out to your senator and ask how they voted on SB-109. Go to (http://www.nhcommunityrights.org/news--updates/an-accurate-vote-count-doesnt-count-in-nh) for additional information to assist you in speaking with your senator about SB-109.
New Hampshire Community Rights Network (NHCRN) stood up for election integrity and one of our most basic civil rights, our right to vote and have our vote counted accurately by supporting and providing testimony in favor of SB-109. Join "NHCRN" on Facebook or visit them online at www.nhcommunityrights.org to learn about educational opportunities and sign up to receive newsletters and updates about the Community Rights Movement. NHCRN is a grassroots, non-profit organization of community rights efforts, educating and empowering communities and elected officials about our right to local self-governance.