By Alex Malm
The Town Council received an update regarding the Town Election in March from Town Moderator, Jonathan Kipp, during their Jan. 9 meeting.
“I’m here tonight to talk to you about our voting machines,” said Kipp.
Kipp explained that the voting machines the town currently owns have been used since the 1990s.
“These machines have not been manufactured since 2010,” Kipp stated at the meeting.
He said the machines have very limited replacement parts if they break. The software used to create the ballot and to read the ballot runs on a microsoft platform that hasn’t been produced since 2015.
“If there’s a software glitch, we’re in trouble there,” said Kipp.
He explained they are planning to have a trial of a new ballot tabulator for the March elections for both the school and town elections.
Kipp said the Ballot Law Commission determined that the Dominion ImageCast Precinct would be allowed to be used in NH this year on a trial basis, “which we will be using on a trial basis in March,” Kipp said.
He said aside from Londonderry, Milford would be the other town allowed to pilot the machines this year.
“We are working very closely with the Secretary of State Office,” said Kipp.
Kipp told the Town Council that Massachusetts has used the machines for years and also noted that Vermont got them last year. He added that currently 28 states across the country use the machines and there are about 4,000 units that are currently in service.
He noted they will have representatives from the company at the polls that day and they expect to have representatives from both the Attorney General’s Office and Secretary of State’s Office there as well.
“Following the election we need to conduct an audit of the ballots that have been through the machines,” said Kipp.
He said it wouldn’t be a recount and they would need to have it done before the deadline where candidates can request a recount.
He said the audit would likely be the Thursday after the election.
Kipp said he wanted to ensure the community their elections are secured.
“I just want to assure you and our voters that our elections in Londonderry are safe, secure, and trustworthy; and that won’t change because of this trial,” said Kipp.
One question raised was whether or not all the ballots would go through the same machines.
Kipp said they would all be going through the new ones, noting that the ballots aren’t interchangeable between their current machines and the ones that will be part of the trial.