Town Council Approve New Election Ballot Machines

By Alex Malm

The Town Council chose a new voting machine during the Nov. 20 meeting.
At the Nov. 6 meeting, Councilor, Ron Dunn, invoked his councilor privilege, meaning the item was tabled for one meeting so he could do more research.
“‘This has been a long process we’ve been going through to identify ballot counting devices for use in NH,” Town Moderator, Jonathan Kipp, said during the meeting.
Kipp explained that as part of the RSA, the Town Council is tasked with picking a voting counting device, and then notify the state.
He stated that right now the only approved machine in the state is the AccuVote machine, which they had for many years, but are now at the end of their shelf lifes. He added that the Ballot Law Commission and the Secretary of State Office created a process two years ago to identify different voting machines.
In 2022 and 2023, Kipp said some towns were selected to use three different machines including the LHS Dominion ImageCast Precinct 2, VotingWorks VxSuite v3.2 and the Electronic System and Software machines, on a trial basis. In Londonderry, they had six LHS machines.
He said the Secretary of State and jurisdictions did audits to determine if the machines work successfully.
“In every single case, the audit was deemed successful,” Kipp said.
After hearing feedback, Electronic Systems and Software machines were out of the running and the two options are now the LHS Dominion ImageCast Precinct 2 and VotingWorks VxSuite v3.2.
Kipp explained that Town Clerk, Sherry Farrelll, and School District Moderator, Cindy Rice Conley, and himself, all discussed the different machines, after seeing them in action, and it was decided to recommend the LHS Dominion ImageCast Precinct 2 machines.
He noted that the machines will not be approved until the March 2024 elections, meaning they aren’t going to be used for the Primary.
Kipp said they did request proposals for both companies and LHS Dominion ImageCast Precinct 2 was less than $1,000 more for a total of $43,200.
One of the reasons for the recommendation is was because they are used widespread throughout the country and New England, and that they also have a location in Salem, which is important if anything were to go wrong with the machine, Kipp stated.
Councilor, Ted Combes, said being able to respond in a short amount of time is important.
During the public comment portion of the previous meeting, State Rep. Kristine Perez, a Londonderry resident, said they should wait before spending any taxpayers dollars on a new voting machine until the state Supreme Court decides on whether or not they are illegal or not in the state under the state constitution.
Councilor, Dunn, asked the council to hold off making a decision and did this by using his councilor privilege, saying he’d like to have more time to look at the difference in the machines.
Justin Campo, in an email following the meeting, noted the town would receive a refund, if the machines aren’t deemed legal and they are returned.
During the Nov. 20 meeting, the Town Council moved forward with the LHS Dominion ImageCast Precinct 2 machines.

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