Counting of Votes
659:64-a Counting Write-In Votes.
I. In a town or city that uses a ballot counting device approved by the ballot law commission pursuant to RSA 656:40 and which prints an image of all write-in votes as part of the device's report of votes cast, a moderator may use the printed images to count write-in votes in place of examining each ballot to obtain the name of the person who received a write-in vote.
II. The moderator shall cause all write-in votes, whether viewed on the ballot or on the print out, to be examined for write-in votes that are for a person whose name is printed on the ballot as a candidate. Provided the voter did not overvote for that office, a write-in vote for a person whose name is on the ballot, shall be counted as a vote for that candidate. The moderator shall include that vote in the total of the number of votes cast for that candidate, adding votes by write-in to votes by a marked oval.
III. A ballot where the voter marked the oval beside the name of a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot and also wrote that same candidates name in as a write-in shall be counted as one vote for that candidate. The moderator shall include that one vote in the total number of votes cast for that candidate. The write-in shall not be counted separately as a write-in vote.
IV. If the moderator shall not use the device report of printed images of write-in votes to fulfill the requirement for publicly announcing all persons receiving votes and the number of votes that person received, the printed images shall be stored for future reference and kept in the possession of the town or city clerk. If write in votes are tallied using the device report, the report shall be marked "name on ballot" or "NOB" beside each write-in vote that was counted as a vote for a candidate whose name was printed on the ballot.
V. If the device report is used to tally write-in votes, a copy of the report shall be preserved with the ballots used at the election. The printed report showing the write-in votes in the voter's handwriting shall be a non-public record, and shall be exempt from RSA 91-A. The moderator shall also provide the clerk with a copy of the printed images of all write-in votes to be available as a non-public record to assist with post-election reporting.
VI. For all state elections, if used in the ballot counting process, the moderator and the clerk shall retain a copy of the printed images of all write-in votes to be available for reference if needed to resolve questions regarding the return of votes. The copy shall be a non-public document and shall be stored and used in a manner that limits the risk of exposing, through recognition of handwriting, the candidate written in by any voter.
Source. 2020, 23:8, eff. July 17, 2020.