Defective Returns; Penalties

Section 659:77

    659:77 General Neglect by Town or Ward Moderator and Clerk. –
I. If any moderator shall intentionally neglect to cause an accurate count to be made of the votes cast as required by law, for which no other penalty is provided, he or she shall be guilty of a violation.
II. If any town or ward clerk shall intentionally neglect to make any return of votes required by law, for which neglect no other penalty is provided, he or she shall be guilty of a violation.
III. If a return of votes is not timely submitted or is submitted with significant defects, if a recount discloses that the election night vote count was significantly inaccurate, or if other significant deficiencies in the conduct of an election are documented the secretary of state shall report the same to the attorney general. Upon a finding by the attorney general that the late submission, miscount, or other significant deficiency was due to lack of training, lack of established procedures, negligence, or misconduct, the secretary of state in consultation with the attorney general shall appoint an election monitor who shall be an individual trained in the conduct of elections and who shall attend portions of the ballot casting and all of the ballot counting to monitor the next election conducted in that town or ward. The finding of the attorney general may be appealed to the ballot law commission.
IV. An election monitor appointed under paragraph III shall have full access to the polling place, including authority to directly observe the registration of voters on election day, the checking in of voters by inspectors of elections, assistance to voters with disabilities, the use of the accessible voting system, the receipt of ballots, the processing of absentee ballots, and the counting of ballots, and may handle marked ballots for the purposes of instruction during the counting and tabulating process.
V. An election monitor appointed under paragraph III may provide training and guidance to the moderator and clerk who conducts the election. The election monitor shall issue a public written report within 30 days following the election to the voters of the town or ward, the secretary of state, and the attorney general, which shall be posted on the secretary of state's website, documenting the extent to which the town or ward complies with state law and utilizes the best practices set forth in the election procedures manual and the on-line training available on the secretary of state's website in conducting the monitored election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:48. 2011, 185:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.