Letter: An important compromise
There is an interesting example of cooperative legislating taking place in the House Election Law Committee this month. A bill, HB 1357, that seeks to assure the public’s constitutional right to know what exactly happened in a given election is back before the committee.
When your vote is swallowed by a voting machine, or electronic counting device, how can you know that it was accurately counted?
The secretary of state’s office, citing privacy and protection issues, objected to a 2012 bill that attempted to clarify this citizen right to know. Sponsors of the bill, rather than dismissing or ignoring the objections, went back to the drawing board. A preliminary version of the bill was heard again last week, and it is now being amended. The committee will now see that virtually all of the secretary of state’s objections have been addressed.
The bill sponsors want to assure New Hampshire voters that their vote was accurately counted. The secretary of state wants to protect voter privacy. Two separate and honorable paths but certainly not in conflict. Now the two are about to merge into a piece of legislation that should satisfy all sides and will most definitely benefit New Hampshire voters.