Adding it up: Secretary of State compiles election results from all 309 polling places in N.H.

  • New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner in his office on Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

  • New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner looks for charts as senior deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan in their office on Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

  • New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner in his office on Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

  • John Penney of the Secretary of State office counts State Senate ballots in the Executive Council offices on Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

  • New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner in his office on Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

  • New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner looks for charts as senior deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan in their office on Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

By Monitor staff
Published: 11/4/2020 4:56:32 PM

As the nation’s eyes turned to ballot counters in Michigan and Pennsylvania, workers in New Hampshire’s Secretary of State’s office were diligently tabulating election results to create the official tally from the 2020 election – no small job, since it seems likely that turnout will be a record, with more than 800,000 ballots cast.

Starting Wednesday morning, a team of employees methodically checked the official ballot counts from each town and city ward in the Granite State.

“We do it so all the candidates and the voters can look and see what the results of all the races are,” said Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan.

The team in the State House received official ballot results from all 309 polling places – towns and city wards – and spent the day entering the results of each candidate from each race into the official tally, which will be posted on the Secretary of State website when complete. This involves transcribing several thousand numbers, since there are multiple candidates for 400 state representative seats plus all the other state, federal and county seats.

“We do a lot of proofing,” Scanlan said.

The final result will also produce the official turnout figure for the number of ballots cast.

“It does look like it’s a record,” Scanlan said.

The next step in the election will be any recounts, which must be requested by the candidate.

If the race is close – within 1% – then the fee is small, starting at $10 for state representative and getting bigger as the office gets more important. Fees go up as the tally is less close; if there is more than a 3% difference then the candidate must agree to pay for the entire recount, which can cost hundreds of dollars in labor, or more if it’s a statewide race.




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