Electronic Poll Books

Information about electronic poll books in New Hampshire

652:27 Electronic Poll Books.
I. Cities and towns are hereby authorized to use electronic poll book devices for voter registration and check-in for elections, provided that any city or town using electronic poll book devices shall comply with all statutes directly or indirectly related to voter checklists and maintenance of the statewide centralized voter registration database including the processes related to voter registration, voter check-in and check-out, the processing of absentee ballots, the collection of all fields of data required for registration or check-in, and the delivery of that data to the secretary of state in a format compatible with the statewide centralized voter registration database. The provisions of RSA 654:34, RSA 659:55, RSA 659:13, RSA 659:14, and RSA 659:23, as they relate to manual entries on a paper checklist, are hereby waived in order to accommodate an electronic poll book, provided the same information required of the voter is obtained and recorded by the electronic poll book, and can be retrieved and/or printed at any time including during an election. In addition, nonpublic data related to individual voter data shall remain confidential, and no voter data shall be released or retained by an electronic poll book vendor, including its agents, or any company or individual that provides software, hardware, or services to the vendor for any purpose. An electronic poll book vendor shall not have access to any voter data except as specifically necessary to setup, maintain, or train for an electronic poll book program authorized under RSA 652:27. Adequate back-up systems shall be in place as determined by the local election officials for local elections and the secretary of state for all other elections. A back-up system shall include a "real time" download or accurate account of voters who have checked in or registered on the day of the election. The electronic poll book shall have the ability to generate a paper voter checklist completely marked to reflect participation in the election up to the time of any system failure or malfunction, and sufficient number of high speed printers shall be available in the polling place to produce a back-up paper checklist for use in the event of a system failure, or a paper checklist shall be marked in parallel with the electronic poll book reflecting the real time check-in of voters with a lag time of no more than 30 minutes. A marked checklist shall be printed upon the completion of every election along with any reports required by statute and shall be retained by the clerk.

II. The cities and towns shall assume all costs associated with electronic poll books. No electronic poll book program may proceed unless the electronic poll books system and application has been recommended for approval by an evaluator of electronic election systems approved by the secretary of state using requirements established by the secretary of state. Recommendations to the secretary of state from an evaluator of electronic election systems shall be conditioned upon safe use procedures. The secretary of state may approve electronic poll book systems, in whole or in part, based on recommendations from an evaluator of electronic election systems. No city or town may use an electronic poll book system that has not been approved by the secretary of state.

III. For the initial use of an electronic poll book approved by the secretary of state, in whole or in part, the city or town clerk shall file with the secretary of state all documentation that is necessary to show that all requirements in this section have been met no later than 30 days before an electronic poll book program shall take place. Within 30 days after the initial use of electronic poll books in accordance with this section, the city or town shall submit a report to the secretary of state, who shall review such reports and forward them to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the house and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over election law. Each report shall describe the outcome of the program, addressing voter experiences, wait times, voter throughput times, personnel costs, hardware and software costs, and the completeness and accuracy of the data recorded, reported, and submitted for import to the statewide centralized voter registration database.

IV. The secretary of state shall prepare at least once each calendar year a regularly updated set of instructions and best use practices for the use of electronic poll books in state elections based on reports from the city and town clerks, evaluation vendors, and electronic poll book system providers.