Part IV of SB 89 would establish a committee to study post-election audit counting devices, aka scanners, as opposed to hand-counted audits. No true election security expert endorses using a scanner to perform an audit, even if it’s a new make or model.
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Manual/hand-counted post-election audits have been recommended since 2009 by both the Secretary of State’s own Electronic Ballot Counting Device Advisory Committee and the National League of Women Voters, as well as the experts who testified before the Kobach commission: Andrew Appel, Harri Hursti, and Ron Rivest.
Verified Voting, the premier body of election experts, is unequivocal: “Audits require human examination of voter-marked paper ballots… Audits cannot rely on scanned images or machine interpretations of the ballots to accurately reflect voter intent” (p. 7, Principles and Best Practices for… Audits).
Computers know what day and time it is. Scanners can be programmed to perform well when tested and behave differently on election or any other day. The VW cheating scandal is a perfect illustration.
Suppose Secretary Gardner proposed abandoning New Hampshire’s long tradition of meticulous hand recounts in favor of re-scanning the ballots with a new scanner. How would we know which scanner was accurate without a hand recount? We can’t know. Yet that is what Secretary Gardner is interested in doing with audits, as first evidenced in 2019 in SB 283.
Voters must insist on the certainty, transparency, and public oversight of hand-counted audits. Oppose SB 89.
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