Lawsuit seeks to block electronic voting machines in NH

September 1 – A conservative constitutional lawyer sued Gov. Chris Sununu and legislative leaders, claiming the state does not have the authority to use electronic ballot counting machines at polling places.

Daniel Richard of Auburn also sued his hometown and city administrator Daniel Goonan for refusing to let him vote by paper ballot and have it counted by hand.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Richard asked a Rockingham County Superior Court judge to issue an injunction to stop cities from using the machines for the Sept. 13 primary.

He asked to be allowed to make an argument in court on the matter before voters go to the polls.

A Rockingham County Superior Court judge agreed to hear arguments in Richard’s trial on September 9, four days before the primary.

“Voting in New Hampshire is unvalidated and does not meet any known electrical and electronic safety standards – by design, in order to maintain the nation’s ‘first in country’ voting status,” Richard wrote. in his last file. .

In a recent interview, Richard said he had been working on his 46-page lawsuit for a few months and considered himself one of the constitutional authorities on suffrage in New Hampshire.

“It’s a pretty complicated legal argument, but it has a simple premise: the state doesn’t have the power to use these unreliable voting machines,” Richard said.

The six-count lawsuit asks the court to ban the machines or, at the very least, allow anyone to vote on paper and have it counted by hand in any city or town.

Michael Garrity, director of communications for Attorney General John Formella, said the state received Richard’s lawsuit.

“At this point, what I can tell you is that we are reviewing the complaint filed,” Garrity said in a statement.

During the 2022 election cycle, many conservative Republican candidates advanced Richard’s constitutional argument that there is no legal provision for electronic voting machines.

In 1979, the state introduced AccuVote machines in elections for cities and towns that chose to adopt them. A rule passed by the Ballot Law Commission identified them as the only machines allowed here.

About 90% of ballots counted in the state pass through these machines, although more than 100 cities still hold elections by counting ballots by hand.

The lawsuit cites issues some other states have had with voting machines in 2020.

“Computerized voting systems leave an open door for votes to be altered, suppressed, or fabricated in violation of constitutional requirements,” the lawsuit said. “A return to the tried and true paper ballots of the past, at this time, is needed.”

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