In 2022, New Hampshire introduced a post-election audit through passage of HB 1467, codified as N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b. During a recount of a state representative contest, the statute calls for an “audit” of one additional contest. The statute only applies to general elections and provides for a maximum of 10 state representative recounts to be audited. One of the following contests must be reviewed as part of the recount: President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, or governor. Since the audit only takes place during a state representative recount, we categorize New Hampshire’s audit as “optional, discretionary, or partial.”
New Hampshire also piloted machine audits of the 2022 primary and general elections, following passage of SB 366, which only applied to elections in 2022.
Unless otherwise specified, statutory references are to N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b.
Voting Systems Used
New Hampshire primarily uses hand marked paper ballots and optical scanners or hand count, with ballot marking devices for accessibility. For the most up to date information please visit Verified Voting’s Verifier.
For an explanation on the types of voting equipment used, click here.
Since the audit is conducted as part of a recount, all ballot types are eligible for audit. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:5.
The audit is conducted as part of a recount, and recounts in New Hampshire are conducted at a “public facility.” N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:5.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b does not mention whether the audit results must be made public, though in practice, the results have been published on the website of the secretary of state. E.g., New Hampshire Secretary of State, 2022 General Election (Nov. 2022).
Audit Counting Method
Since the audit takes place as part of a recount, it is conducted by hand. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:5.
Type Of Audit Units
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b effectively requires audits of state representative districts, since the ballots reviewed during the audit are those being recounted as part of a state representative recount.
Contests & Issues Audited
One contest from the following list of contests is reviewed as part of the audit: President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, or governor. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b(I)
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b(IV) allows the audit to expand up to a full hand count of the contest if it detects a discrepancy greater than one percent from the original results.
For recount laws, see Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota website.
The audit is conducted as part of a recount, so we consider it to take place before the contest results are finalized.
Binding On Official Outcomes
Since the statute allows for a “full recount” as part of the audit, we consider it to be binding. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b(IV).
Oversight & Conduct
The secretary of state selects the contest for audit and conducts the audit. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b.
After the ballots have been tabulated and the results announced, the moderator must place all ballots in containers provided by the secretary of state, seal and mark the containers, then deliver them to the town or city clerk, who will store the ballots in the town or city or hall. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 659:95–97. Ballots are kept until contests are settled and all appeals resolved. At a minimum, ballots for federal elections are kept for 22 months after an election, other ballots for 60 days. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33-A:3-a(XXXVI–XXXVIII); see also N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 659:95–100.
Additional Targeted Samples
Statute does not provide for additional targeted samples.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:17-b: Audit statute
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 660:5: Conduct of recount
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 659:95–100 and N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33-A:3-a(XXXVI–XXXVIII): Ballot protection
Last updated: May 15, 2023