Lawmakers should back modest reform

I urge all members of the New Hampshire Senate to support SB 109, which authorizes a town moderator to conduct a verification count of machine-counted ballots.

This is a very modest proposal, describing the process a moderator may follow at his or her discretion to increase confidence in the accuracy of the vote count. Like everything that relies on software, ballot counting devices are subject to unintentional and intentional error. The Secretary of State’s own Electronic Ballot Counting Device Advisory Committee recognized this in 2009 and recommended routine audits.

This bill is a much-needed safeguard, especially in light of questions raised about the recent election, when experts acknowledged the vulnerabilities of our current systems. Now is the time to start the process of plugging the holes in our defenses, as described in an article from the March 2017 issue of Scientific American.

Citizens deserve to know their elections are not rigged or hacked or just plain suffering from some software glitch. This is a small step toward the transparency a free people requires in order to believe we still live in a democracy.

Barbara Glassman