The NH Constitution says that we shall sort and count our votes in open meeting. In full public view. NH's hand count elections, like ours here in Lyndeborough, meet the Constitutional mandate. NH's computerized elections now counting the votes for 85% of the state's registered voters - do not.
It is fitting that Lyndeborough should take the lead by becoming the first town in the State of NH to pass a town article ensuring for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and their grandchildren, that we will always honor the Constitutional mandate to sort and count our votes in open meeting, and that we will never allow concealed vote counting by computers or by any other method in our town.
Now you may be thinking why should we even have to do this? We will never go to computerized elections. Well that may be so. But there are plenty of other folks in small towns in NH who may have thought things wouldn't change too. Of the 112 computerized election cities and towns, ten have less than 2000 registered voters, and of those 2 have less than 1500 and another 2 have less than 1000. Another 17 have less than 3000 registered voters. Those towns could easily count their ballots by hand but they chose to buy computers instead.
There may come a time when our town officials also think that is the way to go too. But we can defend our Constitution and our democracy today just as we did when the Lyndeborough Artillery, the longest standing artillery in the nation, sent our cannon down to fight for freedom in the Civil War.
And when we pass this warrant article protecting our public vote counts, we will send a message to the State of NH - and the nation - that in Lyndeborough Democracy Counts. Literally.
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