Three NH towns are testing out new ballot counting machines that use open source software.

When voters in Ashland, Newington and Woodstock head to the polls on Tuesday, they’ll be collaborating in a point out pilot method that exams out new ballot devices.

Contrary to the current design that New Hampshire employs, these machines have software program that is open up source, which permits any individual to see how it was programmed to tabulate votes.

New Hampshire’s election officials and Ballot Legislation Fee say the state picked these a few towns since of their comparatively modest populations as it considers a new equipment to exchange the state’s growing older ballot machines – and quite possibly in time for the 2024 elections. The state’s utilized the present AccuVote model considering that the mid ’90s, and the enterprise that owns AccuVote suggests it won’t be producing new parts starting off in 2024.

Secretary of State Dave Scanlan also noted that the ballot counting error that took area in Windham in 2020 also sparked discussions among lawmakers and the Ballot Regulation Commission about means the point out can increase election transparency.

“We’ve been forced into wondering about it,” Scanlan said.

The Ballot Law Commission viewed as about fifty percent a dozen ballot counting equipment styles prior to finding this open up source computer software equipment from VotingWorks, a nonprofit corporation.

Ben Adida, the organization’s founder, explained these devices could be the reply to phone calls for greater transparency at a time when election integrity is dealing with huge scrutiny.

“We’re in a globe exactly where have faith in in voting programs is at an all time very low,” he claimed. “And we feel one particular of the techniques to reestablish that believe in is to be maximally transparent, to just demonstrate anything which is happening.”

VotingWorks has refined the software package and its tabulators because officially launching in 2018.

Open supply software package is nonetheless a reasonably new engineering in the ballot tabulator sector. Only five counties in Mississippi have presently applied the machines for their elections, and VotingWorks is the only process employed in American elections that employs open up source software.

For Adida, watching New Hampshire implement the pilot in 3 cities 1st could provide as a opportunity product for other states that are looking to make substantial-scale alterations in their election devices.

“I assume 1 place in which states must design New Hampshire is [to] attempt it on a smaller scale in a serious election,” he stated. “Because when technological know-how transitions are all or almost nothing, when they are these significant cut overs, they are so risky. That slows down the procedure greatly. And it suggests ultimately that we are not deploying better, extra safe, less difficult voting engineering as rapid as we could.”

Scanlan said he believes that introducing open resource software package equipment to New Hampshire could address the root trigger of voters’ fears concerning election transparency.

“Where voters concern their confidence in elections, it’s commonly rooted in individuals components of the election procedure that are not easily clear,” he claimed. “Voter devices are a obvious illustration of that.”

Soon after the equipment depend the ballots on Tuesday, election officers will hold a public hand count in Concord the adhering to working day that will cross test how accurate the pilot machines are. If the equipment confirm to have not experienced any major glitches, the equipment will go through state and federal verification methods.