Hassan vetoes changes to absentee ballot processing
Hassan vetoed the bill Wednesday, saying it has the potential to undermine the transparency of the election process.
The bill would allow election workers to begin processing absentee ballots two hour after the polls open and leave it to poll officials to determine when they actually begin counting the votes.
Cities and towns with voting machines send ballots through the electronic counters during lulls in voting, but towns that count ballots by hand wait until polls close to begin counting.
“HB 183 would eliminate that set time and leave it to poll workers at each individual voting location to determine when to begin processing absentee ballots without any requirement for advanced notice, so long as the processing begins at least two hours after the polls open,” Hassan said.
She noted the Senate included an advance notice provision that was removed in conference committee that would have addressed the transparency issue.
“However, the final version of this bill improves flexibility and efficiency without adequately preserving the element of transparency that is the foundation of our elections system,” Hassan said.
One bill would establish a committee to study end-of-life issues and the other would reduce the number of members of the Economic Development Advisory Council.
Lawmakers have not set a date when they will return to vote on the vetoes. Both the House and Senate have to have two-thirds majorities to override a governor’s veto.