New Hampshire primary: No high-tech apps to fail, good old paper, pencils are used to vote

New Hampshire primary: No high-tech apps to fail, good old paper, pencils are used to vote
A woman takes a Democratic ballot to vote in the New Hampshire Primary at Parker-Varney Elementary School, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik/AP)

As voters in New Hampshire head to the booths to cast their ballots for a presidential candidate, one common piece of equipment will be replaced with something a little more old-fashioned.

A week after the Iowa Caucus confusion surrounding the state’s voting app, New Hampshirites will be using a paper ballot that’s marked by hand by the voter themselves, NBC News reported.

It’s the way the state has voted for more than 20 years, the Concord Monitor reported.

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The New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner defended the classic voting procedure when he was questioned in 2018 during the midterm elections when he held up a pencil.

“Want me to give it to you and see if you can hack this pencil. We have this pencil. This is how people vote in this state. And you can’t hack this pencil,” Gardner said, according to NBC News.

The voter rolls are also on a hard copy record, not online, except at two polling locations where the electronic versions are being tested alongside books.

Once votes are cast, they are scanned by a computer and at the end of the night, the scanner generates a voting report, but the hard copy ballots are kept in case a hand count is necessary in a case of an audit or recount, the Monitor reported.

The system is being used Tuesday in 118 towns and 73 city wards, according to the newspaper. There are about another 100 towns that still count the ballots by hand.

But by going with old-fashioned voting and tabulating hardware, it has some people concerned. The computers used to update the scanning system run on an old version of the Windows operating system that Microsoft stopped supporting, NBC News reported. The hardware also isn’t made anymore by the parent company Dominion Voting Systems which has a stash of old machines to use for parts when the ones that are currently in use break, the Monitor reported.