State of New Hampshire

New Hampshire 16th State House District Recount Challenge

Mosley v. Scanlan

Lawsuit filed by Maxine Mosley, the Democratic state House candidate for the 16th House District, and Donna Soucy, the Democratic state senator representing the 18th state Senate District, against New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) challenging the counting of ballots cast during the Nov. 8 election. The plaintiffs allege that on Nov. 14, there was a recount of the race for state representative in the 16th state House District that resulted in Mosley being declared the winner by the secretary of state. The complaint notes that Maxine Mosley beat her Republican opponent, Larry Gagne, by a margin of a single vote following the Nov. 14 recount. The plaintiff claims that “the declaration by the Secretary of State [declaring Mosley as the winner] is ‘final’” unless it’s appealed. However, according to the complaint, on Nov. 17, the secretary of state issued a notice that a second recount would start on Monday, Nov. 21. The complaint further notes that the “stated basis for this second recount is an alleged discrepancy in the number of ballots cast on election day, when compared to the number of ballots counted during the recount, and the number of ballots counted during an audit.” The plaintiffs contend that the secretary of state’s “[n]otice ordering a second recount is an abuse of discretion, without precedent, and in clear violation of New Hampshire law.” The plaintiffs argue that under New Hampshire law, only one recount is allowed, and the exception to this rule does not apply to this situation given that under New Hampshire law “there may only be a second recount if the discrepancy between the number of votes cast on election day and the number of votes counted in the audit is greater than one percent.” According to the complaint, the discrepancy in this situation was “less than one percent,” meaning that a second recount is unwarranted. Finally, the plaintiffs argue that the secretary of state does not have “jurisdiction over [this recount] at this time” since the results of the Nov. 14 recount were “final” and “subject only to an appeal.” The plaintiffs ask the court to issue a preliminary order to prohibit the secretary of state from conducting a second recount as well as a permanent order to stop the defendant “from conducting the noticed recount in violation of New Hampshire law.”

On Nov. 22, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants to continue the recount. On April 5, 2023, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

Case Documents

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