State of New Hampshire

New Hampshire Voting Machines Challenge

Richard v. Sununu

Lawsuit filed by a right-wing constitutional lawyer against New Hampshire Gov. Christopher Sununu (R), Secretary of State David Scanlan (R), Attorney General John Formella (R), state legislators and local officials challenging the use of electronic ballot counting machines and other New Hampshire election laws. The plaintiff argues that a 1979 New Hampshire law authorizing the use of electronic voting machines violates the New Hampshire Constitution since it was passed “without the consent of the voters.” The plaintiff also claims that the use of electronic voting machines violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and asserts that “he has been disfranchised, and his vote diluted by…[the] unconstitutional use of programmable, opensource, electronic voting machines.” 

In addition, the plaintiff asserts that a 1973 law that “removed the descriptive language from the [qualified voter] statutes, that only a Citizen of the State of New Hampshire could vote in our elections, [and] thus allow[ed] resident aliens (citizens of other states residing in N.H.) the right to vote in New Hampshire elections” also violates New Hampshire Constitution. Furthermore, the plaintiff challenges a 1976 pro-voting constitutional amendment — which lowered the voting age to 18 and permitted the right to vote by absentee ballot in biennial elections — passed by voters for “being misleading” and “illegally” presented to voters. Finally, the plaintiff argues that the General Assembly’s expansion of the reasons voters may qualify for absentee voting that were enacted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic contravene the state’s constitution since they “expand constitutional exemptions for absentee voting without the due process required to amend or alter the constitutional requirements, without the consent of the voters as required by the Constitution.” The plaintiff asks the court to strike down the challenged statutes and amendments, prohibit the use of electronic voting machines and require that his vote and all votes cast within his town’s voting place be hand-counted. The plaintiff also requests that the court declare the 2018 and 2020 elections “void for fraud” since they were conducted in violation of the state and federal constitutions. 

On Sept. 12, the the court denied the plaintiff’s emergency motion for a preliminary injunction since “no immediate danger of irreparable harm to the plaintiff exists.” On Nov. 10, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The plaintiffs asked the court to reconsider its decision to dismiss the lawsuit, but the court denied this request on Jan. 19, 2023.

Case Documents

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