(The Center Square) – Two weeks after the midterm election, control of the 400-member New Hampshire House of Representatives remains in limbo, with a handful of recounts in legislative races yet to be completed and a court challenge of the results in one district.
After the November 8 elections, preliminary results show that the House of Representatives is split wafer-thin between the two political parties with 200 Republicans and 199 Democrats.
Recounts have been held in several close legislature races, some have yet to be conducted, but results could still change due to scrutiny and voting challenges. Under state law, ballots contested during a recount must be subject to additional review by the state Electoral Law Commission.
Meanwhile, Democrats have filed a lawsuit to prevent Secretary of State David Scanlan from conducting a second recount in a home race for a borough of Manchester in which the Republican nominee lost in a one-vote recount.
In the 24-page complaint, plaintiffs argue that Scanlan’s ordering of a second recount “represents an unprecedented abuse of discretion and a clear violation of New Hampshire law.”
The plaintiffs, including Democratic Senate Chair Donna Soucy, argue that New Hampshire law allows only one recount unless the “discrepancy between the number of votes cast on Election Day and the number of votes cast at the audit.” counted votes is greater than one percent.”
They said the difference in the home race was “less than one percent,” so a second recount was not warranted.
“If the defendant is allowed to arbitrarily order a second recount in this case in violation of New Hampshire law, it will undermine the confidence of plaintiffs, candidates and voters that the New Hampshire election will be conducted according to law.” the plaintiffs wrote The Complaint.
In a court filing, Scanlan claims he ordered a “continuation” of the vote count, not a recount, and said the Nov. 8 election results are not official until reviews are complete.
Scanlan said there was evidence the recount did not count all the ballots, so the process must continue to ensure all votes are counted.
Prior to the midterms, Republicans had a firm grip on the House of Representatives during the previous term, having won a 26-vote majority in the 2020 election.
However, according to state election data, the House of Representatives has switched between Democrats and Republicans at least six times in the past decade.
In the state Senate, the outcome is more certain as Republicans win a 14-10 majority in the election. That’s the same margin the GOP had in the upper chamber last session.