State Returning Board (1901-1935) | State Archives Catalog
In 1901, a State Returning Board was established to collect, count, and tabulate votes. The board was also responsible for keeping records of vote outcomes and ensuring that outcomes were published in local newspapers or other publications. The duties and responsibilities would change little over the next century.
Before the State Returning Board was formed, the Secretary of State was in charge of moderating the voting process and ensuring the results were given to the general assembly so that election results could be made public.
In 1935, per PL 1935, Chapter 2195, the use of voting machines was regulated and a board was formed to oversee the administration and operation of said machines. That same year, in PL 1935, Chapter 2188, the Board of Vote Tabulation was established as an official governmental body under the Department of State. Per the aforementioned legislation, all duties of the former State Returning Board were transferred to the Board of Vote Tabulation, as well as new responsibilities involving the administration of voting machines.