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Dan Bennett, Vice President of Government Relations Nov 4, 2020 12 min read

Unpacking The 2020 Election: What You Need To Know (So Far)

Election day has come and gone but the dust certainly hasn’t settled. With many outcomes still unclear and absentee ballots and recounts to be done, let’s focus on what we know in New Hampshire, Washington D.C., and elsewhere.

Keep in mind that as of this writing many results have not yet been declared official by the Associated Press or the NH Secretary of State Office. 

We will continually provide updates as things evolve.

National

Presidential
As of now, Vice President Biden is leading President Trump by about 7 points in New Hampshire and will secure NH's 4 electoral college votes. Biden also appears be creeping closer to the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the Presidency. This will certainly be the race that may take the longest to play out with an officially declared winner as some recounts in other states may occur. 

US Senate
Senator Shaheen easily beat Corky Messner by over 15 points and was declared winner early on Tuesday evening.

US House
Representative Ann Kuster was re-elected over Steve Negron by over 10 points and will once again be returning to the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

Representative Chris Pappas had a tighter race with Matt Mowers but in the end, has won his reelection bid. This is the first time in about 10 years that a sitting incumbent in CD1 has won a back-to-back election.

New Hampshire

The Corner Office
Governor Sununu beat former Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes by over 30 points and it was one of the first called races of the evening. Governor Sununu quickly thanked the state of NH and called for folks on both sides to get back to work on important issues.

A lot of flips in NH: Executive Council, Senate, House of Representatives

Executive Council
In the unique to New Hampshire Executive council, it appears that the Democrats may have lost their 3-2 majority (3-2). As of now, the Republicans look to have a 4-1 majority but this is not yet final with the race between Councilor Pignatelli and former Councilor Wheeler only being separated by 1 & ½ percentage points.

Senate
The Senate appears to have flipped from a 14-10 Democrat majority to a 14-10 Republican majority. There will be some new faces in the Senate and some former Republican Senators who defeated incumbents and returning to their seats. We are likely to expect at least two recounts in the Senate races.

House
The New Hampshire House still has many Representatives whose races have yet to be reported or that have and will face a recount, with 400 seats that can be expected. It appears as of now however that the NH House has flipped from a Democrat-controlled majority to the Republicans somewhere in the realm of 210 to 190 seats. 

Right to Repair: Action in Massachusetts

In this election, our neighbors to the south in Massachusetts have had a very public battle over a new version of the right to repair law. This initiative is focused on electronic vehicle data to include digital and telematic information in vehicles. The question wound up being on the ballot and was known as ballot question one. The initiative was led by the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition and was opposed by many automobile manufacturers. With a 93% reported rate the right to repair question passed by over 75% voting in favor of it.

A summary of the text of the ballot was: This proposed law would require that motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities be provided with expanded access to mechanical data related to vehicle maintenance and repair.

What it will mean:

Starting with the model year 2022, the proposed law would require manufacturers of motor vehicles sold in Massachusetts to equip any such vehicles that use telematics systems with a standardized open access data platform.

Owners of motor vehicles with telematics systems would get access to mechanical data through a mobile device application. With vehicle owner authorization, independent repair facilities (those not affiliated with a manufacturer) and independent dealerships would be able to retrieve mechanical data from and send commands to, the vehicle for repair, maintenance, and diagnostic testing.

The proposed law would require the Attorney General to prepare a notice for prospective motor vehicle owners and lessees explaining telematics systems and the proposed law’s requirements concerning access to the vehicle’s mechanical data. Under the proposed law, Massachusetts dealers would have to provide prospective owners with, and prospective owners would have to acknowledge receipt of, the notice before buying or leasing a vehicle.

Failure to comply with these notice requirements would subject motor vehicle dealers to sanctions by the applicable licensing authority. Motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities could enforce this law through state consumer protection laws and recover civil penalties for the greater of treble damages or $10,000 per violation.

This is a Massachusetts specific law, but as we saw in the last right to repair battle in Massachusetts, once it passes there — the horse is out of the barn and the information is on the street everywhere.

For questions on the election or these matters contact me at dbennett@nhada.com.

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