With election law reform expected to be a major issue in the upcoming legislative session, state Senate Republicans intend to adjust the body’s committee structure to meet what is expected to be rush of bills on the topic. A rule change the Senate is expected to pass when it meets to organize on Wednesday is a measure to create an Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee. “The rationale for it is that election law issues are going to be a major topic, and it deserves its own committee,” Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley said Monday. In the House, meanwhile, a Republican lawmaker said he intends to file at least 10 bills that would deal with election law reform – an issue described as a priority by Gov.-elect Chris Sununu as he prepares to take office on Jan. 5.
Sen. Regina Birdsell, R-Hampstead, said that previously, election law issues were handled in the Senate by the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. “I think it’s a good idea,” said Birdsell, who chaired the Public and Municipal Affairs Committee during the last session, said of the change. “Election law has become a big enough issue where the committee should be on its own.”
“And municipal issues have been an entity of their own, and so, I think it is good that they split them off.”
The move comes as bills related to election law reform pile up. Although the bills have not yet been formally drafted, titles and brief descriptions, known as Legislative Service Requests – or “LSRs” – have been filed. Some bills are expected to do away with same-day voting in New Hampshire, which Sununu has said he would prefer to end because, he said, “It just brings too many questions to mind.”