New Hampshire

Articles about voting issues in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire: Sununu to sign into law bill allowing ratification of snowstorm-delayed local election results | WMUR

Gov. Chris Sununu will sign into law legislation allowing officials of towns and school districts that postponed their elections due to the March 14 snowstorm to take action to ratify the results of those elections, his spokesman said Thursday. In rapid fire action, the House and Senate suspended their rules and established a committee of conference, which quickly reached agreement on a minor change to the bill. They then suspended their respective rules to consider the committee of conference report, which was adopted by the Senate on voice vote and by the House on a roll call of 294-42. Those votes sent the bill to Sununu’s desk, and spokesman Michael Todd told WMUR he will sign it. Read More

New Hampshire: House debates bill that would change voting rights | WMUR

Supporters of a voting-rights bill said Tuesday that it’s aimed at cutting down on voter fraud, but opponents called it a solution in search of a problem. Senate Bill 3 would change the definition of “domicile” for voting purposes. People living in New Hampshire for 30 days or fewer before an election wouldn’t be able to vote unless they could prove intent to stay longer. Anyone registering within 30 days of an election or on Election Day would have to fill out a form, and if they don’t have proof of residency that meets the bill’s requirements, they would have to present that proof to local officials later. Read More

New Hampshire: Showdown over controversial voting rights bill moves to state House | NH1

Is election law reform the issue that unites Republicans in the state House of Representatives? House Majority Leader Dick Hinch tells NH1 News that he thinks the bill approved by the state Senate will also “pass the House.” Hinch spoke with NH1 News on Monday, the day before the battle over the measure that would tighten New Hampshire’s voting laws by adding new requirements to prove eligibility moves to the House. The House Election Law Committee holds a 10am Tuesday hearing in Representatives Hall on the much-argued about measure. The bill, officially known as SB3, mandates that anyone who registers to vote either prior to or on Election Day itself, thanks to the state’s same-day registration law, present definitive proof that they reside in the Granite State. Read More

New Hampshire: Town Clerk: GOP Voting Bill “Overwhelmingly Complicated And Confusing” | New Hampshire Public Radio

The uproar over Senate Bill 3 shows no signs of abating. The bill’s lead sponsor, Republican state senator Regina Birdsell,  insists it simply ensures that each vote cast in New Hampshire is valid and that voters meet certain requirements. She says she removed elements that were especially objectionable to opponents, including involvement of local police in helping to confirm voters’ addresses. “We are looking to make sure that anyone who casts a ballot has a stake in the community that they say they’re domiciled in,” she said on The Exchange. Birdsell denied that college students or members of the military will be adversely affected. Read More

New Hampshire: Another plan to deal with elections moved by the blizzard | Concord Monitor

Another option has been added to the ongoing puzzle about how to cope with town meeting elections that were moved due to the March 14 blizzard: a proposal to allow local elected officials to decide whether the election was legal. The proposal, which describes itself as “the least detrimental of two unfortunate options,” was put forward in an amendment added to House Bill 329, a bill created to study how municipalities do their billing. The plan would ratify all elections for offices held by the roughly 73 communities that postponed town meeting voting due to the snowstorm that hit March 14. It would then give the local governing body, such as the select board or the school board, authority to ratify or not ratify everything else that was done by voters, which includes zoning ordinances and, for SB 2 communities, all other town business, including budgets and bonded warrant articles. Read More

New Hampshire: E-Poll book trial program under consideration at the Statehouse | WMUR

New Hampshire is inching closer to bringing new technology into its elections. On First-in-the-Nation Primary Day in 2016 the lone polling location in Merrimack was swamped. Citizens waited for hours to cast ballots. Some gave up before getting a chance to vote. “It was just too hard to get there,” one voter said. “There was no way I was going to sit in traffic for that long.” The gridlock was largely the product of high turnout and a redesigned traffic pattern. But some of the wait may have been alleviated by E-Poll books; electronic versions of the paper checklists maintained by local election officials. Read More

New Hampshire: Plan to ratify postponed elections fails | Eagle Tribune

With the failure of Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper’s plan to ratify postponed election results, lawmakers are looking for a new way forward. The Hudson Republican’s amendment, which died Tuesday evening at the end of a several-hours long Election Law Committee session, asked towns to hold hearings and possibly special elections to ratify their own election results. Judy Silva, executive director of the New Hampshire Municipal Association, said that the testimony of numerous town moderators tipped the scales and prevented the special election amendment from passing. Read More

New Hampshire: Jasper bill would give towns option to ratify delayed votes | Associated Press

House Speaker Shawn Jasper wants to give Hampton Falls and other towns that postponed their elections due to a snowstorm a way out of facing potential lawsuits from voters who may have been disenfranchised. Jasper is proposing letting towns ratify the results of their elections by holding another vote. A bill he’s sponsoring would give towns that moved Election Day the option of letting townspeople vote to ratify, or confirm, the results on May 23. Jasper believes it was illegal for towns to move their elections and he’s warned towns could face lawsuits. But he says ratifying the results would prevent further chaos. Read More

New Hampshire: U.S. Supreme Court declines to review ruling striking down ban on ‘ballot selfies’ | Union Leader

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review lower court rulings striking down New Hampshire’s ban on “ballot selfies.” The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire challenged the state’s ban on “ballot selfies,” a prohibition of a voter taking a photo of their marked ballots and posting on social media to show how they voted, in 2014. Lower courts sided with the ACLU and three voters in the Granite State on the grounds of free speech. The ACLU represented former Rep. Leon H. Rideout, Andrew Langlois, and Brandon D. Ross, in the suit against Secretary of State William Gardner. Rideout said Monday the state was overreacting to new technology and social media. “I’m actually kind of surprised it went this far,” he said. Read More

New Hampshire: As state considers letting towns upgrade polling tech, vendors show off wares | Concord Monitor

If New Hampshire allows electronic check-in at polling places, replacing ballot clerks drawing lines through voter names in printed books with people touching icons on computer tablet screens, it will be due in part to one unlikely motivation: the alphabet. “There’s nothing more frustrating to a voter than standing in line because your name starts with the letters A to D, but the M-to-Z check-in line is empty. … This eliminates that,” said Rob Rock, the director of elections for Rhode Island, describing his state’s experience with what are known as electronic poll books. Speed and convenience, both for voters and for polling-place workers, were big selling points Friday as vendors of five companies that make e-poll books pitched their wares to state and local election officials in the Legislative Office Building. Read More