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.
The action means an end is near to a six-weeks-long controversy that arose when 73 towns postponed their local elections out of safety concerns when much of the state was hit by blizzard-like conditions.
Secretary of State William Gardner said that any election held on a day other than the second Tuesday in March was held illegally. But many towns, relying on their own lawyers, cited a statute that they said gave their moderators authority to move the elections due to what they determined were unsafe weather conditions on March 14.
The bill specifies that its passage “is not intended to absolve any legal counsel of liability for advice given.”