New Hampshire eBenchBook

Current as of 2018 legislative session, ending on 8/24/18

TITLE LXIII: ELECTIONS

CHAPTER 652 – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Terms and Definitions

Section 652:1

 652:1 Election. – “Election” shall mean the choosing of a public officer or of a delegate to a party convention or the nominating of a candidate for public office by voters by means of a direct vote conducted under the election laws. The term does not include caucuses or conventions. The types of elections are further defined in this chapter.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:2

 652:2 Regular Election, Special Election. – “Regular election” shall mean an election required to be held periodically under the election laws, a city charter, or a local by-law, and which is held in accordance with the same. Any other election shall be a “special election.” As used in the election laws, “election” shall mean a regular election.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:3

 652:3 State Election. – “State election” shall mean an election to choose a federal, state, or county officer or a delegate to a party convention or to nominate a candidate for federal, state or county office. The 3 types of state elections are defined in RSA 652:4, 652:5 and 652:6.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:4

 652:4 State General Election. – “State general election” shall mean an election to choose a federal, state, or county officer.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:5

 652:5 State Primary Election. – “State primary election” shall mean an election to nominate a candidate for federal, state, or county office or to choose a delegate to a state party convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:6

 652:6 Presidential Primary Election. – “Presidential primary election” shall mean an election to choose delegates to a national party convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:7

 652:7 Town Election. – “Town election” shall mean an election to choose a town officer.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:8

 652:8 City Election. – “City election” shall mean an election to choose a city officer.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:9

 652:9 School District Election. – “School district election” shall mean an election to choose a school district officer.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:10

 652:10 Village District Election. – “Village district election” shall mean an election to choose a village district officer.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:11

 652:11 Party. – “Party” shall mean any political organization which at the preceding state general election received at least 4 percent of the total number of votes cast for any one of the following: the office of governor or the offices of United States senators.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1997, 253:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Section 652:12

 652:12 Vacancy. –
A “vacancy” shall occur in a public office if, subsequent to his or her election and prior to the completion of his or her term, the person elected to that office:

I. Either dies, resigns, or ceases to have domicile in the state or the district from which he or she was elected; or
II. Is determined by a court having jurisdiction to be insane or mentally incompetent; or
III. Is convicted of a crime which disqualifies him or her from holding office; or
IV. Fails or refuses to take the oath of office within the period prescribed in RSA 42:6 or to give or renew an official bond if required by law; or
V. Has his or her election voided by court decision or ballot law commission decision; or
VI. Is a member of the general court of New Hampshire and a member of a military reserve or national guard unit; and

(a) The member was called to serve in an emergency; and
(b) Service in such unit causes the member to be unable to perform his or her legislative duties, as determined by the house of representatives in the case of a member of the house of representatives and by the senate in the case of a member of the senate, for longer than 180 consecutive days; and
(c) The selectmen of any town or ward in the district from which the member is elected request of the governor and council that the office be declared vacant.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 216:1. 1994, 70:5. 2003, 22:2, eff. April 24, 2003.

Section 652:13

 652:13 Federal Election. – “Federal election” shall mean any state general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of choosing or nominating any candidates for the offices of president, vice-president, United States senator, or United States representative. For federal ballot only voters domiciled outside the United States who are eligible to vote in federal elections as provided in RSA 657:2, “federal election” shall also include any presidential primary election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 176:1. 1986, 126:1. 2010, 317:2, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 652:14

 652:14 Election Officer. – “Election officer” shall mean any moderator, deputy moderator, assistant moderator, town clerk, deputy town clerk, city clerk, deputy city clerk, ward clerk, selectman, supervisor of the checklist, registrar, or deputy registrar.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:48, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 652:14-a

 652:14-a City Chief Elections Officer. – The city clerk shall be the chief elections officer with authority to establish uniform practices and procedures that conform to state and federal law for all elections conducted by the city.

Source. 2006, 78:1, eff. July 1, 2006.

Section 652:15

 652:15 Supervisors of the Checklist. – The term “supervisors of the checklist” shall include any board of registrars or similar body performing the functions of registering voters and correcting the checklist in cities.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:16

 652:16 Town. – The term “town” shall include wards in cities.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:16-a

 652:16-a Undeclared Voter. – The term “undeclared voter” shall mean a voter who is registered as a member of no political party.

Source. 1993, 193:1, eff. Aug. 8, 1993.

Section 652:16-b

 652:16-b UOCAVA Voters. – “UOCAVA voters” shall mean absent uniformed services voters, absent voters temporarily residing outside the United States, and federal ballot only voters domiciled outside the United States as described in RSA 654:3.

Source. 2010, 317:3, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 652:16-c

 652:16-c Absent Uniformed Services Voters. –
“Absent uniformed services voters” shall mean persons who are absent from the places of residence in New Hampshire where they are otherwise qualified to vote who are:

I. Members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard, the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and all regular and reserve components thereof, while in active service.
II. Members of the Merchant Marine of the United States, including individuals (other than members of a uniformed service or individuals employed, enrolled, or maintained on the Great Lakes or the inland waterways):

(a) Employed as officers or crew members of vessels documented under the laws of the United States, or of vessels owned by the United States, or of vessels of foreign-flag registry under charter to or control of the United States; or
(b) Enrolled with the United States for employment, or for training for employment, or maintained by the United States for emergency relief service, as officers or crew members of any such vessel.

III. The spouses or dependents of any member described in paragraph I or II who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence in New Hampshire where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified to vote.

Source. 2010, 317:3, eff. July 18, 2010. 2016, 183:1, eff. Aug. 2, 2016.

Section 652:16-d

 652:16-d Accessible Voting System. – “Accessible voting system” shall mean the system chosen by the state to meet the accessibility for individuals with disabilities requirements of section 301 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, 42 U.S.C. section 15481, that has the capacity to print a paper ballot marked with the votes chosen by the voter.

Source. 2010, 317:3, eff. July 18, 2010.

Time Computation

Section 652:17

 652:17 Uniform System. – For the purposes of the election laws, a uniform system of computation of time shall be maintained.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 652:18

 652:18 Days Included and Excluded. –
I. Except where specifically stated to the contrary, when a period or limit of time is to be reckoned from a day or date, that day or date shall be excluded from and the day on which an act should occur shall be included in the computation of the period or limit of time.
II. Whenever the election laws refer to a period or limit of time, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays shall be included, except as provided in paragraph I. However, when the last day for performing any act under the election laws is a Saturday, Sunday or official state holiday, the act required shall be deemed to be duly performed if it is performed on the following business day.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:2, eff. May 27, 1994; 348:2, eff. July 1, 1994.

Section 652:19

 652:19 Days Included. – [Repealed 1994, 348:3, eff. July 1, 1994.]

Section 652:20

 652:20 End of Day. – Whenever the election laws require a filing with or an action by an official, such filing or action shall be performed before 5 o’clock in the afternoon of the stipulated day. During the afternoon of the stipulated day, the school district clerk or his designee, or the town clerk or his designee, shall arrange his time so as to be available between the hours of 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1985, 7:1, eff. May 31, 1985.

Political Calendar

Section 652:21

 652:21 Authority; Format. – Prior to the state primary election, the secretary of state with the advice and approval of the attorney general shall prepare a political calendar for state and town elections setting forth the dates when action required under the election laws must be taken. Any action taken by any candidate or official in connection with the election laws which shall be taken in accordance with the dates set forth in said calendar shall be deemed to be duly performed for the purposes of the election laws. The expense of printing said political calendar shall be a charge upon the appropriation for the office of the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Election Manual

Section 652:22

 652:22 Authority; Format; Distribution. – The secretary of state, with the advice and approval of the attorney general, shall prepare or cause to be prepared preceding each state general election an up-to-date manual on the New Hampshire election laws and procedures for conducting elections. The manual shall be written in nontechnical language. The manual shall be distributed free of charge to each moderator, board of selectmen, city council, and board of supervisors of the checklist and to each town, city, and ward clerk. The secretary of state may distribute the manual in either electronic or printed format. The secretary of state may distribute said manual to any other person who requests it.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2009, 214:1, eff. Sept. 13, 2009.

Chief Election Officer

Section 652:23

 652:23 Chief Election Officer. – The secretary of state shall be the chief election officer for the state. The secretary of state shall provide information regarding voter registration procedures and absentee ballot procedures for all voters, including absent uniformed services voters, absent voters temporarily residing outside the United States, and federal ballot only voters domiciled outside the United States. Instructional and informational materials published by the secretary of state for clerks to provide such voters shall include information on how to communicate electronically with election officials.

Source. 2010, 317:4, eff. July 18, 2010.

Voter Identification Advisory Committee

Section 652:24

 652:24 Voter Identification Advisory Committee. –
I. There is established a voter identification advisory committee. The committee shall review the implementation of voter identification requirements after every state general election. If the committee determines that problems exist requiring statutory changes, the committee shall report its findings to the senate and house standing committees with jurisdiction over election laws.
II. The members of the committee shall be as follows:

(a) The secretary of state or designee.
(b) The president of the senate or designee.
(c) The speaker of the house of representatives or designee.
(d) The governor or designee.
(e) The president of the New Hampshire City and Town Clerks’ Association, or his or her representative.

III. The committee shall meet at the call of the secretary of state or designee, who shall serve as chairperson.

Source. 2012, 284:2, eff. June 27, 2012.

Notice of Voter Identification Requirements

Section 652:25

 652:25 Notice of Voter Identification Requirements. – Every town and city clerk shall prominently display a notice prepared by the secretary of state explaining the photo identification requirements for voters and directing voters to the department of state’s website for additional information. Such notice shall be displayed for at least 14 days prior to each election held after the effective date of this section.

Source. 2012, 284:2, eff. June 27, 2012.

Voter Education Requirements

Section 652:26

 652:26 Voter Education Requirements. –
I. The secretary of state shall prepare an explanatory document explaining the proof of identity requirements of RSA 659:13, including all the permissible methods for proving identity and the dates of applicability of these requirements. The secretary of state shall provide copies of the explanatory document to all towns and wards, so it will be available to all persons registering to vote at the city or town hall and at all polling places at each election held after the effective date of this section.
II. The secretary of state shall take whatever measures he or she deems necessary to educate the public about the voter identification requirements in RSA 659:13. Such measures shall include prominently displaying on the department of state’s website information for voters relating to the voter identification requirements in RSA 659:13. The department shall also provide explanatory information relating to voter identification requirements to media outlets that request such information and shall encourage such outlets to assist the department in educating the public about the voter identification requirements in RSA 659:13.

Source. 2012, 284:2, eff. June 27, 2012.

Electronic Poll Books

Section 652:27

[RSA 652:27 repealed by 2017, 200:3, effective January 1, 2023.]

 652:27 Electronic Poll Books. –
I. Cities and towns are hereby authorized to conduct a trial of electronic poll book devices for voter registration and check-in for elections. The trial shall be compliant with all statutes directly or indirectly related to voter checklists and maintenance of the statewide centralized voter registration database including the processes related to voter registration, voter check-in and check-out, the processing of absentee ballots, the collection of all fields of data required for registration or check-in, and the delivery of that data to the secretary of state in a format compatible with the statewide centralized voter registration database. The provisions of RSA 654:34, RSA 659:55, RSA 659:13, RSA 659:14, and RSA 659:23, as they relate to manual entries on a paper checklist, are hereby waived in order to accommodate an electronic poll book, provided the same information required of the voter is obtained and recorded by the electronic poll book, and can be retrieved and printed at any time including during an election. In addition, nonpublic data related to individual voter data shall remain confidential, and no voter data shall be released or retained by an electronic poll book vendor, including its agents, or any company or individual that provides software, hardware, or services to the vendor for any purpose. An electronic poll book vendor shall not have access to any voter data except as specifically necessary to setup, maintain, or train for an electronic poll book program authorized under RSA 652:27. Adequate back-up systems shall be in place as determined by the local election officials for local elections and the secretary of state for all other elections. A back-up system shall include a “real time” download of voters who have checked in or registered on the day of the election. The electronic poll book shall have the ability to generate a paper voter checklist completely marked to reflect participation in the election up to the time of any system failure or malfunction. A sufficient number of high speed printers shall be available in the polling place to produce a back-up paper checklist for use in the event of a system failure. A marked checklist shall be printed upon the completion of every election along with any reports required by statute and shall be retained by the clerk.
II. The cities and towns shall assume all costs associated with electronic poll books. No electronic poll book trial program may proceed unless the electronic poll books system and application has been recommended for approval by an evaluator of electronic election systems using requirements established by the secretary of state. Within 30 days of the effective date of this section, the secretary of state shall designate at least one evaluator of electronic election systems to draft test cases, conduct tests, and make recommendations. Recommendations to the secretary of state from an evaluator of electronic election systems shall be conditioned upon safe use procedures. The secretary of state may approve electronic poll book systems based on recommendations from an evaluator of electronic election systems. No city or town may use an electronic poll book system that has not been approved by the secretary of state. The secretary of state, within 30 days of the effective date of this section, shall prepare requirements for conducting a trial of electronic poll book devices that outline specific conditions that must be met for compliance with this section. An electronic poll book trial program must originate with a city or town election before becoming eligible for use at a state election in the same city or town.
III. The city or town clerk shall file with the secretary of state all documentation that is necessary to show that all requirements in this section have been met no later than 30 days before an electronic poll book trial program shall take place. Within 30 days after the initial use of electronic poll books in accordance with this section, the city or town shall submit a report to the secretary of state, who shall review such reports and forward them to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the house and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over election law. Each report shall describe the outcome of the program, addressing voter experiences, wait times, voter throughput times, personnel costs, hardware and software costs, and the completeness and accuracy of the data recorded, reported, and submitted for import to the statewide centralized voter registration database.

Source. 2017, 200:1, eff. Aug. 4, 2017.

CHAPTER 653 – ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND DELEGATES

State and County Officers to be Elected

Section 653:1

 653:1 Elected for 2-Year Term. –
At every state general election, the following officers shall be elected for 2-year terms except as otherwise provided:

I. The governor by the voters of the state;
II. One executive councilor by the voters in each executive councilor district;
III. One state senator by the voters in each senatorial district;
IV. The number of state representatives to which a district is entitled by the voters in such state representative district;
V. One sheriff, one county attorney, one county treasurer, one register of deeds, and one register of probate by the voters in each county;
VI. County commissioners as follows:

(a) Grafton and Hillsborough counties-one county commissioner by those voters in each county commissioner district in each county;
(b) Carroll county-one county commissioner from each county commissioner district by all the voters of the county; provided that, at the 1994 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall each be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners whose terms are expiring shall be elected by all the voters of the county; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1994 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(c) Strafford county-3 county commissioners by all the voters of the county;
(d) Cheshire county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1980 state general election, no commissioner from district 1 shall be elected, the commissioner from district 2 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioner from district 3 shall be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in which a commissioner’s term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1980 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 3.
(e) Sullivan county-one county commissioner from each county commissioner district by all the voters of the county; provided that, at the 1990 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall each be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners whose terms are expiring shall be elected by all the voters of the county; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1990 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(f) Belknap county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1992 state general election, no commissioner from district 1 shall be elected, the commissioner from district 2 shall be elected to a 4-year term, and the commissioner from district 3 shall be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in which a commissioner’s term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1992 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 3.
(g) Rockingham county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1992 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall be elected to 2-year terms. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in which a commissioner’s term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1992 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(h) Merrimack county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district in the county; provided that, at the 1996 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall be elected to 2-year terms. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in the county in which a commissioner’s term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1996 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(i) Coos county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1996 state general election, the commissioner from district 3 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 1 and 2 shall be elected to 2-year terms. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in the county in which a commissioner’s term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1996 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 1.

Source. 1979, 436:1; 451:1. 1990, 56:1, 2. 1991, 219:2. 1992, 9:1, 2. 1993, 308:1. 1995, 47:1, 2. 1996, 138:1, 2. 2003, 289:22, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Federal Officers to be Elected

Section 653:2

 653:2 Electors of the President and Vice-President. – At the state general election in 1980 and at the state general election every fourth year thereafter, the voters of the state shall elect the number of electors of the president and vice-president of the United States to which the state is entitled.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:3

[The amendment to RSA 653:3 by 1995, 108:2 is omitted in light of the United States supreme court decision invalidating state-imposed congressional term limits. See U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (1995) 514 U.S. 779.]

 653:3 United States Senators. – At the state general election in 1980 and at the state general election every sixth year thereafter and at the state general election in 1984 and at the state general election every sixth year thereafter, the voters of the state shall elect one United States senator.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:4

[The amendment to RSA 653:4 by 1995, 108:3 is omitted in light of the United States supreme court decision invalidating state-imposed congressional term limits. See U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (1995) 514 U.S. 779.]

 653:4 United States Representatives. – At every state general election, the voters of each congressional district shall elect one United States representative.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Election of Delegates to Party Conventions

Section 653:5

 653:5 Delegates to National Party Conventions. – At every presidential primary election, the voters of the state shall vote their preference for party candidates for president and thereby choose the delegates to each presidential nominating convention to which the state is entitled.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:6

 653:6 Delegates to State Party Conventions. – At every state primary election, the voters in each state representative district shall elect delegates to each state party convention in accordance with the districts laid out in RSA 662:6. In order to be elected as a delegate to a state party convention, a person shall be a registered voter of the same party in the district from which the person is to be elected, and shall receive either a minimum of 10 votes or 10 percent of the votes cast in the district from which the person is to be elected, whichever is less. A person who is entitled to serve as a delegate because he or she has been nominated for office as provided in RSA 667:21 shall not be entitled to serve as an elected delegate under this section, and the next highest eligible vote-getter shall be elected.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1992, 68:1. 1995, 47:3. 2005, 5:1, eff. July 2, 2005.

Election Dates

Section 653:7

 653:7 State General Election. – The state general election shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:8

 653:8 State Primary Election. – The state primary election shall be held on the second Tuesday in September of every even-numbered year.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:9

 653:9 Presidential Primary Election. – The presidential primary election shall be held on the second Tuesday in March or on a date selected by the secretary of state which is 7 days or more immediately preceding the date on which any other state shall hold a similar election, whichever is earlier, of each year when a president of the United States is to be elected or the year previous. Said primary shall be held in connection with the regular March town meeting or election or, if held on any other day, at a special election called by the secretary of state for that purpose. The purpose of this section is to protect the tradition of the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1995, 289:1. 1999, 161:2. 2007, 212:4. 2010, 121:1, eff. Aug. 8, 2010.

Section 653:10

 653:10 Assumption of Office. – Federal officers-elect shall assume office on the date set by the U.S. Constitution. State officers-elect shall assume office on the date set by the New Hampshire Constitution. County officers-elect shall assume office on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January of the year following the state general election at which they were elected.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:1, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.

 

CHAPTER 654 – VOTERS AND CHECKLISTS

Eligibility

Section 654:1

 654:1 Voter; Office Holder. –
I. Every inhabitant of the state, having a single established domicile for voting purposes, being a citizen of the United States, of the age provided for in Article 11 of Part First of the Constitution of New Hampshire, shall have a right at any meeting or election, to vote in the town, ward, or unincorporated place in which he or she is domiciled. An inhabitant’s domicile for voting purposes is that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social, and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government. A person has the right to change domicile at any time, however a mere intention to change domicile in the future does not, of itself, terminate an established domicile before the person actually moves.
I-a. A student of any institution of learning may lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes in the New Hampshire town or city in which he or she lives while attending such institution of learning if such student’s claim of domicile otherwise meets the requirements of RSA 654:1, I.
II. Any elected or appointed official for whom one of the qualifications for his or her position is eligibility to be a voter in the area represented or served shall be considered to have resigned if the official moves his or her domicile so that he or she can no longer qualify to be a voter in the area represented or served. Any vacancy so created shall be filled as prescribed by law.

Source. 1979, 396:1; 436:1. 2003, 289:23. 2007, 9:1. 2009, 288:1. 2012, 285:1, eff. Aug. 26, 2012.

Section 654:2

 654:2 Temporary Absence or Presence. –
I. A domicile for voting purposes acquired by any person in any town shall not be interrupted or lost by a temporary absence therefrom with the intention of returning thereto as his or her domicile. Domicile for the purpose of voting as defined in RSA 654:1, once existing, continues to exist until another such domicile is gained. Domicile for purposes of voting is a question of fact and intention coupled with a verifiable act or acts carrying out that intent. A voter can have only one domicile for voting purposes. No person shall be deemed to have lost a domicile by reason of his or her presence or absence while the voter or his or her spouse is employed in the service of the United States; nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of the United States or of the high seas; nor while a teacher in or student of any seminary of learning; nor while confined in any public prison or other penal institution; nor while a patient or confined for any reason in any nursing, convalescent home or hospital, old folks or old age home, or like institution or private facility.
II.

(a) A person present in New Hampshire for temporary purposes shall not gain a domicile for voting purposes. A person who maintains a voting domicile where he or she came from, to which he or she intends to return to as his or her voting domicile after a temporary presence in New Hampshire, does not gain a domicile in New Hampshire regardless of the duration of his or her presence in New Hampshire.
(b) A person who has been present and residing in one town or ward in New Hampshire for 30 or fewer days is presumed to be present for temporary purposes unless that person has the intention of making the place in which the person resides his or her one place, more than any other, from which he or she engages in the domestic, social, and civil activities of participating in democratic self-government including voting, and has acted to carry out that intent.
(c) For the purposes of this chapter, temporary purposes shall include, but are not limited to, being present in New Hampshire for 30 or fewer days for the purposes of tourism, visiting family or friends, performing short-term work, or volunteering or working to influence voters in an upcoming election.
(d) For the purposes of voter registration under RSA 654:7, IV(c), an applicant shall demonstrate an intent to make a place his or her domicile by providing documentation showing that the applicant has a domicile at the address provided on the voter registration form. Such documentation may include, but is not limited to:

(1) Evidence of residency, as set forth in RSA 654:1, I-a, at an institution of learning in that place;
(2) Evidence of renting or leasing an abode at that place for a period of more than 30 days, to include time directly prior to an election day;
(3) Evidence of purchasing an abode at that place;
(4) A New Hampshire resident motor vehicle registration, driver’s license, or identification card issued under RSA 260:21, RSA 260:21-a, or RSA 260:21-b listing that place as his or her residence;
(5) Evidence of enrolling the person’s dependent minor child in a publicly funded elementary or secondary school which serves the town or ward of that place, using the address where the registrant resides;
(6) Identifying that place as the person’s physical residence address on state or federal tax forms, other government-issued identification, or other government forms that show the domicile address;
(7) Evidence of providing the address of that place to the United States Post Office as the person’s permanent address, provided it is not a postal service or commercial post office box;
(8) Evidence of obtaining public utility services for an indefinite period at that place; or
(9) Evidence of arranging for a homeless shelter or similar service provider located in the town or ward to receive United States mail on behalf of the individual using that facility’s address as the individual’s domicile address for voting purposes.

(e) An applicant whose domicile is at an abode rented, leased, or owned by another and whose name is not listed on the rental agreement, lease, or deed may provide a written statement from a person who is listed on the rental agreement, lease, or deed, or other reasonable proof of ownership or control of the property or his or her agent who manages the property that the applicant resides at that address, signed by the owner or manager of the property under penalty of voting fraud if false information is provided.

III. An individual applying for registration as a voter 30 or fewer days before an election shall use the election day registration form required by RSA 654:7, IV(c) which shall require the applicant to provide the date he or she established his or her voting domicile in New Hampshire. The registration form shall require the voter to identify and provide evidence of a verifiable action he or she has taken carrying out his or her intent to make the place claimed on the voter registration form his or her domicile.
IV. A person may register on election day through use of an acknowledgment of domicile evidence obligation on the registration form and vote if he or she does not have any document in his or her possession at the polls providing evidence of an action carrying out his or her intent to make the address claimed as his or her voting domicile. A person relying on an acknowledgment of domicile evidence obligation to register must mail or present evidence of an action taken before registering to vote to carry out his or her intent to make the address claimed his or her domicile to the town or city clerk within 10 days following the election, or within 30 days in towns where the clerk’s office is open fewer than 20 hours weekly.
V. The supervisors of the checklist, as soon as practical following an election, shall determine which registrants of that election acknowledged there was no evidence of intent to be domiciled at their address or relied solely on an acknowledgment of domicile evidence obligation to register and vote, and, of those registrants, those who failed to mail or present evidence of having taken some action to carry out their intent to establish domicile at the address listed on their voter registration applications to the clerk by the deadline. The supervisors shall attempt to verify that each such person was domiciled at the address claimed on election day by means including, but not limited to:

(a) Examining public records held by the town or city clerk, municipal assessing and planning offices, tax collector, or other municipal office that may house public records containing domicile confirmation; or
(b) Requesting 2 or more municipal officers or their agents or state election officers or their agents to visit the address and verify that the individual was domiciled there on election day. In unincorporated places that have not organized for the purposes of conducting elections, county officers may be asked to perform this function; or
(c) Referring the registrant’s information to the secretary of state, who shall cause such further investigation as is warranted.

VI. Any case where supervisors are unable to verify the applicant’s domicile or where evidence exists of voting fraud shall be promptly reported to the secretary of state and to the attorney general, who shall cause such further investigation as is warranted. After receiving confirmation from the secretary of state that an individual is not domiciled at the address provided, the supervisors shall also initiate removal of the person from the checklist by sending the person the notice required by RSA 654:44.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:24. 2014, 104:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014. 2017, 205:1, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Section 654:2-a

 654:2-a Voters Confined in Penal Institutions. –
I. The domicile for voting purposes of a person confined in a penal institution shall be the town or city in New Hampshire in which such person had his or her domicile immediately prior to such confinement, even though such person no longer maintains a domicile in said town or city and even though his or her intent to return thereto is uncertain. The domicile for voting purposes of a person confined in a penal institution shall not include the municipality where the person is confined unless the person was domiciled in that municipality prior to confinement. If the person was domiciled immediately prior to confinement in the municipality where the person is confined, the person shall be considered absent for purposes of voter registration and absentee voting during the period of confinement.
II. A person confined in a penal institution whose domicile is in a town or city in New Hampshire shall be eligible to vote in state elections and shall exercise that right by absentee ballot provided:

(a) The person complies with all other applicable requirements and qualifications of the state of New Hampshire, including, but not limited to, the requirement that an absentee voter take the steps necessary to have his or her name placed on the voter checklist no later than 10 days before an election and the requirement that the absentee voter take the steps necessary to make sure that his or her ballot is received by the town or city clerk from whom it was sent by 5:00 p.m. on election day. A person confined in a penal institution shall use the mail to comply with all applicable requirements and qualifications.
(b) The person is not registered to vote or eligible to vote in any other state or election district of a state or in any territory or possession of the United States.
(c) The person is not a citizen of another state.

III. In completing a voter registration form, as specified in RSA 654:7, a person confined in a penal institution shall list the address of his or her domicile in the address section, and the address of the penal institution in the mailing address section.

Source. 1999, 228:1. 2003, 289:63, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 654:3

 654:3 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) Voters. –
I. Absent uniformed services voters. An absent uniformed services voter, being a citizen of the United States and being at least 18 years of age as provided in Article 11 of Part First of the constitution of New Hampshire, shall have the right to vote absentee in any state election in the town or city in New Hampshire in which he or she had his or her domicile immediately prior to service, even though he or she no longer maintains domicile in said town or city and even though his or her intent to return thereto is uncertain, provided:

(a) He or she complies with all other applicable requirements and qualifications of the state of New Hampshire.
(b) He or she is not registered to vote in any other state or election district of a state, or in any territory or possession of the United States.

II. Absent voters temporarily residing outside the United States. An absent voter temporarily residing outside the United States, being a citizen of the United States and being at least 18 years of age as provided in Article 11 of Part First of the constitution of New Hampshire shall have the right to vote absentee in any election in the town or city in New Hampshire in which he or she had his or her domicile immediately prior to his or her departure provided:

(a) He or she complies with all other applicable requirements and qualifications of the state of New Hampshire; and
(b) He or she is not domiciled and is not registered to vote in any other state or election district of a state, or in any territory or possession of the United States; and
(c) He or she has a valid passport or card of identity issued under the authority of the Secretary of State of the United States.

III. Federal ballot only voters domiciled outside the United States. Any United States citizen, being at least 18 years of age as provided in Article 11 of Part First of the constitution of New Hampshire, who is domiciled outside the United States, shall have the right to register absentee and to vote for federal offices in the town or city in New Hampshire in which he or she, or a parent or legal guardian of said voter, had his or her domicile immediately prior to his or her departure from the United States, even though he or she no longer maintains domicile in said town or city and even though his or her intent to return thereto is uncertain, provided:

(a) He or she complies with all other applicable requirements and qualifications of the state of New Hampshire; and
(b) He or she is not domiciled in and is not registered to vote in any other state or election district of a state, or in any territory or possession of the United States; and
(c) He or she has a valid passport or card of identity issued under the authority of the Secretary of State of the United States.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 209:1. 2003, 289:49. 2010, 317:5, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 654:4

 654:4 Armed Services Voters. – [Repealed 2010, 317:71, I, eff. July 18, 2010.]

Section 654:5

 654:5 Disqualification for Felony. – A person sentenced for a felony shall forfeit his rights as provided in RSA 607-A:2.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 654:6

 654:6 Disqualification for Bribery or Intimidation. – Any person convicted of bribery or intimidation relating to elections under RSA 659:40 shall thereafter be forever disqualified from exercising the right to vote, except that the supreme court may, on notice to the attorney general, restore the privileges of a voter to any person who may have forfeited them by conviction of such offenses.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

General Voter Registration

Section 654:7

 654:7 Voter Registration; Voter Registration Form. –
I. Any person registering to vote shall be:

(a) At least 18 years of age on the day of the next election; and
(b) A United States citizen; and
(c) Domiciled in the town or city in which the applicant is registering to vote and not otherwise disqualified to vote.

II. The applicant shall be required to produce appropriate proof of qualifications as provided in RSA 654:12 and fill out the form as prescribed in paragraph IV.
III. If an applicant is unable to provide the proof of qualifications as required in RSA 654:12, he or she may register by completing the necessary affidavits, pursuant to RSA 654:12, and completing the form in subparagraph IV(b), unless the person is registering within 30 days before an election or at the polling place on election day. If an applicant is registering at the polling place on election day and is unable to provide the proof of qualifications as required in RSA 654:12, he or she may register by completing the form in subparagraph IV(c) under oath, which oath may be witnessed by an election official or any other person, working in conjunction with the supervisors of the checklist, who is authorized by law to administer oaths, including, but not limited to, any justice of the peace or notary public; should the applicant not otherwise have proof of identity and therefore be relying upon the form for proof of identity, the act of swearing to the form shall constitute sufficient proof of identity for the purposes of any person administering the oath, notwithstanding any language to the contrary in any laws relating to the administering of oaths for other purposes.
IV.

(a) Standard registration application forms shall be used throughout the state. The registration forms shall be no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.
(b) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form of the voter registration form to be used for voter registrations, transfers, or updates other than those used within 30 days of an election or at the polling place on election day, which shall be in substantially the following form:

___ NEW REGISTRATION I am not registered to vote in New Hampshire

___ TRANSFER I am registered to vote in New Hampshire and have moved my voting domicile to a new town or ward in New Hampshire

___ NAME CHANGE/ADDRESS UPDATE I am registered to vote in this town/ward and have changed my name/address

Date ____________________

VOTER REGISTRATION FORM

(Please print or type)

  1. Name

Last (suffix) First Full Middle Name

  1. Domicile Address

Street Ward Number

 

Town or City Zip Code

  1. Mailing Address if different than in 2

Street

 

Town or City Zip Code

  1. Place and Date of Birth

Town or City State

Date____________________

  1. Are you a citizen of the United States? Yes _____ No _____

If a naturalized citizen, give name of court where and date when naturalized

 

  1. Place last registered to vote

Street Ward Number

I am not currently registered to vote elsewhere (initial here __________), or I request that my name be removed as a registered voter in ______________________________ (fill in your address where previously registered, street, city/town, state, and zip code)

  1. Name under which previously registered, if different from above

 

  1. Party Affiliation (if any)
  2. Driver’s License Number _________________________State

If you do not have a valid driver’s license, provide the last four digits of your social security number __________
My name is ____________________. I am today registering to vote in the city/town of ____________________, New Hampshire. If a city, ward number __________.
I understand that to vote in this ward/town, I must be at least 18 years of age, I must be a United States citizen, and I must be domiciled in this ward/town.
I understand that a person can claim only one state and one city/town as his or her domicile at a time. A domicile is that place, to which upon temporary absence, a person has the intention of returning. By registering or voting today, I am acknowledging that I am not domiciled or voting in any other state or any other city/town.
In declaring New Hampshire as my domicile, I realize that I am not qualified to vote in the state or federal elections in another state.
If I have any questions as to whether I am entitled to vote in this city/town, I am aware that a supervisor of the checklist is available to address my questions or concerns.
I acknowledge that I have read and understand the above qualifications for voting and do hereby swear, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am qualified to vote in the above-stated city/town, and, if registering on election day, that I have not voted and will not vote at any other polling place this election.

 

Date Signature of Applicant

 

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposely providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

(c) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form of the voter registration form to be used only for voter registrations, transfers, or updates starting 30 days before each election and at the polling place on election day, which shall be in substantially the following form:

___ NEW REGISTRATION I am not registered to vote in New Hampshire

___ TRANSFER I am registered to vote in New Hampshire and have moved my voting domicile to a new town or ward in New Hampshire

___ NAME CHANGE/ADDRESS UPDATE I am registered to vote in this town/ward and have changed my name/address

Date registration form is submitted _______________

Date applicant moved to the address listed below as the voter’s domicile __________

VOTER REGISTRATION FORM

FOR USE STARTING 30 DAYS BEFORE AN ELECTION AND AT THE POLLING PLACE ON ELECTION DAY

(Please print or type)

  1. Name

Last (suffix) First Full Middle Name

  1. Domicile Address

Street Ward Number

 

Town or City Zip Code

  1. Mailing Address if different than in 2

Street

 

Town or City Zip Code

  1. Place and Date of Birth

Town or City State

Date____________________

  1. Are you a citizen of the United States? Yes _____ No _____

If a naturalized citizen, give name of court where and date when naturalized

  1. Place last registered to vote

Street Ward Number

I am not currently registered to vote elsewhere (initial here __________), or I request that my name be removed as a registered voter in ______________________________ (fill in your address where previously registered, street, city/town, state, and zip code)

  1. Name under which previously registered, if different from above

 

  1. Party Affiliation (if any)
  2. Driver’s License Number _________________________State

If you do not have a valid driver’s license, provide the last four digits of your social security number __________
My name is ____________________. I am today registering to vote in the city/town of ____________________, New Hampshire. If a city, ward number __________.
I understand that to vote in this ward/town, I must be at least 18 years of age, I must be a United States citizen, and I must be domiciled in this ward/town.
I understand that a person can claim only one state and one city/town as his or her domicile at a time. A domicile is that place, to which upon temporary absence, a person has the intention of returning. By registering or voting today, I am acknowledging that I am not domiciled or voting in any other state or any other city/town.
In declaring New Hampshire as my domicile, I realize that I am not qualified to vote in the state or federal elections in another state.
If I have any questions as to whether I am entitled to vote in this city/town, I am aware that a supervisor of the checklist is available to address my questions or concerns.
I understand that to make the address I have entered above my domicile for voting I must have an intent to make this the one place from which I participate in democratic self-government and must have acted to carry out that intent.
I understand that if I have documentary evidence of my intent to be domiciled at this address when registering to vote, I must either present it at the time of registration or I must place my initials next to the following paragraph and mail a copy or present the document at the town or city clerk’s office within 10 days following the election (30 days in towns where the clerk’s office is open fewer than 20 hours weekly).
_____ By placing my initials next to this paragraph, I am acknowledging that I have not presented evidence of actions carrying out my intent to be domiciled at this address, that I understand that I must mail or personally present to the clerk’s office evidence of actions carrying out my intent within 10 days following the election (or 30 days in towns where the clerk’s office is open fewer than 20 hours weekly), and that I have received the document produced by the secretary of state that describes the items that may be used as evidence of a verifiable action that establishes domicile.
Failing to report and provide evidence of a verifiable action will prompt official mail to be sent to your domicile address by the secretary of state to verify the validity of your claim to a voting domicile at this address.
I understand that if I do not have any documentary evidence of my intent to be domiciled at this address, I must place my initials next to the following paragraph:
_____ By placing my initials next to this paragraph, I am acknowledging that I am aware of no documentary evidence of actions carrying out my intent to be domiciled at this address, that I will not be mailing or delivering evidence to the clerk’s office, and that I understand that officials will be sending mail to the address on this form or taking other actions to verify my domicile at this address.
I acknowledge that I have read and understand the above qualifications for voting and do hereby swear, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am qualified to vote in the above-stated city/town, and, if registering on election day, that I have not voted and will not vote at any other polling place this election.

 

Date Signature of Applicant

 

If this form is used in place of proof of identity, age, or citizenship, I hereby swear that such information is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.
This form was executed for purposes of proving (applicant shall circle yes or no and initial each item):

Identity yes/no _____

(initials)

Citizenship yes/no _____

(initials)

Age yes/no _____

(initials)

 

Applicant Election Official

 

Notary Public/Justice of the Peace/Official Authorized by RSA 659:30

 

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposely providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000. In accordance with RSA 659:34-a voting in more than one state in the same election is a class B felony with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed 7 years and a fine not to exceed $4,000.
V. The secretary of state shall prepare and distribute an addendum to the voter registration form used under subparagraph IV(c) to be distributed to those registrants who register within 30 days before the election or on election day and who do not provide proof of domicile or a verifiable action to demonstrate domicile. The “verifiable action of domicile” document shall provide notice of the requirements that registrants must furnish documentary evidence of domicile and shall be in substantially the following form:

Verifiable Action of Domicile

As a newly registered voter, you have received this document because you did not provide proof of domicile when you registered to vote. RSA 654:2, IV requires you to provide evidence that you have taken a verifiable act to establish domicile.
The following checklist shall be used as a guide for what you may use as evidence and shall be submitted to the town or city clerk along with documentation that you are required to provide. Only one item on the list is required to demonstrate a verifiable act.
To establish that you have engaged in a verifiable act establishing domicile, provide evidence that you have done at least one of the following:
___ established residency, as set forth in RSA 654:1, I-a, at an institution of learning at the address on the voter registration form
___ rented or leased an abode, for a period of more than 30 days, to include time directly prior to an election day at the address listed on the voter registration form
___ purchased an abode at the address listed on the voter registration form
___ obtained a New Hampshire resident motor vehicle registration, driver’s license, or identification card issued under RSA 260:21, RSA 260:21-a, or RSA 260:21-b listing the address on the voter registration form
___ enrolled a dependent minor child in a publicly funded elementary or secondary school which serves the town or ward of the address where the registrant resides, as listed on the voter registration form
Identified the address on the voter registration form as your physical residence address on:
___ state or federal tax forms
___ other government-issued forms or identification. Describe form of identification: _______________
___ provided the address on the voter registration form to the United States Post Office as your permanent address, provided it is not a postal service or commercial post office box, where mail is delivered to your home. This can be by listing the address on the voter registration form as your new address on a Postal Service permanent change of address form and providing a copy of the receipt, or an online emailed receipt
___ obtained public utility services (electricity, cable, gas, water, etc.) for an indefinite period at the address on the voter registration form. List services obtained: _________________________
___ arranged for a homeless shelter or similar service provider to receive United States mail on your behalf. Enter name of the shelter or provider: _________________________
___ describe what other verifiable action or actions you have taken to make the address listed on your voter registration form your one voting domicile: _________________________
If you have no other proof of a verifiable act establishing domicile, and your domicile is at an abode rented, leased, or purchased by another and your name is not listed on the rental agreement, lease, or deed, you are required to provide a written statement, signed under penalty of voting fraud if false information is provided, from a person who is listed on such document, or other reasonable proof of ownership or control of the property, attesting that you reside at that address, signed by that person or his or her agent who manages the property.
This verifiable action of domicile form, along with your written statement or other documentation proving a verifiable act, shall be delivered to the town or city clerk, by mail or in person, with 10 days, or within 30 days if the clerk’s office is open fewer than 20 hours weekly.

Name

Last (suffix) First Full Middle Name

Domicile Address

Street Ward Number

Town or City Zip Code

Date Signature of Applicant

 

This document was received by the clerk, who examined and returned it to the applicant after making a copy of the evidence of verifiable action, said copy to be attached to the verifiable action of domicile form.

 

Date Signature of Clerk

 

The clerk shall forward the completed form and attachment or attachments to the supervisors of the checklist as soon as possible, but not later than their next meeting. The supervisors of the checklist shall attach the form and attachments to the voter registration form.

Source. 1979, 436:1; 373:1. 1983, 475:1. 1990, 119:1. 1998, 194:2. 2003, 289:25. 2007, 10:1. 2012, 285:2. 2014, 260:1, eff. July 28, 2014. 2016, 185:1, eff. Aug. 2, 2016; 190:1, eff. Aug. 2, 2016. 2017, 205:2, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Section 654:7-a

 654:7-a Registering at the Polling Place; Election Day Registration. –
I. The provisions of this section and those of RSA 654:7-b shall be used as an additional procedure for voter registration. For the purposes of this section and RSA 654:7-b, the term “election day” shall refer to state primary and to state general elections, to all town, city, school district, and village district elections, and to all official ballot meetings where persons may vote by absentee ballot. A person who registers to vote on election day according to the provisions of this section shall also be required to complete the voter registration form provided for in RSA 654:7, IV(c). The provisions of this section and those of RSA 654:7-b shall apply notwithstanding any provision of RSA 654 to the contrary.
II. Any person whose name is not on the checklist but who is otherwise a qualified voter shall be entitled to vote by requesting to be registered to vote at the polling place on election day. The voter may then vote at that election. The applicant shall be required to produce appropriate proof of qualifications as provided in RSA 654:12.
III. Any person who is waiting to register to vote at the polling place on election day at the time scheduled for the closing of the polls shall be allowed to vote if determined to be qualified to register.

Source. 1994, 154:2. 1995, 187:1. 1997, 49:1. 2000, 34:1. 2003, 289:26, 64, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. 2017, 205:3, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Section 654:7-b

 654:7-b Effect of Registration on Election Day. – Any person who registers to vote on election day according to the provisions of RSA 654:7-a shall be registered to vote at all subsequent town, city, school district, village district, state, and federal elections unless the person’s name is removed from the checklist in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1994, 154:2, eff. May 23, 1994. 2017, 205:4, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Section 654:7-c

 654:7-c Observation to Voter Registration. – Any person shall have a right, as safety, welfare, and rights of voters permit, to observe in-person voter registration, wherever it is conducted, provided however, that the person may not be positioned within 5 feet of the voter registration table where the exchange of nonpublic information between the applicant for registration and the election official receiving the application may be heard or seen. When a person registers to vote on election day, the ballot clerk, upon adding the person’s name to the checklist at the check-in table, shall publicly announce the person’s name 2 times and shall publicly announce the address the person has registered as his or her domicile one time. These announcements shall be made in a manner that allows any person appointed as a challenger to hear the announcement. Where the physical layout of a polling place makes it impractical to position challengers or interested voters who are registered at that polling place where they can hear the announcement at the check-in table, the moderator shall arrange an alternative means for challengers or interested voters who are registered to vote at that polling place to be informed of the new voter’s name and domicile address and be afforded an opportunity to challenge the voter at the check-in table.

Source. 2009, 127:1, eff. Aug. 21, 2009.

Section 654:8

 654:8 Application to Town or City Clerk. –
The provisions of this section shall apply in all cities and in all towns. Any person who has his domicile in any town or city in this state and whose name does not appear on the checklist of said town or city may apply to the town or city clerk, or to the supervisors of the checklist as provided in RSA 654:11, for the purpose of having his name added thereto by filling out the form provided for in RSA 654:7. The office of the town or city clerk shall be required to accept applications from such persons under the following conditions:

I. The supervisors of the checklist may issue guidelines to the town clerk for the taking of evidence of qualifications presented by applicants.
II. No application hereunder shall be accepted after the last meeting of the supervisors of the checklist before an election.
III. Such application shall be made during the regular office hours of the town or city clerk.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 79:1. 1992, 287:1, eff. July 17, 1992.

Section 654:8-a

 654:8-a Voter Registration in Cities. –
I. Any person qualified as a voter in a city whose name does not appear on the checklist where registration is required because the voter’s voting domicile has changed from one ward in the city to another ward in the same city, and who is otherwise registered to vote in the election, may change voter registration at the office of the city clerk. A change in voter registration under this section shall be made no later than the final date set for correcting the checklist in the city. The city clerk shall require the voter to provide acceptable proof of identification and acceptable proof of domicile.
II. Upon compliance with the procedures in paragraph I, the city clerk shall notify the supervisors of the checklist of the proper polling place, directing that the voter be added to the checklist and be permitted to cast a ballot.

Source. 1993, 36:1. 2003, 289:27, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 654:9

 654:9 Forms to be Forwarded. – The provisions of this section shall apply in all cities and in all towns. The town or city clerk shall present to the next meeting of the supervisors of the checklist the voter registration forms of all persons making application to the clerk since the previous meeting of said supervisors.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1992, 287:2. 2003, 289:50, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 654:10

 654:10 Exemption. – [Repealed 1992, 287:3, eff. July 17, 1992.]

Section 654:11

 654:11 Application to Supervisors. – When the supervisors of the checklist receive a registration form from the town or city clerk or when an applicant submits the form to said supervisors in person at a session for the correction of the checklist, the supervisors of the checklist shall cause his or her name to be added to the checklist, unless it is established that it is more likely than not that the applicant is not qualified to vote in the city or town under RSA 654:1 through 654:6. All decisions of the supervisors of the checklist shall be made by majority vote thereof.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:28, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 654:12

 654:12 Determining Qualifications of Applicant. –
I. When determining the qualifications of an applicant, the supervisors of the checklist, or the town or city clerk, shall require the applicant to present proof of citizenship, age, and domicile, as provided in the following categories:

(a) CITIZENSHIP. The supervisors of the checklist, or the town or city clerk, shall accept from the applicant any one of the following as proof of citizenship: the applicant’s birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers if the applicant is a naturalized citizen, a qualified voter affidavit, a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day, or any other reasonable documentation which indicates the applicant is a United States citizen. The qualified voter affidavit shall be in the following form, and shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a:
Date: ____________________
QUALIFIED VOTER AFFIDAVIT (Identity, Citizenship, Age)
Name: ______________________________
Name at birth if different: ______________________________
Place of birth: ______________________________
Date of birth: ____________________
Date and Place of Naturalization: ______________________________
Domicile Address: ________________________________________
Mailing Address (if different): ________________________________________
Telephone number (requested but optional) ____________________
Email address (requested but optional) ____________________
I hereby swear and affirm, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am not in possession of some or all of the documents necessary to prove my identity, citizenship, and age and that I am the identical person whom I represent myself to be, that I am a duly qualified voter of this town (or ward), that I am a United States citizen, that I am at least 18 years of age as of this date or will be at the next election, and that to the best of my knowledge and belief the information above is true and correct.

 

(Signature of applicant)

 

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposely providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.
On the date shown above, before me, ____________________ (print name of notary public, justice of the peace, election officer), appeared ____________________ (print name of person whose signature is being notarized), (known to me or satisfactorily proven (circle one)) to be the person whose name appears above, and he or she subscribed his or her name to the foregoing affidavit and swore that the facts contained in this affidavit are true to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.
This affidavit was executed for purposes of proving (check all that apply):
[ ] Identity
[ ] Citizenship
[ ] Age
________________________________________
Notary Public/Justice of the Peace/Official Authorized by RSA 659:30

(b) AGE. Any reasonable documentation indicating the applicant will be 18 years of age or older at the next election, or, if the applicant does not have reasonable documentation in his or her possession at the place and time of voter registration, a qualified voter affidavit, which shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a, or a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day.
(c) DOMICILE.

(1) Registering more than 30 days in advance of an election.

(A) A person who possesses one of the following qualified documents identifying the applicant’s name and the address claimed as domicile must present that document when applying for registration prior to election day: (i) New Hampshire driver’s license or identification card issued under RSA 260:21, RSA 260:21-a, or RSA 260:21-b; (ii) New Hampshire resident vehicle registration; (iii) a picture identification issued by the United States government that contains a current address; (iv) government issued check, benefit statement, or tax document. A person who possesses such a document, but failed to bring it with the person when seeking to register to vote shall be required to return when he or she can present one of these documents or to bring the document and register on election day.
(B) A person who attests under penalty of voter fraud that he or she does not possess any of the qualified documents listed in subparagraph (A) may present any reasonable documentation of having established a physical presence at the place claimed as domicile, having an intent to make that place his or her domicile, and having taken a verifiable act to carry out that intent. The documentation must establish that it is more likely than not that the applicant has a domicile and intends to maintain that domicile, as defined in this chapter, at least until election day in the town or ward in which he or she desires to vote. Reasonable documentation may include, but is not limited to evidence of:

(i) Residency, as set forth in RSA 654:1, I-a, at an institution of learning at that place;
(ii) Renting or leasing an abode at that place for a period of more than 30 days, to include time directly prior to an election day;
(iii) Purchasing an abode at that place;
(iv) Enrolling the applicant’s dependent minor child in a publicly funded elementary or secondary school which serves the town or ward of that place, using the address where the registrant resides;
(v) Listing that place as the person’s physical residence address on state or federal tax forms, other government identification showing the address, or other government forms showing the address;
(vi) Providing the address of that place to the United States Post Office as the person’s permanent address, provided it is not a postal service or commercial post office box;
(vii) Obtaining public utility services for an indefinite period at that place; or
(viii) Arranging for a homeless shelter or similar service provider located in the town or ward to receive United States mail on behalf of the individual.
An applicant whose domicile is at an abode of another and whose name is not listed on the document offered as proof of domicile may provide a written statement from a person who is listed as owner, property manager, or tenant on the document that the applicant resides at that address, signed by that person under penalty of voting fraud if false information is provided.

(2) Registering within 30 days before an election and on election day.

(A) When registering within 30 days before an election or on election day as provided in RSA 654:7-a, if the applicant does not have in his or her possession at the polls one of the qualified documents listed in subparagraph (1) or other reasonable documentation which establishes that it is more likely than not that the applicant has a domicile at the address claimed in the town or ward in which he or she desires to vote, he or she may execute a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day and initial the acknowledgment of domicile evidence obligation. If the applicant identifies on his or her application action taken to establish his or her domicile, which he or she has documentation of, he or she must agree to mail a copy of or present the document in person to the city or town clerk within 10 days, or where the town clerk’s office is open fewer than 20 hours weekly, within 30 days. Copies of documents provided in compliance with this subparagraph are exempt from the public disclosure required by RSA 91-A. The clerk shall document receipt of a copy or completion of verification of a document presented in person and forward verification to the supervisors of the checklist. An applicant whose voter registration is approved based on an acknowledgment of a domicile evidence obligation who knowingly or purposely fails to provide a document to the city or town clerk as required by this paragraph shall be subject to the penalties of wrongful voting as established in RSA 659:34. The supervisors of the checklist shall initiate removing the name from the checklist of any such person who fails to provide proof of domicile by the deadline by sending the person the notice required by RSA 654:44.
(B) A person registering within 30 days before an election or on election day who does not possess reasonable documentation of establishing domicile and has taken no verifiable action to carry out his or her intent to establish domicile at the address claimed on the voter registration application may nonetheless register to vote by initialing the paragraph on the registration form acknowledging that domicile may be verified. The supervisors of the checklist shall, as soon as practical following an election at which the person initials such paragraph to register and vote, attempt to verify that the person was domiciled at the address claimed on election day by means including, but not limited to:

(i) Examining public records held by the town or city clerk, municipal assessing and planning offices, tax collector, or other municipal office that may house public records containing domicile confirmation; or
(ii) Requesting 2 or more municipal officers or their agents or state election officers or their agents to visit the address and verify that the individual was domiciled there on election day. In unincorporated places that have not organized for the purposes of conducting elections, county officers may be asked to perform this function; or
(iii) Referring the registrant’s information to the secretary of state, who shall cause such further investigation as is warranted.

(C) Any case where supervisors are unable to verify the applicant’s domicile or where evidence exists of voting fraud shall be promptly reported to the secretary of state and to the attorney general, who shall cause such further investigation as is warranted.

II. The supervisors may refuse to add the name of an applicant to the checklist if he or she fails to present the evidence or an affidavit as required by this section. Without limiting the acceptance of other forms of proof of domicile or identity deemed reasonable by the supervisors:

(a) Any one of the following documents is presumptive evidence that the individual seeking to vote meets the domicile requirement, provided the document is currently valid, was issued to or in the name of the applicant, and shows the address the applicant claims as a domicile:

(1) New Hampshire driver’s license.
(2) New Hampshire vehicle registration.
(3) Armed services identification, or other photo identification issued by the United States government.

(b) Any one of the following is presumptive evidence of the identity of an applicant sufficient to satisfy the identity requirement for an official authorized by RSA 659:30 to take the oath of an applicant swearing to a qualified voter, domicile, or election day affidavit or a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day:

(1) Photo driver’s license issued by any state or the federal government.
(2) United States passport, armed services identification, or other photo identification issued by the United States government.
(3) Photo identification issued by local or state government.

(c) The presumptions established in this paragraph may be defeated by evidence establishing that it is more likely than not that the applicant is not qualified as a voter.

III. To prove the qualifications set forth in paragraphs I and II, an applicant for registration as a voter must prove his or her identity to establish that the evidence used to prove age, citizenship, and domicile relate to the applicant. A person who has in his or her immediate possession a photo identification approved for use by paragraph II must present that identification when applying for registration. A person who does not have an approved photo identification with him or her may establish identity through completion of the qualified voter affidavit, which shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a, or a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day. Residents of a nursing home or similar facility may prove their identity through verification of identity by the administrator of the facility or by his or her designee. For the purposes of this section, the application of a person whose identity has been verified by an official of a nursing home or similar facility shall be treated in the same manner as the application of a person who proved his or her identity with a photo identification.
IV. Any person who is applying for registration as a voter and who is currently registered to vote in a different town or ward in New Hampshire shall complete the voter registration form provided for in RSA 654:7. If the election official receiving the application confirms through the centralized voter registration database required by RSA 654:45 that the applicant is currently registered to vote in New Hampshire, the applicant shall prove identity and domicile, but shall not be required to prove his or her age or citizenship.
V.

(a) The election official approving the application for registration as voter of a person who does not present an approved form of photo identification as proof of identity when registering, shall mark the voter registration form to indicate that no photo identification was presented and shall inform the person that, if he or she is a first-time election day registrant in New Hampshire, he or she will receive a letter of identity verification. The person entering the voter information into the centralized voter registration database shall determine if the person is listed in the system as having been previously registered in the town or ward reported by the applicant on the voter registration form. If the person is a new registrant who has not been previously registered anywhere in New Hampshire or if the centralized voter registration database does not confirm a previous registration claimed on the voter registration form, the election official shall cause the record created in the centralized voter registration database to indicate that the person is a new applicant in New Hampshire and that no photo identification was presented. When municipalities enter information on people who register on election day into the centralized voter registration database, to the extent practical applicants who are registering for the first time in New Hampshire and who also register without presenting an approved photo identification shall be entered first. The person entering the voter information of election day residents into the centralized voter registration database shall cause the records to indicate if the voter executed a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day.
(b) The secretary of state shall cause a letter of identity verification to be mailed by first class mail to each voter identified at any election as a first-time election day registrant in New Hampshire who also did not verify his or her identity with an approved photo identification. The letter shall be mailed by January 10 in every odd-numbered year in the case of persons registering at a state primary or general election, or within 90 days after any other election. The secretary of state shall mark the envelope with instructions to the United States Post Office not to forward the letter and to provide address correction information. The letter shall notify the person that a person who was unable to present photo identification registered or registered and voted using his or her name and address and instruct the person to return the letter within 45 days with a written confirmation that the person registered and voted or to contact the attorney general immediately if he or she did not register and vote. Any voter under a protective order pursuant to RSA 173-B, and whose name does not appear on the checklist as provided under RSA 654:25, shall not be subject to the provisions of paragraph V.
(c) The secretary of state shall conduct an inquiry regarding any letters mailed pursuant to subparagraph (b) that are returned as undeliverable by the United States Post Office and those persons who were mailed letters under subparagraph (b) and have not confirmed their registration. The inquiry may include consulting with, and examining public records held by, municipal officials, which contain information relevant to a person’s qualifications to vote in New Hampshire, and interviewing persons living at the address listed on the voter registration form. After such inquiry, the secretary of state shall prepare and forward to the attorney general for investigation a list of those people whose identity or eligibility to vote could not be confirmed. Upon receipt of notice from a person who receives a letter of identity verification that the person did not register and vote, or upon receipt of a referral from the secretary of state, the attorney general shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether fraudulent registration or voting occurred.
(d) Within 90 days of each election, the secretary of state shall cause a list of persons executing sworn statements on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day since the prior election to be forwarded to the attorney general and the division of motor vehicles. The secretary of state shall send a letter to each such person informing him or her of a driver’s obligation to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license within 60 days of becoming a New Hampshire resident. The letter shall be mailed within 60 days after the election, except that if the election is a state primary election, the letter shall be mailed 60 days after the general election, and if the election is a regularly scheduled municipal election, the letter shall be mailed by the July 1 or January 1 next following the election. The secretary of state shall mark the envelope with instructions to the United States Post Office not to forward the letter and to provide address correction information.
(e) The secretary of state shall conduct an inquiry regarding any letters mailed pursuant to subparagraph (d) that are returned as undeliverable by the United States Post Office. The inquiry may include consulting with, and examining public records held by, municipal officials, which contain information relevant to a person’s qualifications to vote in New Hampshire, and interviewing persons living at the address listed on the letters. After such inquiry, the secretary of state shall prepare and forward to the attorney general for investigation a list of those people whose eligibility to vote could not be confirmed. The attorney general shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether fraudulent registration or voting occurred.
(f) Upon completion of any investigation authorized under RSA 654:12, the secretary of state and the attorney general shall forward a report summarizing the results of the inquiry and investigation, respectively, to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the appropriate house and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over election law.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:8. 1992, 287:6, 7. 1994, 4:3. 1996, 169:1. 2003, 289:29. 2006, 300:1. 2009, 278:1. 2010, 172:4, 5. 2011, 192:1. 2012, 285:3-7. 2014, 260:2-6, eff. July 28, 2014; 319:4, 8, 9, eff. Sept. 30, 2014. 2017, 205:5-9, eff. Sept. 8, 2017; 222:1, 2, eff. July 10, 2017.

Section 654:13

 654:13 Action by Supervisors. –
I. If the supervisors decide to add the name of the applicant to the checklist, then they shall retain the original of the registration form for their own file, which shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a, forward one copy to the supervisors of the checklist of the city or town of the applicant’s last voting address if said address is in the state of Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island, and send another copy to the clerk of their town or city. Upon entry of the voter record in the statewide centralized voter registration database, the supervisors of the checklist in another New Hampshire city or town will receive notice through the statewide centralized voter registration database that the voter has moved.
II. If the supervisors decide not to add the name of the applicant to the checklist, they shall send notification in writing to the applicant within 7 days stating the reason for the denial. They shall write the word “REJECTED” and the date of rejection across the registration form. They shall retain the original registration form and a copy of the denial notification in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 199:1. 2003, 289:51. 2010, 172:6, eff. Aug. 16, 2010.

Section 654:13-a

 654:13-a Retention of Voter Registration Forms. – All voter registration forms and other records relating to voter registration shall be retained securely in a municipal office under the direction of the town or city clerk. Those forms and records shall be readily accessible to the supervisors of the checklist. Any voter registration document submitted at a meeting of the supervisors of the checklist or at the polling place shall be filed at the office of the town or city clerk within 10 days of the meeting or election at which it was submitted.

Source. 2017, 237:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2017.

Section 654:14

 654:14 Complaint to Superior Court. – Any applicant may file, as provided in RSA 654:42, a complaint with the superior court stating that his name has been illegally kept from the checklist and asking to have his name added thereto for the reasons stated in the complaint.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 654:15

 654:15 Party Registration. – Whenever names are added to the checklist the supervisors shall register the party membership of the voter if he desires such membership registered. The party membership of each voter may be registered by writing in ink, printing, or rubber stamping after the name of such voter the first 3 letters of the name of the party with which he registers.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 308:1, eff. Aug. 15, 1981.

Absentee Voter Registration

Section 654:16

 654:16 Applicability. – Any person who has his domicile in any town or city in this state and is qualified to vote therein at the next subsequent election to be held in said town or city except for the fact that his name does not appear on the checklist to be used at the election, and who is temporarily absent therefrom or who by reason of physical disability is unable to attend a meeting of the supervisors of the checklist, may cause his name to be added to such checklist by applying to the city or town clerk or the secretary of state for a voter registration form provided for in RSA 654:7 and an appropriate absentee registration affidavit provided for in RSA 654:17.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 654:17

 654:17 Absentee Registration Affidavit. –
I. The absentee registration affidavit shall be prepared by the secretary of state and shall be in substantially the following form:

Affidavit (Absence from town)

I, __________________ do hereby swear or affirm, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, the following:

1) That my legal domicile is in the town of _______________, New Hampshire, I will be of the age of 18 years or over on election day and am entitled to vote in the election to be held in said town on _______________, _________ (date), except for the fact that my name does not appear on the checklist to be used in said town at such election;
2) That I do not intend to be present within said town at such time prior to said election as shall enable me personally to appear before the supervisors of the checklist of said town in their regular sessions for the correction of the checklist for said election;
3) That I am temporarily residing in __________ (city and state or city, province, and country);
4) That I hereby enclose one of the following as proof of identity and domicile:

(a) A copy of a current and valid New Hampshire driver’s license or an armed services identification or other photo identification issued by the United States government that shows my name and address; or
(b) A copy of a current and valid photo identification and a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, other government document that shows my name and address, or a letter from the administrator of a nursing home or similar facility affirming that I am a resident of that facility that was provided to me at my request pursuant to the administrator’s duty to provide such a letter upon my request;

5) That I acknowledge that if I do not provide a copy of proof of identity and domicile as required by section 4) above, this application may not be approved; and
6) That I hereby make application for the addition of my name to the checklist of said town to be used at said election.

 

Signature of Applicant

 

 

Date

 

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

Affidavit (Physical Disability)

I, _____________________ do hereby swear or affirm, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, the following:

1) That my legal domicile is in the town of ________________, New Hampshire, I will be of the age of 18 years or over on election day, and am entitled to vote in the election to be held in said town on ________________, ___ (date), except for the fact that my name does not appear on the checklist to be used in said town at such election;
2) That I am unable by reason of physical disability personally to appear before the supervisors of the checklist of said town in their regular sessions for the correction of the checklist for said election;
3) That I hereby enclose one of the following as proof of identity and domicile:

(a) A copy of a current and valid New Hampshire driver’s license or an armed services identification or other photo identification issued by the United States government that shows my name and address; or
(b) A copy of a current and valid photo identification and a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, other government document that shows my name and address, or a letter from the administrator of a nursing home or similar facility affirming that I am a resident of that facility that was provided to me at my request pursuant to the administrator’s duty to provide such a letter upon my request;

4) That I acknowledge that if I do not provide a copy of proof of identity and domicile as required by section 3) above, this application may not be approved; and
5) That I hereby make application for the addition of my name to the checklist of said town to be used at said election.

 

Signature of Applicant

 

 

Date

 

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.
II. There shall be printed below each of the foregoing affidavits the following affirmation:

Affirmation

I, __________, the undersigned witness, do hereby swear or affirm, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that on the __________ day of __________, ___ (date), the above named, __________, having satisfied me as to his or her identity, signed the foregoing affidavit in my presence, and did before me swear to (or affirm) the truth of the statements therein contained.

 

Signature of Witness

 

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1995, 124:1. 2003, 289:30. 2004, 229:3, eff. Aug. 10, 2004.

Section 654:18

 654:18 Forwarding. – The voter registration form and the absentee registration affidavit shall be forwarded directly to the applicant by the city or town clerk or by the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1995, 124:2, eff. July 16, 1995.

Section 654:19

 654:19 Submission; Effect. – The applicant shall forward the absentee registration affidavit and the applicant’s voter registration form to the clerk of the town or city named for submission to the supervisors of the checklist. If the supervisors find that the affidavit and the voter registration form are properly executed, they shall follow the procedure for applications made in person as provided in RSA 654:11, 654:13, and 654:15, except that in the case of an absentee voter they shall accept an absentee registration affidavit and a registration form.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 73:1. 1995, 124:3. 2010, 317:6, eff. July 18, 2010.

Federal Post Card Application Form

Section 654:20

 654:20 Federal Post Card Application Form for UOCAVA Voters. – As required by federal law, UOCAVA voters may apply to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot using the federal official post card form prescribed by 42 U.S.C. section 1973ff(b)(2).

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 209:2. 2003, 289:31. 2009, 214:2. 2010, 317:8, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 654:21

 654:21 Forwarding. – [Repealed 2010, 317:71, II, eff. July 18, 2010.]

Section 654:22

 654:22 Execution of Affidavit and Certificate. – [Repealed 1988, 209:13, eff. June 28, 1988.]

Section 654:23

 654:23 Effect. – Unless the supervisors of the checklist shall be of the opinion that the federal post card applicant does not qualify as a UOCAVA voter in the city or town as provided in RSA 654:3, they shall, at their next session for the correction of the checklist subsequent to their receipt of such federal post card application properly executed, cause his or her name to be added to the checklist and, if the applicant is domiciled outside the United States, a mark or sign clearly indicating that the application has been entered on the checklist for the purpose of voting in federal elections only. Thereafter, if the person is domiciled outside the United States, he or she shall be entitled to vote by federal offices only absentee ballot at both federal primary and general elections. The supervisors shall retain the registration form in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a and forward a copy of the form to the clerk. If the supervisors decide not to add the name of the applicant to the checklist, they shall send notification to the applicant in writing within 7 days stating the reason for that denial. The supervisors of the checklist shall write the word “REJECTED” and the date of rejection across the registration form. They shall retain the registration form and a copy of the denial notification in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 73:2; 209:4. 2003, 289:52. 2010, 317:78, eff. Aug. 16, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.

Voters in Unincorporated Places

Section 654:24

 654:24 Registration. – Domiciliaries of unincorporated places shall register to vote as provided in RSA 668.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:32, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Checklists: All State Elections

Section 654:25

 654:25 Preparing Checklist. – The secretary of state shall issue and distribute guidelines for the content, composition, and style of checklists and for the maintenance of data related to checklists by which the supervisors of the checklist shall compile and correct the checklist. Such guidelines shall specify the information which will be maintained and updated by the supervisors. The secretary shall establish standard forms and procedures for the use of the supervisors for the maintenance of such information. The information to be maintained and updated shall include the full name, domicile address, mailing address, and party affiliation, if any, of each voter on the checklist and such other information as the secretary requires. Every checklist used at any election shall at a minimum contain the full name, domicile address, mailing address, and party affiliation, if any, of each voter on the checklist. The paper checklists used by ballot clerks on election day need not include mailing addresses. The name and address of a voter shall not appear on the checklist at the request of the voter if the voter presents to the supervisors of the checklist a valid protective order pursuant to RSA 173-B. The name, domicile address, and mailing address, if different, of such a voter shall be maintained on a separate list of voters, which shall be nonpublic and not subject to RSA 91-A. If it is necessary to establish such a nonpublic list, the public checklist shall be marked at the end with a notation of the number of voters whose names are maintained on the nonpublic list.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 429:1. 1987, 337:2. 1990, 119:2. 1991, 245:1. 1999, 240:6. 2003, 13:1. 2004, 229:4. 2010, 366:1, eff. July 23, 2010. 2018, 100:1.

Section 654:26

 654:26 Posting Checklist. – The supervisors shall make and post copies of the current checklist at the office of the town or city clerk or at the town hall not later than the fourth Tuesday before the day of any state election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 299:3. 1990, 119:3, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 654:27

 654:27 Session for Correction. – In cities and towns, the supervisors of the checklist shall be in session for the correction of the checklist at some suitable place in the city or town on a day designated by the supervisors which shall be 6 to 13 days prior to the election and upon which all hearings shall be finally closed; provided that whenever more than one meeting is required within a 21-day period, the first required meeting may serve to fulfill the requirements of the remaining meetings. All sessions for the correction of the checklist shall be for no less than 30 minutes and at the discretion of the supervisors for additional hours. Notice of the day, hour, and place of each session of the board of supervisors shall be given upon the checklists first posted in 2 appropriate places one of which shall be the city or town’s Internet website, if such exists, or shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town at least 7 days prior to each such session. The reconvening of any session which has been adjourned shall not require the publication of notice.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:4. 1996, 36:1. 1998, 194:3. 2001, 272:1. 2003, 27:2, eff. July 1, 2003. 2016, 174:1, eff. Aug. 2, 2016; 259:1, eff. June 15, 2016; 259:4, eff. Aug. 2, 2016 at 12:01 a.m.

Section 654:28

 654:28 Procedure. – The supervisors of the checklist shall hear all applications for a correction of the checklist and the evidence submitted thereon and shall correct it according to their best knowledge so that it contains only the names of those persons qualified to vote at said election. The names of all persons not qualified to vote at the time of any session, but who shall clearly be qualified to vote on election day, may be added to the checklist at that session. No additions or corrections shall be made after the Saturday session, except as provided in RSA 659:12 or RSA 654:27. The additions and corrections resulting from such session shall be made to the previously posted checklist on or before midnight on the succeeding Friday either by additions or corrections to said checklist or by posting a new corrected checklist. Notice of such additions or corrections to the checklist shall also be given to the town or city clerk.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 273:1; 426:23. 1990, 119:5. 1996, 36:2. 2001, 272:2. 2003, 27:3, eff. July 1, 2003. 2016, 174:1, eff. Aug. 2, 2016.

Section 654:29

 654:29 Certification of List. –
I. The supervisors shall subscribe and make oath to the following certificate on the checklist, as corrected by them: We, the supervisors of the checklist of the town (or ward) of __________ do solemnly swear that, according to our best knowledge, the within list contains __________ (number) names of those persons only who are, by actual domicile, legal voters in said town (or ward).
II. They shall file 2 true copies of the corrected list, attested by them, with the town clerk. The checklists so corrected shall be used at the election. Any person who swears falsely in making such certificate shall be guilty of perjury.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 454:4. 1990, 119:6, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 654:30

 654:30 Correcting Data Files. – After each state election, the supervisors shall use the checklist from such election to correct the standard data files to conform to any changes which are evident from the checklist. Information from the voter registration data file shall be available as provided in RSA 654:31-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2004, 229:5, eff. Aug. 10, 2004.

Section 654:31

 654:31 Availability of Checklist and Voter Information. –
I. In this section:

(a) “Checklist information” means the data, in any form, required to be placed on the public checklist by RSA 654:25, when that data is obtained or derived from a checklist or from the statewide centralized voter registration database maintained by the secretary of state.
(b) “Commercial purposes” means knowingly using, selling, giving, or receiving the checklist information for the purpose of selling or offering for sale any property or service unrelated to an election or political campaign.
(c) “Nonpublic checklist” means the checklist bearing the names of voters who by law are entitled to have their status as a voter kept nonpublic.
(d) “Public checklist” means the checklist required by RSA 654:25 which contains the names of voters who by law are to be listed on a checklist available to the public in accordance with the restrictions established by this section.

II. In towns and cities, the public checklist as corrected by the supervisors shall be open for the examination of any person at all times before the opening of a meeting or election at which the list is to be used. The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk shall furnish one or more copies of the most recent public checklist of their town or city to any person requesting such copies. The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk may only provide checklist information for their town or city. The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk shall charge a fee of $25 for each copy of the public checklist for a town or ward. For public checklists containing more than 2,500 names, the supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk shall charge a fee of $25, plus $0.50 per thousand names or portion thereof in excess of 2,500, plus any shipping costs. The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk may provide public checklist information on paper, computer disk, computer tape, electronic transfer, or any other form.
III. Any person may view the data that would be available on the public checklist, as corrected by the supervisors of the checklist, on the statewide centralized voter registration database maintained by the secretary of state at the state records and archives center during normal business hours, but the person viewing data at the state records and archives center may not print, duplicate, transmit, or alter the data.
IV. The secretary of state shall, upon request, provide to a political party, as defined in RSA 664:2, IV, or to a political committee, as defined in RSA 664:2, III, a list of the name, domicile address, mailing address, town or city, voter history, and party affiliation, if any, of every registered voter in the state. The secretary of state shall, upon request, provide to a candidate for county, state, or federal office a list of the name, domicile address, mailing address, town or city, voter history, and party affiliation, if any, of every registered voter in the state or in the candidate’s district. In this section, “voter history” means whether the person voted and, for primary elections, in which party’s primary the person voted, in each state election for the preceding 2 years. The secretary of state shall charge a fee of $25 plus $0.50 per thousand names or portion thereof in excess of 2,500 plus shipping charges for each copy of the list provided under this section. In addition, the secretary of state shall charge and collect on behalf of and remit to the supervisors of the checklist of each city and town the amount that such supervisors would have charged had the public checklist of their city or town been purchased from them. The secretary of state may provide lists as prescribed in this section on paper, computer disk, computer tape, electronic transfer, or any other form.
V. Except for fees collected on behalf of a city or town, fees collected by the secretary of state under this section shall be deposited in the election fund established pursuant to RSA 5:6-d. Fees collected by a town or city or by the secretary of state on behalf of a city or town under this section shall be for the use of the town or city.
VI. No person shall use or permit the use of checklist or voter information provided by any supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk or by the secretary of state for commercial purposes. Whoever knowingly violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or guilty of a felony if any other person. The secretary of state may insert inauthentic entries into copies of the public checklist provided under this section for purposes of facilitating enforcement of this paragraph.
VII. This section shall not be construed to restrict the transfer of checklist information to the state or federal courts as required by RSA 654:45 for any lawful purpose.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 147:1. 1987, 337:1. 2006, 305:1. 2008, 10:1. 2009, 144:219. 2010, 180:1; 366:2. 2013, 209:1, 2, eff. Sept. 8, 2013.

Section 654:31-a

 654:31-a Right to Know Exemption. – The information contained on the checklist of a town or city, specifically, the name, domicile address, mailing address, town or city, and party affiliation, if any, of registered voters, except as otherwise provided by statute, is public information subject to RSA 91-A. All other information on the voter registration form, absentee registration affidavit, qualified voter affidavits, affidavit of religious exemption, and application for absentee ballot shall be treated as confidential information and the records containing this information shall be exempt from the public disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A, except as provided by statutes other than RSA 91-A. Notwithstanding the foregoing, qualified voter affidavits are public records subject to RSA 91-A for the sole purpose of challenging an individual registering to vote or voting, challenging ballots to be recounted, to the extent that such ballot challenges are specifically authorized by law, or determining the accuracy of any qualified voter affidavit. Election officials and law enforcement personnel in furtherance of their official duties may access and may disclose information from the voter registration form, qualified voter affidavits, affidavits of religious exemption, absentee registration affidavits, and applications for absentee ballots, if necessary to resolve a challenge to an individual registering to vote or voting, or if necessary to investigate or prosecute election law violations or any crime. Law enforcement access and use of such records for the investigation or prosecution of crimes unrelated to election law violations shall be limited to the records of the specific individuals who are the subject of the investigation or prosecution.

Source. 2003, 289:53. 2006, 94:1; 305:3. 2009, 278:2. 2010, 366:3. 2012, 284:12, eff. Sept. 1, 2015. 2017, 205:10, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Checklists: Additional Provisions for Primary Elections

Section 654:32

 654:32 Hearings on Alterations to Party Registration. – Before each state or presidential primary election, the supervisors of the checklist shall be in session before each primary for the change of registration of legal voters as provided in RSA 654:34 or 654:34-a or both. Before the presidential primary, the session shall be on the Friday preceding the first day of the filing period, between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and at the discretion of the supervisors for extended hours. Before the state primary election, the session shall be on Tuesday before the first Wednesday in June between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and at the discretion of the supervisors for extended hours.

Source. 1979, 400:2; 436:1. 1981, 308:2. 1983, 273:2. 1987, 219:1. 1994, 4:4. 2003, 27:4, eff. July 1, 2003.

Section 654:33

 654:33 Posting Copies; Notice of Sessions. – The supervisors shall post copies of the checklist, showing the persons in the town or ward entitled to vote, with their party registration, so far as such registration has been made, at the office of the town or city clerk or at the town hall at least 10 days prior to any session provided for in RSA 654:32; and notice of the date, hour and place of the session or sessions to revise such registration shall be given upon such checklist.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:7, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 654:34

 654:34 Change of Registration. –
I. Change of registration of a voter whose party membership has been previously registered.

(a) Any legal voter whose party membership has been registered may change such registration by appearing in person before the supervisors of the checklist for his town or ward any time they meet, except as prohibited by paragraph IV, and stating to them under oath or affirmation, if required, that:

(1) He intends to affiliate with and generally supports the candidates of the party with which he offers to register, in which case he shall be registered as a member of such party; or
(2) He does not wish to be registered as a member of any party, in which case his party designation shall be removed from the checklist.

(b) He may also change such registration at any primary, upon making oath or affirmation to the same effect, but he shall not be permitted in such case to vote the ballot of any party at such primary.

II. Change of registration of a voter who has been registered as an undeclared voter.

(a) Any legal voter who has been registered as an undeclared voter may register as a member of the party of the voter’s choice by appearing before the supervisors of the checklist for the voter’s town or ward any time they meet, except as prohibited by paragraph IV, and stating to them, under oath or affirmation, if required, that the voter intends to affiliate with and generally supports the candidates of the party with which the voter offers to register, in which case the voter shall be registered as a member of such party.
(b) A voter may also register as a member of a party at any primary by requesting to be registered as a member and voting the ballot of the party of the voter’s choice. A voter may also register once again as an undeclared voter after voting in a primary as a registered member of a party by returning the card or signing the list of undeclared voters from the statewide centralized voter registration database provided for in paragraph V. If cards are used, the voter shall return the card to the person at the polls designated by the town or city clerk to accept the card. All such cards and lists shall be in the possession of the supervisors of the checklist at the close of the polls on election day.

III. Notwithstanding any provision of paragraphs I and II to the contrary, no person who has voted in a primary may thereafter on the day of said primary change the person’s party registration, unless, prior to voting in the primary, the person was registered as an undeclared voter, in which case the person may once again register as an undeclared voter, as provided in subparagraph II(b).
IV. No person, who is already registered to vote, whether his party membership has been previously registered or not, shall affiliate with a party or disaffiliate from a party between the first Wednesday in June and the day before the state primary election.
V.

(a) At any primary, the supervisors of the checklist shall make available within the polling place a card or list of undeclared voters from the statewide centralized voter registration database to enable a voter who was registered as an undeclared voter but who changed registration on the day of the primary in order to vote as a registered member of a party to change registration so that the voter is registered once again as an undeclared voter. The card or list shall be in substantially the following form:

Name

(Print)

Address

 

I hereby request that my political party registration be changed as follows:

From: Democrat [ ] or Republican [ ], or (name of any party determined by the secretary of state to have achieved official status under RSA 652:11) []

To: Undeclared [ ]

Signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.

 

Date

(b) The supervisors of the checklist, upon receipt of such a card or list, shall keep it in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a and at the public session of supervisors of the checklist on election day shall change the party of the voter as indicated on the card or list.

Source. 1979, 400:3, 4; 436:1. 1981, 308:3-5. 1987, 129:2. 1993, 193:2-5. 2010, 172:8. 2011, 73:1. 2012, 113:2, 3. 2018, 165:1.

Section 654:34-a

 654:34-a Application to Town or City Clerk; Changes to be Forwarded. –
I. A town or city shall permit changes in party affiliation to be registered with a town or city clerk.
II. In addition to the methods of changing party affiliation provided in RSA 654:34, any person whose name appears on the checklist of a town or ward may apply to the town or city clerk for the purpose of having his party affiliation changed. A person desiring to change his party affiliation shall state to the town or city clerk under oath or affirmation that:

(a) He intends to affiliate with and generally supports the party with which he offers to register; or
(b) He does not wish to be registered as a member of any party.

III. No application for a change of party affiliation shall be accepted on the day of a primary election, except as provided in RSA 654:34, I and II.
IV. Any application made under the provisions of this section shall be made during the regular office hours of the town or city clerk.
V. Town and city clerks shall have power to administer oaths to the applicants that appear before them for the purposes of this section.
VI. Any application made under the provisions of this section shall be signed and dated by the applicant.
VII. The town or city clerk shall present to the next meeting of the supervisors of the checklist, in accordance with the checklist guidelines as provided by RSA 654:25, the name of any person who made application to him or her for a change of party affiliation and the name of the party with which the person desires to be affiliated or that he or she desires to be affiliated with no party. The supervisors of the checklist shall cause the party affiliation of the applicant to be changed on the checklist. Any change submitted which is prohibited by the provisions of RSA 654:34, IV shall be kept by the supervisors until acted upon; and the change shall be made as soon as permitted by law. Forms shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 1979, 400:1. 1981, 308:6. 1992, 287:5. 1994, 218:3. 2010, 172:9, eff. Aug. 16, 2010.

Section 654:34-b

 654:34-b Procedure for Adoption. – [Repealed 1992, 287:4, eff. July 17, 1992.]

Section 654:35

 654:35 Corrected List. – After a pre-primary session, the supervisors shall prepare a corrected checklist showing the registration of party members as corrected by them; and such checklist with the corrections that shall have been made in the sessions provided for in RSA 654:27 through 654:32 shall be used at the primary.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Periodic Maintenance and Verification of Checklists

Section 654:36

 654:36 Reports of Transfer. – If the supervisors of the checklist have received a notice of transfer from any other state or from another board of supervisors of the checklist in the state of New Hampshire through the statewide centralized voter registration database that a voter whose name is on the checklist has been added to the checklist of some other town or city, they shall strike that name from the checklist at the next session for the correction of the checklist. They shall retain the notice in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a as proof of their reasoning in striking the name from the checklist.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 172:10, eff. Aug. 16, 2010.

Section 654:36-a

 654:36-a Request to Correct the Checklist. –
I. A supervisor of the checklist, the town or city clerk, or any other person, may submit a request for correction of the checklist to the supervisors of the checklist or to the town or city clerk based upon evidence that a person listed on the checklist is not qualified as a voter in the town or ward. The clerk shall forward requests for correction of the checklist to the supervisors of the checklist. At the next session of the supervisors, they shall examine the requests and determine whether or not it is more likely than not that the person’s qualifications are in doubt.
II. If the supervisors of the checklist determine that it is more likely than not that the person’s qualifications are in doubt, they shall send a notice to the person and afford the person at least 30 days to provide proof of his or her qualifications. If the person fails to respond to the 30-day notice or responds but fails to provide proof that establishes that it is more likely than not that the person is qualified to vote in the town or ward, the person’s name shall be removed from the checklist. The supervisors of the checklist shall retain a copy of the notice in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 2006, 243:1. 2010, 172:11, eff. Aug. 16, 2010.

Section 654:36-b

 654:36-b Reports of Change of Address. – If the supervisors of the checklist receive a report from the United States Postal Service or the department of safety directly or as communicated by the secretary of state through the centralized voter registration database that a voter has permanently changed his or her address to another town, city, or state, they shall strike that name from the checklist at the next session for the correction of the checklist. The supervisors of the checklist shall retain the report in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a. As an alternative, the supervisors of the checklist may first send a 30-day notice letter and then shall remove the name from the checklist if the voter does not respond to that notice as set forth in RSA 654:44.

Source. 2006, 243:1. 2010, 172:12, eff. Aug. 16, 2010.

Section 654:37

 654:37 Reports of Death. – Whenever there is filed in the office of the clerk an official notice of the death of any person or persons of the age of 18 years or over or the clerk receives notice of a death record of such person or persons under RSA 5-C:4, V, the town or city clerk shall notify the supervisors of the checklist of said deaths by submitting a notice of same to the supervisors at their next regular meeting. Upon receipt of such notice, the supervisors shall examine the checklist; and, if the name of said deceased person appears thereon, it shall be removed. The notice shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a. Any supervisor who shall neglect or refuse to erase the name of such deceased voter from the checklist after receiving such notice from the town or city clerk shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 172:13, eff. Aug. 16, 2010. 2016, 270:3, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 654:38

 654:38 Verification of Checklists. –
On petition of 50 registered voters or 5 percent of the registered voters in any town or ward, whichever is less, or on petition of a majority of the board of supervisors of the checklist filed with the secretary of state no later than the eighth Friday after a state election, the ballot law commission shall conduct an investigation to determine whether or not there should be a revision and verification of the checklist of said town or ward. At least one public hearing duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in said town or city shall be held by the commission at such time and place it may determine. In the event of an affirmative decision, the commission shall direct the supervisors to revise and verify such checklist. Thereupon the supervisors shall revise and verify such checklist in the following manner:

I. Between April 1 and August 1 in the next even-numbered year, the supervisors shall post notice of their sessions in 2 appropriate places one of which shall be the town or city’s Internet website, if such exists, and published at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation in the town or city and hold sufficient sessions for verification of the checklist as in their opinion will enable all eligible voters in said town or ward to appear before them and register or reregister as the case may be. Whenever a person is reregistered, his or her party designation, if any, on the checklist undergoing revision shall not be changed except as provided in RSA 654:34.
II. Beginning June 1, and not later than 60 days thereafter, the supervisors shall review the checklist and shall strike therefrom the names of all persons who have not registered or reregistered under paragraph I of this section; provided that there shall not be stricken from said checklist the name of any person duly qualified to vote unless such person shall, not less than 30 days prior to such action, have been sent notice by the supervisors at his last known address of his failure to reregister stating the procedure to be followed in order to reregister and have his name retained on said checklist nor unless such person shall have been given a reasonable opportunity to follow said procedure.
III. Upon completion of verification of the checklist, but, in no event later than September 1, the supervisors shall file with the secretary of state the following certificate: We, the supervisors of the checklist of the town (or ward ___) of ___, do hereby certify that we have verified the checklist of registered voters in the town (or ward ___ of the city) of ___ as directed by the ballot law commission.
IV. In verifying the checklist in accordance with the provisions hereof, the supervisors shall not register or reregister any person unless he is a duly qualified voter as required by the provisions of RSA 654:1-654:6.
V. The supervisors may appoint such temporary assistant supervisors as may be necessary, but who shall have none of the powers and duties of supervisors. As compensation for services performed hereunder, the supervisors and assistant supervisors shall receive such sums as may be voted by the city government or town meeting of the city or town in which they serve.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:5, eff. May 27, 1994. 2016, 5:1, eff. Apr. 23, 2016; 259:2, eff. June 15, 2016.

Section 654:39

 654:39 Verification Every 10 Years. –
I. In addition to any verification carried out under the provisions of RSA 654:38, the supervisors shall verify the checklist in 1981 and once every 10 years thereafter.
II. Between April 1 and August 1 of 1981 and thereafter in each year ending with a one, the supervisors shall post notice of their sessions in 2 appropriate places one of which shall be the town or city’s Internet website, if such exists, and published at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation and hold sufficient sessions for verification of the checklist as in their opinion will enable all eligible voters in said town or ward to appear before them and register or reregister as the case may be. Whenever a person is reregistered, his or her party designation, if any, on the checklist undergoing revision shall not be changed except as provided in RSA 654:34.
III. Beginning June 1 of such year, the supervisors shall review the checklist and shall strike therefrom the names of all persons who have not registered or reregistered under paragraphs I and IV; provided, that there shall not be stricken from said checklist the name of any person duly qualified to vote unless such person, not less than 30 days prior to such action, shall have been sent notice by the supervisors at his last known address of his failure to reregister stating the procedure to be followed in order to reregister and have his name retained on said checklist nor unless such person shall have been given a reasonable opportunity to follow said procedure.
IV. For the purpose of this section, a person shall be deemed reregistered and need not appear before the supervisors if:

(a) The person voted in any election within the 4 years immediately preceding a 10-year verification; or
(b) The person has been added to the checklist since the last state general election.

V. Upon completion of verification of the checklist, but in no event later than September 1, the supervisors shall file with the secretary of state the following certificate: We, the supervisors of the checklist (or registrars of voters) of the town (or ward __________) of __________, do hereby certify that we have verified the checklist of registered voters in the town (or ward __________ of the city) of __________, pursuant to the provisions of RSA 654:39.
VI. In verifying the checklist in accordance with this section, the provisions of RSA 654:38, IV and V shall apply.

Source. 1979, 306:1; 436:1. 1990, 119:8, 9. 2010, 177:1, eff. Aug. 20, 2010. 2016, 259:3, eff. June 15, 2016.

Checklists: Special Provisions

Section 654:40

 654:40 Checklist for Additional Polling Place. – In towns which have established an additional polling place as provided in RSA 658:10, a separate checklist shall be prepared as provided in RSA 658:12.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 654:41

 654:41 Checklists for Unincorporated Places. – Checklists for voters in unincorporated places shall be prepared and corrected as provided in RSA 668.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 654:42

 654:42 Complaint to Superior Court. – Any citizen of the state may, in term time or vacation, file a complaint with the superior court stating that his name is illegally kept from, or his name or that of some other citizen is illegally placed upon, the checklist of a town or ward, and the facts upon which the complaint is based. Said complaint shall be deemed sufficient if it sets forth the basis of the complaint and may be filed by the complainant with the clerk of court or any justice thereof. The complainant may appear with or without counsel. Thereupon, the presiding justice in term time, or any justice of the superior court in vacation, shall order that a copy of the complaint be served on the supervisors of the checklist of the town and on the citizens other than the complainant named in the petition and shall set a time and place for an immediate hearing. The justice hearing the case may order the name of the voter concerning whom the complaint is made to be added or removed from the checklist as justice requires, and his decision shall be final on questions of fact as in equity cases.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 654:43

 654:43 Penalty for Failure to Keep Correct List. –
The supervisors of the checklist shall be guilty of violations if the supervisors at any session held for the correction of the checklist, on receiving satisfactory evidence:

I. Shall neglect or refuse to strike from the list the name of any person who is not a legal voter; or
II. Shall neglect or refuse to insert on the list the name of any person who is a legal voter; or
III. Shall neglect or refuse to hear or examine any evidence offered for such purpose in either of these cases under paragraphs I and II; or
IV. Shall at any time knowingly insert on the list the name of any person not a legal voter; or
V. Shall knowingly strike out therefrom or omit to insert the name of any legal voter.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 654:44

 654:44 Removing Names from Checklist; Notice Required. –
I. The supervisors shall remove no person’s name from the checklist of their town or ward unless they shall send notice by mail to the last known address of the person whose name they wish to remove from the checklist stating the reason they are considering removing such person’s name from the checklist. Such notice shall also state the time and the place at which the supervisors shall meet to consider the removal of that person’s name and shall give the date of such meeting which shall be at least 30 days after they send such notice. At such meeting, the person whose name the supervisors wish to remove shall have a chance as he or she wishes to state in person or to present in writing personally, or by mail or other messenger, or by any such combination of these as the person chooses, the reasons why his or her name should be left on the checklist. The supervisors shall not remove a person’s name from the checklist until after the completion of the written or oral statement, if any, of the person whose name they wish to remove from the checklist at the meeting held at least 30 days after they sent the notice this section requires. The supervisors shall retain a copy of the notice in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.
II. The provisions of this section do not apply to the removal of the names of persons for whom the supervisors have received a report of transfer or death as provided in RSA 654:36 or 654:37, nor to the removal of names during the period for verification of the checklist as provided in RSA 654:38 or 654:39, nor to the removal of names of persons for whom they have received a notice from a duly authorized board of registration from a community outside New Hampshire stating that a person whose name is on the checklist of the town or ward in New Hampshire has registered to vote outside New Hampshire.

Source. 1981, 378:1. 2010, 172:14, eff. Aug. 16, 2010.

Centralized Voter Registration Database

Section 654:45

 654:45 Centralized Voter Registration Database. –
I. The secretary of state is authorized to plan, develop, equip, establish, site, and maintain a statewide centralized voter registration database and communications system, hereinafter referred to as the voter database, connecting users throughout the state. The voter database shall include the current information on the voter registration forms, the accepted absentee ballot applications, the voter checklists, and voter actions as recorded on the marked checklist maintained by each city, ward, and town in the state.
II. Any election official in the state authorized by this chapter to have direct access to the voter database may obtain immediate electronic access to the information contained in the voter database related to individuals registered or registering to vote in the election official’s jurisdiction. The office of the clerk is hereby designated as a database access point for each town or city. The secretary of state may authorize additional database access points in a town or city, including election day access points at polling places.
III. The voter database shall, upon certification by the secretary of state, be the official record of eligible voters for the conduct of all elections held in this state.
IV.

(a) The voter database shall have the following minimum components:

(1) An electronic communications system that provides access for election officials from at least one point in each city and town within the state.
(2) An interactive computer program allowing local election officials access to records contained in the database with a process to add, delete, modify, or print a voter registration record related to the election official’s jurisdiction. The system shall be designed so that there can be regular updates to the database, the records reflect the name of each registered voter with no duplication, and the names of ineligible voters are removed. The system shall contain safeguards to ensure that the names of properly registered voters are not removed in error.

(b) Voter database record data shall be verified by matching the records with those of the department of safety and the federal social security administration as are required by law, and with the records of the state agency or division charged with maintaining vital records. For this purpose the voter registration record database may be linked to the state agency or division charged with maintaining vital records and the department of safety, provided that no linked agency or division may save or retain voter information or use it for purposes other than verifying the accuracy of the information contained in the voter database. The link authorized by this subparagraph shall not allow the department of state or election officials direct access to the motor vehicle registration or driver’s license records maintained by the division of motor vehicles. The commissioner of safety may authorize the release of information from motor vehicle registration and driver’s license records to the extent that the information is necessary to department of state and department of safety cooperation in a joint notification to individuals of apparent discrepancies in their records and to the extent that the information is necessary to resolve those discrepancies. The commissioner of safety and the secretary of state are authorized to enter into an agreement that establishes the services to be provided by the department of safety and the cost for those services. The department of safety shall not be required to provide any services under this subparagraph unless an agreement is in place and there are sufficient funds in the election fund to pay the cost for the services. The system shall facilitate the identification and correction of voter registration records whenever a registered voter has died or has been disenfranchised pursuant to part I, article 11 of the New Hampshire constitution or RSA 654:5 through RSA 654:6, or when the domicile address does not match the address provided by the same individual to the department of safety.
(c) Access by local election officials to the voter database shall be limited to the supervisors of the checklist, city registrars and deputy registrars, and town or city clerks and their deputies, as determined by the secretary of state. Access by local election officials shall be subject to the limitations of paragraph VI, and shall be limited to the records of individuals who are currently registered to vote in the official’s jurisdiction and individuals who are applying to register to vote in the official’s jurisdiction.

V. The secretary of state shall:

(a) Specify the employees of the department of state authorized to access records contained in the voter database, subject to the limitations of paragraph VI.
(b) Provide adequate technological security measures to deter unauthorized access to the records contained in the voter database.
(c) Issue guidelines to implement the voter database.

VI. The voter database shall be private and confidential and shall not be subject to RSA 91-A and RSA 654:31, nor shall it or any of the information contained therein be disclosed pursuant to a subpoena or civil litigation discovery request. The secretary of state is authorized to provide voter database record data to the administrative office of the courts to assist in the preparation of master jury lists pursuant to RSA 500-A and to the clerk of the District Court of the United States for the District of New Hampshire to assist in the preparation of federal court jury lists. The voter checklist for a town or city shall be available pursuant to RSA 654:31. Any person who discloses information from the voter database in any manner not authorized by this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
VII. The city and town clerk shall enter, maintain, and keep up to date election official contact information and polling place information as determined by the secretary of state in the statewide centralized voter registration database for use by the secretary of state in effecting election laws.
VIII.

(a) The secretary of state may enter into an agreement to share voter information or data from the statewide centralized voter registration database for the purpose of comparing duplicate voter information with other states or groups of states. The secretary of state shall only provide information that is necessary for matching duplicate voter information with other states and shall take precautions to make sure that information in the database is secure in a manner consistent with RSA 654:45, VI. The secretary of state may solicit input from the department of safety and the department of information technology and shall ensure that any information or data shared between the agencies that is of a confidential nature remains confidential.
(b) The secretary of state shall investigate any duplicate matches of voters resulting from any comparisons of the statewide centralized voter registration database with other states. If the investigation results in the inability to confirm the eligibility of a person or persons who voted, or there is reason to believe a person or persons voted who were not eligible, the secretary of state shall forward the results to the attorney general for further investigation or prosecution.
(c) Upon completion of any investigation authorized under RSA 654:45, VIII(b), the attorney general and the secretary of state shall forward a report summarizing the results of the investigation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the appropriate house and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over election law.

IX. [Repealed.]

Source. 2003, 266:3. 2006, 305:2. 2010, 182:1, 15. 2014, 111:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014. 2016, 175:1, eff. June 13, 2016; 270:4, eff. June 26, 2016. 2017, 222:4, 5, eff. July 10, 2017. 2018, 329:8.

Section 654:46

 654:46 Party Access to Voter Information. – [Repealed 2008, 10:2, eff. May 5, 2008.]

CHAPTER 655 – NOMINATIONS

General Qualifications

Section 655:1

 655:1 Citizenship. – To hold any elective office in the state, a person must be a citizen of the United States, either by birth or by naturalization.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:2

 655:2 Domicile. – To hold any elective office in the state, a person must have a domicile in the state. Registration to vote or voting in another state during the relevant time period shall create a presumption that a person does not have a domicile in this state.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2001, 118:1, eff. Aug. 25, 2001.

Qualifications by Office

Section 655:3

 655:3 United States Senator. – To hold the office of United States senator, a person must be qualified as provided in Article 1, section 3 of the federal constitution.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:4

 655:4 United States Representative. – To hold the office of United States representative, a person must be qualified as required by Article 1, section 2 of the federal constitution.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:5

 655:5 Governor. – To hold the office of governor, a person must be qualified as provided in Part 2, Article 42 of the state constitution: at the time of the election, the person must have been an inhabitant of this state for 7 years next preceding, and be of the age of 30 years.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 22:1, eff. April 24, 2003.

Section 655:6

 655:6 Councilor. – To hold the office of councilor, a person must be qualified as provided in Part 2, Article 61 of the state constitution: the person must be of the age of 30 years, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state for 7 years immediately preceding the election, and at the time thereof shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he or she shall be chosen. Should such person, after election, cease to be an inhabitant of the district for which he or she was chosen, he or she shall be disqualified to hold said position and a vacancy shall be declared therein.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 22:1, eff. April 24, 2003.

Section 655:7

 655:7 State Senator. – To hold the office of state senator, a person must be qualified as provided in Part 2, Article 29 of the state constitution: the person must be of the age of 30 years, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state for 7 years immediately preceding the election, and at the time thereof shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he or she shall be chosen. Should such person, after election, cease to be an inhabitant of the district for which he or she was chosen, he or she shall be disqualified to hold said position and a vacancy shall be declared therein.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 22:1, eff. April 24, 2003.

Section 655:8

 655:8 State Representative. – To hold the office of state representative, a person must be at least 18 years of age and must be qualified as provided in Part 2, Article 14 of the state constitution: for 2 years, at least, next preceding the election shall have been an inhabitant of this state; and shall be, at the time of the election, an inhabitant of the town, ward, place, or district he or she may be chosen to represent, and shall cease to represent such town, ward, place, or district immediately on his or her ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 22:1, eff. April 24, 2003.

Section 655:9

 655:9 County Officers. – To hold the office of county commissioner, sheriff, county attorney, county treasurer, register of deeds, or register of probate, a person must have a domicile in the county for which he is chosen. In addition, to hold the office of county commissioner in the counties of Rockingham, Belknap, Grafton, Merrimack, Hillsborough, Cheshire, Sullivan, Coos, and Carroll, a person must have a domicile in the district from which he is elected at the time of his election.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:10

 655:10 Incompatible Offices. –
I. No person shall file declaration of candidacy or primary petitions for nomination at the primary for incompatible offices. For the purposes of this section, incompatible offices shall include the offices of governor, United States senator, United States representative, representative to the general court, state senator, councilor, county commissioner, county sheriff, county attorney, county treasurer, register of deeds, and register of probate. If any person shall file for incompatible offices, the secretary of state shall advise the person of the provisions hereof and said person shall then advise the secretary of state which of said offices he or she wishes to retain in order to seek said nomination.
II. No person shall be nominated for incompatible offices. If a person shall be nominated for incompatible offices, the secretary of state shall advise the person of the provisions hereof and the person shall then advise the secretary of state which nomination the person wishes to retain; the secretary of state shall declare the nominations not retained by the person vacant.
III. A party shall not designate a person to fill a vacancy if the person has been nominated for any incompatible office.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 84:1. 2011, 150:1. 2015, 58:1, eff. Aug. 1, 2015.

Section 655:10-a

 655:10-a One Representative District Only. – A person whose domicile qualifies him or her for more than one representative district shall choose one representative district at any election from which to be a candidate and, for that election, shall be qualified to be a candidate for that one district only.

Source. 1982, 29:4. 2003, 289:33, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Nominations by Primary

Section 655:11

 655:11 Notice to Town and City Clerks. – At least 100 days before the time of holding any primary, the secretary of state shall prepare and distribute to each town and city clerk in the state a notice in writing designating the offices for which candidates are to be nominated and that delegates to the state convention are to be elected.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:12

 655:12 Posting Notice of Primary. – Each city clerk shall distribute the notices prepared under RSA 655:11 to the ward clerks in the city. Each town and ward clerk shall, within 10 days after the receipt of such notice, cause notice of such primary to be posted in 2 public places in the town or ward. Such notice shall prescribe the hour the polls are to open and the hour before which they may not close as provided in RSA 659. It shall state the offices for which candidates are to be nominated, the delegates to be elected, and any questions to be voted on, as well as the location of the central polling place and of any additional polling places. It shall also state the date before which declarations of candidacy must be filed to place names upon the ballots to be used at such primary and the officers with whom they must be filed.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2011, 150:2, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.

Section 655:13

 655:13 Forms and Directions. – It shall be the duty of the secretary of state to prepare all forms necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and to furnish the same in reasonable quantities to the proper officials. It shall also be his duty to furnish full directions to the clerks of towns and wards when he sends them the notice provided for in RSA 655:11 as to the posting of notices, holding of primaries and making return thereof.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:14

 655:14 Filing: General Provisions. – The name of any person shall not be printed upon the ballot of any party for a primary unless he or she is a registered member of that party, he or she shall have met the age and domicile qualifications for the office he or she seeks at the time of the general election, he or she meets all the other qualifications at the time of filing, and he or she shall file with the appropriate official between the first Wednesday in June and the Friday of the following week a declaration of candidacy as provided in RSA 655:17.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 308:7. 1985, 121:1; 129:1. 2011, 150:3, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.

Section 655:14-a

 655:14-a Filing by Other Candidates. – Every candidate for state or federal office who intends to have his name placed on the ballot for the state general election by means other than nomination by party primary shall file a declaration of intent with the secretary of state as provided in RSA 655:17-a or RSA 655:17-b during the same time period in which party candidates file a declaration under RSA 655:14.

Source. 1981, 531:2. 1985, 121:2. 1991, 387:2, eff. July 2, 1991.

Section 655:14-b

 655:14-b Form of Candidate’s Name on Ballot. –
I. Every candidate for state or federal office who intends to have his or her name printed upon the ballot of any party for a primary shall designate in the declaration of candidacy, or on the primary petitions and assents to candidacy, the form in which the candidate’s name shall be printed on the ballot. The designated name may include the candidate’s given name or a shortened form of the candidate’s given name or a one-word nickname customarily related to the candidate, and by which the candidate is commonly recognized. The designated name may also include an initial for the first or middle name, or both. No candidate may designate a nickname that implies that the candidate is some other person, that constitutes a slogan or otherwise associates the candidate with a cause or issue, that has an offensive or profane meaning, or that creates a perception of a professional or vocational affiliation, such as “Doc” or “Coach.” No candidate may designate a name or nickname that includes characters other than the 26-letter English alphabet, a dash, an apostrophe, a period, or a comma. A candidate shall include his or her surname in the designation of the form in which the candidate’s name shall be printed on the ballot.
II. Every candidate for state or federal office who intends to have his or her name placed on the ballot for the state general election by means other than nomination by party primary shall designate in the declaration of intent the form in which the candidate’s name shall be printed on the ballot. The designated name may include the candidate’s given name or a shortened form of the candidate’s given name or a one-word nickname customarily related to the candidate, and by which the candidate is commonly recognized. The designated name may also include an initial for the first or middle name, or both. No candidate may designate a nickname that implies that the candidate is some other person, that constitutes a slogan or otherwise associates the candidate with a cause or issue, that has an offensive or profane meaning, or that creates a perception of a professional or vocational affiliation, such as “Doc” or “Coach.” No candidate may designate a name or nickname that includes characters other than the 26-letter English alphabet, a dash, an apostrophe, a period, or a comma. A candidate shall include his or her surname in the designation of the form in which the candidate’s name shall be printed on the ballot.
III. A candidate who files more than one declaration of candidacy or declaration of intent shall designate the same form of his or her name to appear on each such declaration. The same form of a candidate’s name shall also appear on every primary petition and assent to candidacy.
IV. If the appropriate official with whom the declaration of candidacy, declaration of intent, primary petitions, or assents to candidacy are filed does not accept them and returns them to the candidate because in the opinion of the official they do not conform to the provisions of this section, the candidate may appeal to the ballot law commission as provided in RSA 665:9.
V. Legal names shall be placed on the ballot in a manner that the appearance of the name is consistent with the appearance of other names on the ballot as determined by the secretary of state. A candidate may appeal the decision of the secretary of state relative to the appearance of the candidate’s name on the ballot to the ballot law commission within 5 days of receiving notification under RSA 664:22.

Source. 1989, 312:1. 2003, 151:1. 2005, 22:1. 2010, 330:7. 2014, 112:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014. 2016, 96:1, eff. July 18, 2016.

Section 655:14-c

 655:14-c Change in Filing Period. – Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 655:14, if the elective districts for any office in RSA 662 have not been amended according to the most recently completed federal decennial census before the commencement of the filing period, the secretary of state is hereby authorized to change or extend the filing period as necessary to implement revised elective districts.

Source. 2012, 42:1, eff. May 2, 2012.

Section 655:15

 655:15 Official With Whom to File. –
For the purposes of this chapter, the term “appropriate official” shall be defined as follows:

I. For the offices of governor, United States senator, representative in Congress, councilor, state senator and county office, the secretary of state.
II. For state representative in a representative district containing one town or ward and for delegate to a state party convention, the clerk of the town or city in which the officer is to be chosen.
III. For state representative in a representative district containing more than one town or ward, the clerk of the city or town in which the person who is filing is domiciled; or, if the person is domiciled in an unincorporated place, the town clerk of the town designated by the secretary of state for such filing as provided in RSA 668.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:15-a

 655:15-a Acceptance by the Secretary of State of Filings by Candidates for the Office of United States Senator and United States Representative. [Omitted.] –

Section 655:16

 655:16 Personal Filing. – Except for those who must file with a town or city clerk, any person who files on the last day of the filing period must do so in person before the secretary of state; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to the filling of vacancies by party committees. If the person must file with a town or city clerk and is filing on the last day of the filing period, he or she shall do so in person.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2009, 214:3. 2013, 14:1, eff. July 7, 2013.

Section 655:17

 655:17 Declaration of Candidacy. – Declarations of candidacy shall be in the following form and signed by the candidate:
I, _______________________, declare that I am domiciled in Ward _____, in the city (or town or unincorporated place) of __________________, county of ________________, state of New Hampshire, and am a registered voter herein; that I am a registered member of the __________ party; that I am a candidate for nomination for the office of ____________ (or for delegate to the state convention) to be made at the primary election to be held on the ______ day of _______________; and I hereby request that my name be printed on the official primary ballot of the party in which I am registered as a candidate for such nomination or election. I declare that I am not a candidate for incompatible offices as defined in RSA 655:10, and that I am not a federal employee which makes me ineligible to file as a candidate for this office. If I have been convicted of a felony, I declare that I have completed my sentence as required in RSA 607-A:2. I further declare that, if nominated as a candidate for said office or if elected as such delegate, I will not withdraw; and that, if elected, I will be qualified for and will assume the duties of said office.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 218:1. 2007, 15:1. 2013, 14:2. 2015, 99:2, eff. Aug. 4, 2015.

Section 655:17-a

 655:17-a Declaration of Intent; Other Candidates. – Declarations of intent for nonparty or other candidates shall be in the following form and signed by the candidate:
I, __________, declare that I am domiciled in Ward __________, in the city (or town or unincorporated place) of __________, county of __________, state of New Hampshire, and am a registered voter herein; that I intend to be a candidate for the office of __________ to be chosen at the general election to be held on the __________ day of __________; and I intend to file nomination papers by the deadline established under RSA 655:43. I further declare that, if qualified as a candidate for said office, I shall not withdraw; and that, if elected, I shall be qualified for and shall assume the duties of said office. If I have been convicted of a felony, I declare that I have completed my sentence as required in RSA 607-A:2.

Source. 1981, 531:3. 1994, 381:5. 2015, 99:3, eff. Aug. 4, 2015.

Section 655:17-b

 655:17-b Declaration of Intent; Presidential Candidates Who File Nomination Papers. –
I. Declarations of intent for each candidate for president who seeks nomination by nomination papers shall be in the form provided in paragraph II. Declarations of intent required by this section shall be filed with the secretary of state, signed by the candidate, and notarized by a notary public.
II. I, __________, swear under penalties of perjury that I am qualified to be a candidate for president of the United States pursuant to article II, section 1, clause 4 of the United States Constitution, which states, “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.” I further declare that I am domiciled in the city (or town or unincorporated place) of __________, county of __________, state of __________, and am a qualified voter therein; that I intend to be a candidate for the office of president to be chosen at the general election to be held on the __________ day of __________; and I intend to file nomination papers by the deadline established under RSA 655:43. I further declare that, if qualified as a candidate for said office, I shall not withdraw; and that, if elected, I shall be qualified for and shall assume the duties of said office.

Source. 1985, 121:3. 2010, 19:1, eff. July 6, 2010; 50:3, eff. July 17, 2010.

Section 655:17-c

 655:17-c Declaration of Intent; Political Organization. –
I. Declarations of intent for political organizations shall be in the following form and signed by the chairman of the political organization:
I, ____________________, chairman of the ___________________ organization hereby declare that the ______________ organization intends to file nomination papers by the deadline established under RSA 655:43, I.
II. At the time of filing the declaration of intent, the chairman of the political organization shall submit a list of the offices for which it intends to file candidates and the names of the candidates for those offices. In addition, each candidate shall file a declaration of candidacy. The declaration of candidacy shall be in the form provided by RSA 655:17 with the understanding that, where the form says primary election, it shall be construed to mean general election. If the political organization does not obtain enough nomination papers to have its name placed on the ballot, any declarations of candidacy filed for that political organization shall be void.

Source. 2001, 142:1. 2012, 113:4, eff. May 31, 2012.

Section 655:18

 655:18 Forwarding Declarations of Candidacy. – Each city or town clerk shall forward each declaration of candidacy filed with him or her to the secretary of state on the day of filing of the same.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2001, 231:7. 2011, 150:4, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.

Section 655:19

 655:19 Filing Fees. – [Repealed 2011, 150:7, I, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.]

Section 655:19-a

 655:19-a Filing Fee for Presidential Candidates Who File Nomination Papers. – At the time of filing declarations of intent, each candidate for president who seeks nomination by nomination papers shall pay to the secretary of state a single fee of $250 for himself and his vice-presidential candidate.

Source. 1985, 121:5, eff. July 19, 1985.

Section 655:19-b

 655:19-b Waiver of Filing Fee and Primary Petitions. – [Repealed 2011, 150:7, II, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.]

Section 655:19-c

 655:19-c Administrative Assessment; Primary Petitions; Nomination Papers. –
I. Candidates for governor, United States senator, representative to Congress, executive councilor, state senator, county officer, and state representative who file declarations of candidacy shall pay the administrative assessment in paragraph I or file primary petitions as provided in paragraph III. Candidates for governor, United States senator, representative to Congress, executive councilor, state senator, county officer, and state representative who file declarations of intent shall pay the administrative assessment in paragraph I and shall meet the requirements of RSA 655:40 through 655:45 for nomination by nomination papers. Neither the administrative assessment which is paid nor the primary petitions which are filed under this section, nor the nomination papers which must be submitted under RSA 655:41 and filed under RSA 655:43, shall be waived or refunded for a candidate for any of the offices listed in this section who, pursuant to RSA 664:5-a, voluntarily accepts the expenditure limitation set forth in RSA 664:5-b. At the time of filing declarations of candidacy or declarations of intent, the administrative assessment shall be as follows:

(a) For governor and United States senator, $100.
(b) For representative to Congress, $50.
(c) For executive councilor, $25.
(d) For state senator, $10.
(e) For county officer, $10.
(f) For state representative, $2.

II. The administrative assessment paid to a town or city clerk by candidates for state representative shall be forwarded to the treasurer of the town or city and shall be for the use of the town or city. The administrative assessment paid to the secretary of state shall be deposited by the secretary of state into the general fund.
III. Any person otherwise qualified to run for office who chooses not to pay the administrative assessment as prescribed in paragraph I may have his name printed on the primary ballot of any party by filing with the appropriate official the requisite number of primary petitions made by members of the party, together with one written assent to candidacy. The number of primary petitions to be filed for each office shall be as follows: for governor and United States senator, 200; for representative in Congress, 100; for executive councilor and county officer, 50; for state senator, 20; for state representative, 5. Candidates for delegate to the state convention shall not be required to submit any primary petitions.

Source. 1991, 387:5. 2003, 266:5. 2009, 144:221. 2011, 150:5, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.

Section 655:20

 655:20 Primary Petitions. – [Repealed 2011, 150:7, III, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.]

Section 655:21

 655:21 Form. – Primary petitions shall be made in the following form:
State of New Hampshire
County of ____________________ ss.
City (Town) of ____________________
I do hereby join in a petition for the printing on the primary ballot of the name of __________ whose domicile is in the city (town) of __________ (ward, street, and number, if in a city), in the county of __________, for the office of __________ to be voted for on Tuesday, the __________ day of September, _____ (year), and certify that I am qualified to vote for a candidate for said office, that I am a registered member of the __________ party, and am not at this time a signer of any other similar petition for any other candidate for the above office; that my domicile is in the city (town) of __________ (ward, street, and number, if in a city), in the county of __________. I certify that to my knowledge the above-named candidate is not a candidate for incompatible offices as defined in RSA 655:10, and that he or she is not a federal employee which makes him or her ineligible to file as a candidate for this office. I further certify that I believe the above-named person is especially qualified to fill said office.
I hereby swear, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that the information above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

 

Print Voter’s name

 

 

Voter’s Signature

 

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 218:3. 1998, 356:2. 2003, 289:34, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 655:22

 655:22 Number of Petitions. – [Repealed 2011, 150:7, IV, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.]

Section 655:22-a

 655:22-a Order of Petitions. – Petitions to be filed shall be ordered alphabetically by municipality in which the voter is domiciled. Petitions shall be further ordered by surname of voter for any municipality represented by more than one petition.

Source. 1998, 356:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Section 655:23

 655:23 Conflicting Petitions. – Each primary petition shall be a separate paper and shall contain the name of one signer and one candidate only. No voter shall sign primary petitions for more than one party, nor shall he sign more than one primary petition for the same office unless more than one nomination is to be made; in which case, he may sign as many primary petitions as there are nominations to be made for the same office. In case a voter has signed 2 or more such conflicting primary petitions, all such petitions shall be rejected.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:24

 655:24 Oath on Petition “Prima Facie” Evidence of Party Membership. – The oath of a voter upon a primary petition shall be prima facie evidence that he is a member of the party stated therein.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:25

 655:25 Assent to Candidacy. – No primary petitions as provided in RSA 655:21 shall be accepted by the official with whom they are to be filed unless there is attached thereto an assent to candidacy in the following form subscribed to by the person who seeks to have his name printed upon the primary ballot:

State of New Hampshire

I, __________, of __________ in the county of __________ do hereby assent to the printing of my name on the primary ballot as requested in the attached petition. I further declare that I am a registered member of the __________ party.
(Signed) __________
State of New Hampshire
County of __________
The above-named, __________, personally known to me, appeared and made oath that the above declaration by him subscribed is true.

Before me,

 

____________________

 

Justice of the Peace or Notary Public

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:26

 655:26 Examination and Rejection. – The officer with whom primary petitions are filed shall immediately upon receipt thereof examine the same and ascertain whether they conform to the law. If found not to conform thereto or to be conflicting as provided in RSA 655:23, he shall then endorse thereon the reason why such petition cannot be accepted and shall, within 24 hours, return the same to the candidate in whose behalf it was filed. In such case, the candidate may file supplementary petitions with the official, but not later than the third Wednesday in June.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 308:8, eff. Aug. 15, 1981.

Section 655:27

 655:27 Forwarding of Petitions and Assents. – The clerks of cities and towns shall forward all primary petitions and assents to candidacy filed with them on the day of filing of the same to the secretary of state who shall retain them together with all primary petitions and assents to candidacy filed with him until January 1 following the holding of the primary at which time they may be destroyed.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:28

 655:28 Affidavit of Qualifications. – A candidate for nomination for the office of governor, councilor, state senator or state representative shall swear an affidavit covering his qualifications as to age, that the candidate is a registered voter, that his domicile is in the district he desires to represent, that he is not a candidate for incompatible offices as defined in RSA 655:10, and that he is not a federal employee which he understands would make him ineligible to file his candidacy. The secretary of state shall not print upon the primary ballot of any party the name of any person unless there is filed with him such an affidavit at the time his candidacy is filed.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 218:4, eff. Aug. 9, 1991.

Section 655:29

 655:29 Qualifications of Candidates. –
The form of the affidavit provided for in RSA 655:28 shall be the following:

I. (For use by candidate for governor): I, ___________________, candidate for the office of governor, hereby swear (or affirm) that I have been domiciled in the state of New Hampshire for at least 7 years immediately preceding the election for which I am a candidate, that I am a registered voter, that I will be at least 30 years of age on the day of said election, that I am not a candidate for incompatible offices as defined in RSA 655:10, that I am not a federal employee, and that I am not a convicted felon who has not yet received a final discharge from sentencing.
II. (For use by candidate for councilor): I, ___________________, candidate for the office of councilor from the ___________________ district, hereby swear (or affirm) that I have been domiciled in the state of New Hampshire for at least 7 years immediately preceding the election for which I am a candidate, that I am now domiciled in councilor district no. __________ at the present time, that I will be at least 30 years of age on the day of said election, that I am not a candidate for incompatible offices as defined in RSA 655:10, that I am not a federal employee, and that I am not a convicted felon who has not yet received a final discharge from sentencing.
III. (For use by candidate for state senate): I, ________________, candidate for the office of senator from the __________ district, hereby swear (or affirm) that I have been domiciled in the state of New Hampshire for at least 7 years immediately preceding the election for which I am a candidate, that my domicile is in senatorial district no. _______________ at the present time, that I will be at least 30 years of age on the day of said election, that I am not a candidate for incompatible offices as defined in RSA 655:10, that I am not a federal employee, and that I am not a convicted felon who has not yet received a final discharge from sentencing.
IV. (For use by candidate for state representative): I, _______________, candidate for the office of representative from district no. __________ of __________ county, hereby swear (or affirm) that I have been domiciled in the state of New Hampshire for at least 2 years immediately preceding the election for which I am a candidate, that I am now domiciled in district no. ____________ of ___________ county, the district I seek to represent, that I will be at least 18 years of age on the day of said election, that I am not a candidate for incompatible offices as defined in RSA 655:10, that I am not a federal employee, and that I am not a convicted felon who has not yet received a final discharge from sentencing. I further recognize that, if elected, I will serve as a delegate to the county convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 218:5. 2002, 58:1. 2003, 289:35. 2015, 99:4, eff. Aug. 4, 2015.

Removal of Candidates

Section 655:30

 655:30 Withdrawal. – When a party candidate has duly filed according to law for nomination at a primary election, or other candidate has submitted nomination papers, no withdrawal or declination of the candidate shall be accepted by the secretary of state subsequent to the last dates for filing a declaration of candidacy or the filing of nomination papers except as provided in RSA 655:31 and 655:34.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 531:4. 1985, 121:6, eff. July 19, 1985.

Section 655:31

 655:31 Straw Candidates. – No person shall be a candidate for nomination at any primary unless his candidacy is bona fide and is filed for the actual purpose of personally seeking the nomination. Any candidate for nomination whose name is to be voted upon at primary election may, no later than the Wednesday after the last day for filing declarations of candidacy and primary petitions, file a petition with the ballot law commission alleging that one or more candidates for the same nomination is not a bona fide candidate. Upon receipt of such a petition, the commission shall notify in writing all candidates of that party for the same nomination of the time and place for its hearing. After such hearing, the ballot law commission shall have the power and duty to order stricken forthwith from the primary ballot the name or names of any candidate or candidates for said nomination if the commission finds that such candidate or candidates is obviously not a bona fide candidate, obviously having filed not primarily for the purpose of seeking the nomination but primarily for the purpose of drawing votes which might otherwise be cast for some other candidate for the same nomination. The decision of the commission shall be final as to questions both of law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review such decision.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:6, eff. May 27, 1994.

Vacancies Among Primary Candidates

Section 655:32

 655:32 No Declaration Filed. –
I. In case no declaration shall be filed by a candidate for any nomination to be voted for at a primary, the nomination may be made by the appropriate party committee as provided in this section. The appropriate party committee shall notify the secretary of state in writing of a person it designates to fill the vacancy. The person so designated may accept the nomination by, on or before the Wednesday following the expiration of the period for filing declarations of candidacy as provided in RSA 655:14, filing with the secretary of state a declaration of candidacy as provided in RSA 655:17. Any candidate accepting a nomination under this paragraph who has already filed for an incompatible office as defined in RSA 655:10 shall withdraw the prior filing. Any vacancy created by the withdrawal of a filing may be filled pursuant to this section. If the candidate is designated for the office of governor, councilor, state senator, or state representative, he or she shall also file on or before the Wednesday following the period for filing declarations of candidacy the appropriate affidavit as provided in RSA 655:29. Any candidate so designated by a party committee who has not filed all the forms required by this section within the required period of time shall not have his or her name printed on the state primary election ballot for that office.
II. For the purposes of this section, the term “appropriate party committee” shall be as defined in RSA 655:36.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1985, 129:2. 1986, 86:1. 2008, 377:1, eff. Sept. 9, 2008.

Section 655:33

 655:33 Disqualification of Candidates. – The disqualification of a candidate to be voted for at a primary between the date of his filing and the day of the primary shall be dealt with as in the general election, as provided in RSA 655:38.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:34

 655:34 Death of Candidate. – The death of a candidate to be voted for at a primary between the date of his filing and the day of the primary shall be dealt with as in the general election, as provided in RSA 655:39.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Conduct of Primary

Section 655:35

 655:35 Same as General Election. – The procedures for conducting the primary shall be the same as those for the general election as provided in RSA 656, 657, 658 and 659 unless otherwise provided therein.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:36

 655:36 Definition. –
For the purposes of this chapter, the “appropriate party committee” shall be defined as:

I. The state committee of that party or, if previously authorized by the same, the executive committee thereof for the offices of United States senator, United States representative, governor, councilor and state senator.
II. The county committee of that party for county offices and state representative if from a representative district containing more than one town, ward, or unincorporated place.
III. The town or ward committee of that party for state representative if the representative district contains only the town or ward.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:37

 655:37 Vacancy for Office on Party Ticket. – If, after the holding of a state primary election, a vacancy exists for any office on a party ticket, such vacancy may be filled as provided in this section. The appropriate party committee shall notify the secretary of state in writing of a person they designate to fill the vacancy. The person so designated shall, no later than the first Tuesday following the primary election, file with the secretary of state a declaration of candidacy as provided in RSA 655:17 with the understanding that, where the form says primary election, it shall be construed to mean general election. If the candidate is designated for the office of governor, executive councilor, state senator, or state representative, he or she shall also file, no later than the first Tuesday following the primary, the appropriate affidavit as provided in RSA 655:29. Any candidate who has not filed all the forms required by this section within the required period of time shall not have his or her name printed on the state general election ballot for that office.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:14. 1994, 4:7. 2010, 317:10. 2012, 113:5, eff. May 31, 2012.

Section 655:38

 655:38 Disqualification of Candidate. – If a candidate to be voted for at the general election shall make oath between the date of the candidate’s nomination and the day of the election that he or she does not qualify for the public office which he or she seeks because of age, domicile, or incapacitating physical or mental disability acquired subsequent to the primary, the secretary of state may remove said person’s name from the ballot. Any such oath citing an incapacitating physical or mental disability shall be accompanied by a letter from a licensed physician confirming such a condition. A new candidate may be substituted by the appropriate party committee by submitting the name of the new candidate to the secretary of state within 3 days of the notice of disqualification. The name of the substitute candidate shall be placed on the ballots as provided in RSA 656:21.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2000, 12:1. 2009, 214:4. 2013, 228:1, eff. Sept. 13, 2013.

Section 655:39

 655:39 Death of Candidate. – If any candidate to be voted for at the general election shall die between the date of nomination and the day of election, a new candidate may be substituted by the appropriate party committee by submitting the name of the new candidate to the secretary of state within 3 days of the notice of death. The name of the substitute candidate shall be placed on the ballots as provided in RSA 656:21.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2000, 12:2. 2009, 214:4, eff. Sept. 13, 2009.

Nomination by Nomination Papers

Section 655:40

 655:40 General Provisions. – As an alternative to nomination by party primary, a candidate may have his or her name placed on the ballot for the state general election by submitting the requisite number of nomination papers. Such papers shall contain the name and domicile of the candidate, the office for which the candidate is nominated, and the political organization or principles the candidate represents. Nomination papers shall be signed by such persons only as are registered to vote at the state general election. No voter shall sign more than one nomination paper for each office to be voted for, and no nomination paper shall contain the names of more candidates than there are offices to be filled. Each voter shall sign and date an individual nomination paper. Nomination papers shall be dated in the year of the election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2001, 74:1; 185:5. 2009, 214:5, eff. Sept. 13, 2009.

Section 655:40-a

 655:40-a Nomination of Organization. – A political organization may have its name placed on the ballot for the state general election by submitting the requisite number of nomination papers, in the form prescribed by the secretary of state, pursuant to RSA 655:42, III. Such papers shall contain the name of the political organization and shall be signed by such persons only as are registered to vote at the state general election. No voter shall sign more than one nomination paper which allows a political organization access to the state general election ballot. Nomination papers shall be signed and dated in the year of the election.

Source. 1996, 36:3. 1998, 246:1. 2001, 74:2; 185:5. 2014, 29:1, eff. July 22, 2014.

Section 655:40-b

 655:40-b Filing Names of Candidates. – [Repealed 2012, 113:13, eff. May 31, 2012.]

Section 655:41

 655:41 Certification. –
I. Each nomination paper shall be submitted to the supervisors of the checklist of the town or ward in which the signer is domiciled or is registered, and a majority of the supervisors shall certify whether or not the signer is a registered voter in said town or ward. The supervisors of the checklist shall certify nomination papers under this section in a timely fashion, so that their certification shall be complete for each candidate, together with any objections to the nomination papers submitted, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday 2 weeks before the primary. Each nomination paper shall be submitted to the supervisors of the checklist no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday 5 weeks before the primary.
II. The city clerk may perform the responsibilities of the supervisors of the checklist under this section.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1985, 121:7. 1993, 164:2. 1996, 36:4. 2001, 142:2, eff. Aug. 28, 2001.

Section 655:42

 655:42 Number. –
I. It shall require the names of 3,000 registered voters, 1,500 from each United States congressional district in the state, to nominate by nomination papers a candidate for president, United States senator, or governor.
II. It shall require the names of 1,500 voters registered in the district to nominate by nomination papers a candidate for United States representative; 750 to nominate a candidate for councilor or state senator; and 150 to nominate a candidate for state representative or county officer.
III. It shall require the names of registered voters equaling 3 percent of the total votes cast at the previous state general election to nominate by nomination papers a political organization.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 412:1. 1996, 36:5. 2001, 142:3; 185:3. 2009, 214:6, eff. Sept. 13, 2009.

Section 655:43

 655:43 Filing Deadline. –
I. Nomination papers shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday one week before the primary. Nomination papers to be filed shall be grouped by municipality. No nomination papers shall be accepted by the secretary of state unless the candidate shall have met the age and domicile qualifications for the office he or she seeks at the time of the general election and meets all the other qualifications at the time of filing; and if a candidate for the office of governor, executive councilor, state senator, or state representative, unless the candidate shall file with the nomination papers an affidavit of qualifications as provided in RSA 655:28 and 655:29; and if a candidate for United States senator or United States representative, unless the candidate shall meet the qualifications for office under RSA 655:3 and 655:4.
II. No candidate who intends to run for any state or federal office in the state general election by means of nomination papers shall have his or her name placed on the ballot unless the candidate files a declaration of intent, as provided in RSA 655:17-a or 655:17-b, within the filing deadline required by RSA 655:14-a. Any person who files on the last day of the filing period must do so in person before the secretary of state.
III. No political organization shall have the names of its candidates placed on the ballot unless the chairman of the organization files a declaration of intent, as provided in RSA 655:17-c, within the filing deadline for candidates established in RSA 655:14-a.
IV. No person who filed as a candidate in the state primary election shall be eligible to have his or her name placed on the ballot for the state general election by submitting nomination papers as provided in this subdivision.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 531:5. 1985, 121:8. 1996, 36:6. 2001, 142:4. 2009, 214:7, eff. Sept. 13, 2009.

Section 655:44

 655:44 Objections. – Nomination papers made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be regarded as valid and shall be received by the secretary of state unless objection thereto is made in writing no later than the Monday following the last day for the filing of such papers.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:8, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 655:45

 655:45 Nomination Papers Protected. – No person shall falsely make or file or knowingly deface or destroy any nomination paper, or any part thereof, or sign any nomination paper contrary to the provisions of law knowing the same, or any part thereof, to be falsely made or suppress any nomination paper, or any part thereof, which has been duly filed. Whoever knowingly violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or be guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Withdrawal

Section 655:46

 655:46 Withdrawal. – Where a nomination has been made according to this chapter, no withdrawal or declination of a candidate shall be accepted by the secretary of state except as provided in RSA 655:38.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Presidential Nominations

Section 655:47

 655:47 Declaration of Candidacy. –
I. The names of any persons to be voted upon as candidates for president at the presidential primary shall be printed on the ballots upon the filing of declarations of candidacy with the secretary of state in the following form and signed by the candidate:
I, _______________, swear under penalties of perjury that I am qualified to be a candidate for president of the United States pursuant to article II, section 1, clause 4 of the United States Constitution, which states, “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.” I further declare that I am domiciled in __________, in the city (or town or unincorporated place) of _______________, county of _______________, state of __________, that I am a registered member of the __________ party; that I am a candidate for nomination for the office of president to be made at the primary election to be held on the __________ day of __________; and I hereby request that my name be printed on the official primary ballot of said __________ party as a candidate for such nomination.
II. Declarations of candidacy shall be filed between the first Monday in November and the third Friday in November, or during such other time period as the secretary of state shall announce.
III. The decision of the secretary of state as to the regularity of declarations of candidacy filed under this section shall be final.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 298:1. 1994, 4:9. 1999, 161:3. 2006, 72:1. 2009, 33:1. 2010, 50:1, eff. July 17, 2010.

Section 655:48

 655:48 Fees. –
I. No candidate for the office of president shall have his or her name placed on the ballot for the presidential primary unless the candidate shall pay to the secretary of state at the time of filing the declaration of candidacy a fee of $1,000.
II. Any person otherwise qualified to run for president, who is unable to pay the filing fee as prescribed in paragraph I by reason of indigence may, after proving such indigence, have his or her name printed on the presidential primary ballot of any party by filing with the secretary of state 10 primary petitions from each county of the state signed by registered voters of the party, who are domiciled in New Hampshire, together with one written assent to candidacy pursuant to RSA 655:25. The primary petition shall be in substantially the following form:

State of New Hampshire

I do hereby join in a petition for the printing on the presidential primary ballot of the name of __________ whose domicile is in the city (town) of _______________ (street and number and ward if in a city) _______________, in the county of __________, state of _______________, for the office of president to be voted for on Tuesday, the __________ day of __________, 20___, and certify that I am qualified to vote for a candidate for said office, that I am a registered member of the __________ party, and am not at this time a signer of any other similar petition for any other candidate for the above office.

Voter’s Signature

Print Voter’s Name

Voter’s Domicile

street address

 

Town or City (Ward)

 

Voter’s Mailing Address

street

 

Town or City Zip Code

 

I certify that the signer above is a registered member of the __________ party and a registered voter in the town/city of _______________.
Date of Filing __________
Signature of Town (City) Clerk __________

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 298:2. 1998, 246:2. 2009, 33:2, eff. July 14, 2009.

Section 655:49

 655:49 Notification of Candidate. – [Repealed 1983, 298:3, eff. Aug. 17, 1983.]

Section 655:50

 655:50 Selection of Delegates. – Each presidential candidate who has filed pursuant to RSA 655:47 shall file with the secretary of state no later than the third Friday following the last day of the filing period for the presidential primary the names and addresses in alphabetical order of the delegates and their alternates, one alternate per delegate, who shall represent the candidate as his or her delegation to the national convention.

Source. 1979, 367:1; 436:1. 1983, 352:1. 1994, 4:10. 2007, 212:1, eff. June 25, 2007.

Section 655:51

 655:51 Certification of Delegates Selected. – All delegates and their alternates selected by each candidate in the presidential primary shall file with the secretary of state the following certification:
I, __________, certify that my domicile is in ward __________ in the city (or town) of __________, county of __________, state of New Hampshire, and am a qualified voter therein; that I am a registered member of the __________ party; that, if selected, I shall serve as delegate or alternate to the national convention of the __________ party next to be held for the nomination of candidates of said party for president and vice-president of the United States. I further certify that, if selected as delegate or alternate delegate, I will attend such convention unless I shall be prevented by sickness or other occurrence over which I have no control. I pledge myself, if selected as delegate or alternate delegate to said convention, whenever I shall vote, to vote for the nomination of (inserting the name of any person) as the candidate for said party for president so long as he shall be a candidate before said convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 655:52

 655:52 Vacancies. – [Repealed 1994, 4:34, eff. May 27, 1994.]

Section 655:53

 655:53 By Nomination Papers. – Candidates for president may be nominated by nomination papers as provided in RSA 655:40 through 655:45.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 19:2, eff. July 6, 2010.

Section 655:54

 655:54 Nomination of Presidential Electors. – Presidential electors shall be nominated by state party conventions as provided in RSA 667:21.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Nominations for Special State Elections

Section 655:55 to 655:80

 655:55 to 655:80 Repealed. – [Repealed 1981, 512:5, eff. Aug. 28, 1981.]

Section 655:81

 655:81 Nomination of U.S. Representative, Executive Councilor, State Senator and Representative to the General Court. –
The nomination of candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives or for the executive council or for the state senate or for representative to the general court for special elections shall be accomplished through the holding of special election primaries. The filing of candidates for such primaries and all other matters connected with such primaries shall be the same as for primaries before a state general election except that:

I. The special election shall be held on a Tuesday not less than 110 nor more than 124 days following the day that the governor and council declare that there shall be a special election; provided, however, that if one or more municipalities where a special election for state representative will be held have a regularly-scheduled election occurring between 80 and 180 days following the day that the governor and council declare that there shall be a special election, the governor and council shall set the date of the election to coincide with the regularly-scheduled election if a majority of the towns or wards, as represented by the city, jointly request that day; if towns or wards, as represented by the city, request that the special election coincide with regularly-scheduled elections occurring on different dates, the election shall be held on a Tuesday not less than 110 nor more than 124 days following the day that the governor and council declare that there shall be a special election; and
II. The filing period shall start on the Monday following the date on which the governor and council declare that there shall be a special election and shall end at 5:00 p.m. on the Friday of that week; and
III. Under RSA 655:15, the official with whom state representative candidates shall file shall be the secretary of state, except that a state representative candidate may file with the appropriate town or city clerk under RSA 655:15 or with the secretary of state during the Monday and Tuesday only of the filing period in towns and cities in which the clerk’s office is open on one or both of those days, in which case the town or city clerk shall forward each declaration of candidacy to the secretary of state on the same day on which the declaration is filed; and
IV. The primary shall be held 49 days prior to the special election; and
V. Supplementary primary petitions may be filed as needed no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the filing period; and
VI. The deadline for filing nomination papers shall be no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day set for the primary; and
VII. The notice of the primary in RSA 655:11 shall be prepared by the secretary of state and distributed to the town and city clerks as soon as practicable after the setting of the date for the special election; and
VIII. Under RSA 655:12, clerks shall post notices of special election primaries as soon as possible after they are received; and
IX. The names of all candidates for a party nomination at a special election primary shall be printed in alphabetical order on the ballot according to the alphabetization procedure established in RSA 656:5-a; and
X. The publication of the result provided in RSA 659:89 shall not be required; and
XI. The deadline for any candidate to request a recount pursuant to RSA 660:7 shall be 5:00 p.m. on the day after the election. A candidate having requested a recount pursuant to this paragraph may, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Monday after the primary election, withdraw the request and receive a refund of any fees paid.

Source. 1981, 512:1. 1994, 381:6. 1996, 36:7. 2006, 32:1. 2010, 317:11; 330:2. 2012, 26:1, 2. 2014, 319:11, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.

Section 655:82

 655:82 Uncontested Primary. – In the event that no party has more than one candidate file and no nonparty or other candidate files a declaration of intent, the primary election shall not be conducted. In such a case, the special election shall be held on the day previously fixed as the day for the holding of the special primary election.

Source. 1981, 512:1. 1998, 136:1. 2010, 317:12. 2012, 26:3, eff. July 1, 2012.

CHAPTER 656 – PREPARATION OF VOTING MATERIALS

General Provisions

Section 656:1

 656:1 General Responsibility. – Ballots for use in all state elections shall be prepared and delivered by the secretary of state at the expense of the state.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 656:1-a

 656:1-a Paper Ballots. – For purposes of facilitating the examination and recounting of votes cast, all elections shall be conducted using paper ballots in accordance with this title.

Source. 2006, 23:1, eff. May 30, 2006.

Section 656:2

 656:2 Prohibitions. – No person engaged in preparing or printing a state election ballot shall purloin, give away, or allow to be removed any such ballot. Whoever knowingly violates this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or shall be guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

State General Election

Section 656:3

 656:3 Preparation. – At least 6 days before any state general election is to be held, the official state general election ballot shall be sent by the secretary of state to the city and town clerks.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 656:4

 656:4 Name and Domicile. – Every state general election ballot shall contain the name of each candidate who has been nominated in accordance with the election laws, except as hereinafter provided, and shall contain no other name except party appellations. The names and addresses of the presidential electors shall not be printed on the ballot, but, in lieu thereof, the names of a party’s candidates for president and vice-president shall be printed thereon under the designation for “President and Vice-President of the United States”.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1986, 126:2. 1989, 312:4. 1996, 36:8, eff. June 23, 1996.

Section 656:4-a

 656:4-a Candidates for the Office of United States Senator and United States Representative. [Omitted.] –

Section 656:5

 656:5 Party Columns. –
I. The names of all candidates nominated in accordance with the election laws shall be arranged upon the state general election ballot in successive party columns. Each separate column shall contain the names of the candidates of one party; except that, if only a part of a full list of candidates is nominated by a political party, 2 or more such lists may be arranged whenever practicable in the same column. The party columns that list the names of candidates for offices that elect more than one person shall stagger the names of the candidates so that they do not line up evenly in a horizontal direction. The left-most column shall begin one line below the column to its right. The secretary of state shall determine the vertical location of any additional columns that may appear on the ballot.
II. The position of party columns shall be rotated on the ballots used so that each party column shall appear thereon, to the extent practicable, an approximately equal number of times in the first, last, and each intermediate column position across the state, without requiring more than one unique column order or ballot format for each town, ward, or unincorporated place. Starting with the general election for 2012 and following each new apportionment of representative districts, but before the close of the period during which a person may accept the nomination of a party committee pursuant to RSA 655:32, the secretary of state shall develop as many generic column rotation plans for use in general elections as he or she might reasonably expect to be needed for different possible numbers of party columns on the general election ballot. If the number of party columns expected on the general election ballot changes such that one or more additional generic column rotation plans are needed, the secretary of state shall, from time to time, prepare such additional plans as are needed for any general election.
III. The generic column rotation plans shall be based on a reasonably balanced rotation of party columns within and across all non-floterial state representative districts, those being the smallest representative districts to which each voting place is apportioned pursuant to part I, article 11 of the New Hampshire constitution. Consideration shall also be given to reasonably minimize any obvious, substantial, and avoidable imbalances in column rotation within senate districts. The average deviation from equal rotation for the first party column position, measured across the state as a whole and based on population according to the last decennial federal census, shall be as close to 0 percent as is practicable but in no event greater than 1 percent. Once generic column rotation plans are established the secretary of state shall publish such plans to the department’s website.
IV. Immediately following the close of the period during which a person may accept the nomination of a party committee pursuant to RSA 655:32, the secretary of state or designee shall publicly select by lot the actual party columns to be positioned according to the generic column rotation plan established pursuant to paragraphs II and III. No party shall be assigned the same generic party column designation for 2 consecutive general elections.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 309:1; 381:7. 1998, 356:3. 1999, 202:1. 2000, 226:1. 2001, 231:9. 2004, 201:1. 2007, 141:1. 2010, 330:10, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.

Section 656:5-a

 656:5-a Order of Candidate Names on Ballots. –
I. Whenever there are 2 or more candidates for the same office whose names will appear together within the same column or list on a ballot, the position of such names shall be determined according to this section.
II. Immediately following the close of the period during which a person may accept the nomination of a party committee pursuant to RSA 655:32, the secretary of state or designee shall conduct a public random selection of a whole number from one to the total number of candidates for each possible list length where a group of candidates for the same office may appear in the same list in state or local elections during the next 2 years. For example, for a possible list of 3 candidates, the number one, 2, or 3 shall be randomly selected. The seed number for each possible list length shall remain in effect for the 2 years until the next random selection of seed numbers.
III. To determine the order of names on each ballot, the candidates for each office in the same list shall be temporarily listed alphabetically by surnames and the positions in such list shall be temporarily numbered in ascending order. The candidate whose position in the initial temporary list equals the seed number selected under paragraph II for the appropriate list length shall appear first on the ballot. The order of candidates after the candidate in the first position shall follow alphabetically by surname with “a” following “z.”

Source. 2010, 330:3, eff. July 20, 2010.

Section 656:6

 656:6 Designation of Office. – Immediately to the left of the set of party columns shall be an offices column which shall list the offices, each preceded by the word “For,” for which the candidates whose names are listed in the party columns have been nominated, as in “For Governor.” Below each such phrase shall be printed in small but easily legible letters “Vote for not more than ____ (here insert a number designating how many persons are to be voted for).”

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1986, 126:3. 1994, 309:2; 324:1. 2004, 201:2. 2005, 62:1, eff. July 22, 2005.

Section 656:7

 656:7 Order of Offices. – The order of the officers on the ballot shall be as follows: president and vice-president of the United States, governor, United States senator, representative in congress, executive councilor, state senator, state representative and county officers.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:3. 1986, 126:4. 1991, 117:1. 1994, 309:3, eff. June 8, 1994.

Section 656:7-a

 656:7-a Order of Representative Districts. – In places which are electing representatives to the general court from more than one district, the order of officers on the ballot for that place shall list the candidates for representative to the general court in the numerical order of the districts from which they are running with the lower numbered district being listed first.

Source. 1982, 29:5, eff. April 20, 1982.

Section 656:8

 656:8 Squares. – Directly at the right of the name of each candidate there shall be a square, box, oval, or other appropriate symbol for directing voters where to make the appropriate mark; except that, in the case of president and vice-president of the United States, one square, box, oval, or other appropriate symbol shall suffice which shall be placed opposite the designation “President and Vice-President of the United States”.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1986, 126:5. 2004, 229:6, eff. Aug. 10, 2004.

Section 656:9

 656:9 Party Designation. – Above each party column shall be printed in large, plain letters the name of the political party by which the candidates in such column were nominated.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 309:4; 381:8. 2004, 201:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.

Section 656:10

 656:10 Straight Ticket Voting. – [Repealed 2007, 1:2, I, eff. June 15, 2007.]

Section 656:11

 656:11 Party Emblem. – [Repealed 2007, 1:2, II, eff. June 15, 2007.]

Section 656:12

 656:12 Write-In Blanks. – At the end of the list of candidates for each office, there shall be left as many blank lines as there are offices to be filled which a voter may use to write in the name of any person for whom the voter desires to vote.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 309:6. 1996, 88:1, eff. July 14, 1996.

Section 656:13

 656:13 Questions on the Ballot. – Except as provided in RSA 656:14, whenever a question is submitted to voters at a state general election as provided in RSA 663, the question shall be printed on the state general election ballot following the offices columns. Printed after the question there shall be 2 squares or ovals, one with the word “yes” beside it and another with the word “no” beside it.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 309:7; 324:2. 2010, 317:13, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 656:14

 656:14 Constitutional Amendments. – The question of whether to approve a proposed constitutional amendment may be submitted to the vote of the people at a state general election but may be on a special and separate ballot as provided in RSA 663:2.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 656:15

 656:15 Paper. – The state general election ballot shall be printed on plain white paper in weight not less than that of ordinary printing paper. A constitutional question submitted on a separate ballot shall be printed on colored paper.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 656:16

 656:16 Uniformity; Folding. – There shall be no impression or mark to distinguish one general election ballot from another. The names of all candidates shall be printed in uniform type, and the ballots for each town and city shall be such that their width and length when folded shall be uniform.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 656:17

 656:17 Endorsement. – On each state general election ballot shall be printed the words “Official ballot for” followed by the name of the town for which the ballot is prepared, the date of the state general election and a facsimile of the signature of the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:14, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 656:18

 656:18 Sample Ballots. – The secretary of state shall cause to be printed for each town 10 sample ballots. Such ballots shall be printed on tinted paper without facsimile endorsement but shall otherwise be identical to the state general election ballot. The sample ballots shall be forwarded as soon as printed to each town or ward clerk who shall post one copy in 2 public places in the town or ward within one day of their receipt and save the remainder to be posted on the day of the election as provided in RSA 658:26.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:15, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.

Section 656:19

 656:19 Number. – At each state general election, the secretary of state shall furnish each town or city the state general election ballots in a number which the secretary of state shall deem sufficient for voting in the state general election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:4. 2007, 96:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2007.

Section 656:20

 656:20 Delivery of Ballots; Inspection. –
I. The secretary of state shall send the state general election ballots in a sealed package to the town and city clerks so they shall receive them no later than Tuesday immediately preceding the day of the state general election. The package shall be marked on the outside to clearly designate the town or city for which it is intended and the number of ballots enclosed. The secretary of state shall keep a record of the time when and the manner in which the packages were sent to the clerks and a record of the number of ballots so forwarded. A town or city clerk shall sign a receipt for the ballots received.
II. Each town or city clerk, prior to election day, shall open the package in which the ballots are enclosed, in the presence of at least one other legal voter, to verify that the ballots in the package are all the proper ballots for that town or city. The clerk and one other legal voter shall then reseal the package with the sealing label provided by the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 383:1. 1994, 4:11, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 656:21

 656:21 Pasters; Substitute Candidates. – In the event that a candidate dies or is disqualified as provided in RSA 655:38 or 655:39, the name of the substitute candidate shall be printed on the state general election ballot. If the state general election ballots have already been prepared and time will permit, the secretary of state may authorize adhesive slips or pasters with the name of the substitute candidate thereon to be printed and sent to the town or city clerks representing the territory wherein the deceased or disqualified candidate was to be voted for. Such paster shall be affixed to the ballots as provided in RSA 658:34. The name of the substitute candidate shall be received by the secretary of state no later than the Tuesday prior to the election in order for a substitute name to be placed on the ballot.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:10, eff. June 18, 1990.

State Primary Election

Section 656:22

 656:22 Preparation. – The official state primary election ballots shall be prepared by the secretary of state and shall be delivered by the secretary of state to town and city clerks so that the ballots shall be received not later than the Tuesday immediately preceding the state primary election. Each town and city clerk, in the presence of at least one other legal voter, shall verify the contents of the ballot package as provided under RSA 656:20 and reseal the ballots for use on election day.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 383:2. 1994, 4:12. 1996, 88:2, eff. July 14, 1996.

Section 656:23

 656:23 General Form. – The state primary election ballot shall be as nearly as practicable in the same form as the state general election ballot.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 309:8, eff. June 8, 1994; 324:3, eff. June 8, 1994, at 12:01 a.m.

Section 656:24

 656:24 Order of Names. – With the exception of the office of state representative, whenever there are 2 or more candidates for nomination to the same office, the names of such candidates shall be alternated on the state primary election ballots used so that each name shall appear thereon as nearly as may be an equal number of times at the top, at the bottom, and in each intermediate place, if any, of the list in which it belongs. Names of candidates for nomination to the office of state representative shall be arranged in the alphabetical order of their surnames according to the alphabetization procedure established in RSA 656:5-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 324:4. 1996, 88:3. 2010, 330:4, eff. July 20, 2010.

Section 656:25

 656:25 Color; Party Designation. – The state primary election ballots of all parties shall be printed upon colored paper, but no ballots of any political party shall be printed upon paper of the same or a closely similar color as the ballots of another political party. On the back of each ballot shall be printed in prominent type the name of the party.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 656:26

 656:26 Number. – The secretary of state shall furnish to each town or ward clerk the state primary election ballots of each political party in a number which the secretary of state shall deem sufficient for voting in the state primary.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:5. 1989, 133:1. 1994, 4:13. 1996, 88:4, eff. July 14, 1996.

Section 656:27

 656:27 Number for New Party. – For the first state primary election at which a political party has candidates for nomination, the secretary of state shall print for said party a sufficient number of state primary election ballots which in the secretary of state’s discretion shall most closely approximate the figures provided in RSA 656:26.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1996, 88:4, eff. July 14, 1996.

Section 656:28

 656:28 Sample Ballots. – The secretary of state shall furnish 10 sample state primary election ballots of each political party printed on tinted paper to each town or ward clerk and, upon request, a reasonable number of such sample ballots to each person whose name appears upon the ballot as a candidate. Each town or ward clerk shall post one sample ballot of each political party in each of 2 public places in the clerk’s town or ward within one day of receiving such sample ballots and save the remainder to be posted on the day of the primary as provided in RSA 658:26.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:6. 1996, 88:4. 2013, 209:3, eff. Sept. 8, 2013.

Presidential Primary Election

Section 656:29

 656:29 Preparation. – The official presidential primary election ballot for each political party shall be sent by the secretary of state so as to be received by the city and town clerks no later than the Tuesday immediately preceding the presidential primary. Each town and city clerk, in the presence of at least one other legal voter, shall verify the contents of the ballot package as provided under RSA 656:20 and reseal the ballots for use on election day.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 383:3. 1994, 4:14, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 656:30

 656:30 General Form. – The presidential primary election ballot shall be as nearly as practicable in the same form as the state primary election ballot.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 656:31

 656:31 Form. – On the presidential primary election ballot of each political party, there shall be one column for the office of president. The column shall be headed “Candidate of the (insert name of party) Party for President of the United States.” Underneath this heading there shall appear the words: “I hereby declare my preference for candidate for the office of President of the United States to be as follows.” Below these words, there shall be printed “(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ONE)” followed by the name, town or city, and state of each candidate with boxes directly to the right. There shall always be one blank space on the ballot below the candidates’ names to allow for writing in the name of a candidate.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 284:4. 2007, 331:1. 2009, 33:3, eff. July 14, 2009.

Section 656:32

 656:32 Other Provisions. – The provisions of RSA 656:24-656:28 relating to state primary election ballots shall apply to presidential primary ballots.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 319:143. 2015, 96:1, eff. July 5, 2015.

Absentee Voters

Section 656:33

 656:33 Official Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability Absentee Ballots. – Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare, in such quantity as the secretary of state may deem necessary, absence, religious observance, and disability absentee ballots in the same form as nearly as practicable as the official ballot to be used at said election. Said absentee ballots shall have the words “absentee ballot” printed on them and shall be similarly endorsed and printed on paper of the same color as that used for official ballots.

Source. 1979, 308:1; 436:1. 1981, 392:2. 1996, 88:5, eff. July 14, 1996.

Section 656:34

 656:34 Federal Offices Only Absentee Ballot. – Prior to any federal election, the secretary of state shall prepare, in such quantity as the secretary of state may deem necessary, federal offices only absentee ballots in paper and electronic form, similar in form to the official ballot to be used at said election. Said ballots shall have the words “federal offices only absentee ballot” on them and shall be endorsed and the paper version shall be printed on paper of the same color as that used for official ballots. Such ballots shall provide for voting absentee only for candidates seeking election to federal offices and for no other candidates.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 392:2. 1996, 88:5. 2010, 317:15, eff. Sept. 15, 2010.

Section 656:35

 656:35 Absentee Ballot for Uniformed Services Voters and Voters Temporarily Residing Outside the United States. – Absent uniformed services voters and voters temporarily residing outside the United States shall be provided with the absentee ballot prepared under RSA 656:33, provided that the secretary of state shall prepare an electronic version of such ballot for use by any absent uniformed services voter or voter temporarily residing outside the United States who requests that his or her absentee ballot be transmitted to the voter electronically pursuant to RSA 657:19.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1996, 88:5. 2010, 317:16, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 656:36

 656:36 Questions on the Ballot. – Whenever a question to voters is printed on an official state election ballot, the secretary of state shall ensure that said question is also on all applicable absentee ballots.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:17, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 656:37

 656:37 Constitutional Amendments. – Whenever a question to voters related to a proposed constitutional amendment is placed on a separate ballot as provided in RSA 663:3, the question shall also be placed on a separate absentee ballot to be included with each absentee ballot other than federal offices only absentee ballots.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 392:3. 2010, 317:18, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 656:38

 656:38 Forwarding Absentee Ballots. – The secretary of state shall forward absentee ballots to the town and city clerks as provided in RSA 657:10.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Voters in Unincorporated Places

Section 656:39

 656:39 Preparation of Special Ballots. – The secretary of state shall prepare special state election ballots for voters of unincorporated places as provided in RSA 668.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:36, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Electronic Ballot Counting Devices

Section 656:40

 656:40 Adoption. – The mayor and aldermen of any city or the selectmen of any town, subject to the approval of the ballot law commission, may authorize the use of one or more electronic ballot counting devices for the counting of ballots in such city or town on a trial basis for any regular or special election and pay the expense of such trial from any available funds. The use of such devices so authorized shall be valid for all purposes. Any town, or the mayor and aldermen of any city, may vote to lease or purchase electronic ballot counting devices for the elections held in said town or city. Any town, or the mayor and aldermen of any city, so acting shall notify the secretary of state of the action taken in regard to electronic ballot counting devices; and, after said action, electronic ballot counting devices shall be used in said town or city in accordance with said vote or authorization. If a special state election involving a state representative district occurs in a city or town that has adopted the provisions of RSA 656:40, the secretary of state may prepare and issue paper ballots which shall be used.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2009, 70:2. 2014, 65:1, eff. July 26, 2014.

Section 656:41

 656:41 Approval by Ballot Law Commission. – The ballot law commission shall act as a board to examine devices for the electronic counting of ballots. The commission shall, whenever requested, examine any device which may be capable of meeting the requirements for elections held in this state. The commission shall approve such device in its discretion, and no device shall be used in any election in this state unless it reads the voter’s choice on a paper ballot and is of a type so approved by the ballot law commission. Any device that is altered must be re-approved before it is used in any election in this state. For the purposes of this section, a device shall be considered altered if any mechanical or electronic part, hardware, software, or programming has been altered.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 118:2. 1998, 311:2. 2009, 70:2, eff. Aug. 8, 2009.

Section 656:42

 656:42 Rules. –
I. The ballot law commission shall make such rules as may be necessary to ensure the accuracy of electronic ballot counting devices, including rules for the testing of electronic ballot counting devices prior to each election and the submission of testing records to the secretary of state. The ballot law commission shall make such rules as may be necessary in order that electronic ballot counting devices may be used in this state in such a manner that the election laws may be complied with as far as possible. Said commission shall have the power and authority in making rules to declare certain laws relative to distribution and marking of ballots and other requirements inconsistent with the use of electronic ballot counting devices ineffective in towns and cities adopting such a method of voting. The presiding officer at each polling place shall enforce the rules of the ballot law commission made under the authority of this section.
II. Consistent with the rules of the ballot law commission the secretary of state shall include protocols for the testing of electronic ballot counting devices in the election manual authorized by RSA 652:22. Each device shall be tested after installation and prior to each election.
III. Any company, partnership, proprietorship, or other person, wherever located, which supplies, maintains, or programs electronic ballot counting devices which are used in elections in New Hampshire is subject to regulation by this state.
IV. Each person described in paragraph III shall designate, in writing, an agent for service of all process, including, but not limited to summonses, writs, orders, petitions, and subpoenas, and shall agree in writing that the attorney general, in conjunction with any election investigation, may inspect its records, machines or other devices, and premises.
V. Any such person described in paragraph III who fails to properly program and test electronic ballot counting devices shall be liable to reimburse the state for the cost of any recount which is necessitated by such failure.
VI. Any person who knowingly violates the testing procedures established under this section or the rules of the ballot law commission shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.
VII. Each electronic ballot counting device shall have a memory card, a metal bar covering the inserted memory card, a canvas cover closed by 2 zippers, 2 hard shell covers on the front of the device, a hard shell cover on the rear of the device, and 3 communication ports in the rear of the device.
VIII.

(a) Before each election, the vendor for any electronic ballot counting device shall provide the secretary of state with an exact electronic record of the data written to each memory card to be used in the election.
(b) The town or city clerk shall preserve each memory card used at each election until after the recounts for such election are complete and any and all legal challenges to the outcome of that election are adjudicated.
(c) The town or city clerk shall securely preserve each memory card used in any election as directed by the secretary of state.
(d)

(1) To help ensure that the counting device cannot be tampered with or improperly accessed, the town or city clerk shall employ electronic ballot counting device seals specified by the secretary of state and seal the electronic ballot counting device in the following areas:

(A) The connection of the 2 zippers on the closed canvas cover of the counting device.
(B) The metal bar in front of the inserted memory card.
(C) Electronic ballot counting device housing:

(i) The seam connecting the 2 hard shell covers on the front of the counting device.
(ii) The seam connecting the hard shell cover on the rear of the counting device.
(iii) The 3 communication ports in the rear of the counting device.

(2) The town or city clerk shall update an activity log supplied by the secretary of state to keep a record each time a counting device seal is broken and a new one installed, and the reason for which the seal was broken.
(3) No person shall break a counting device seal without the presence of 2 witnesses. Upon breaking such seal, the person responsible shall update the activity log, obtain the signatures of each witness, record the reason for breaking such seal, ensure that it is resealed with a new seal immediately, and properly record the new seal number in the activity log.
(4) Before the moderator places into service a counting device on election day, the moderator shall verify all counting device seals have been maintained intact, and any seals which have been broken have been promptly resealed and the activity log properly recorded and signed.
(5) If, on election day, the moderator notices that any seal on the counting device appears tampered with or broken without an adequate record in the activity log, the moderator shall refrain from using the counting device in that election, and shall report the apparent tampering to the attorney general, the secretary of state, the town or city clerk, and the selectmen.
(6) The counting device and the activity log shall be subject to review by the attorney general or secretary of state at any time.
(7) Whenever the town or city clerk receives a memory card from the vendor, the clerk shall break the memory card seal, insert the memory card in the electronic ballot counting device, and apply a new seal. The clerk shall lock any memory card not inserted into an electronic ballot counting device in a safe and record the names of individuals that have access to such safe on the activity log.
(8) Whenever the town or city clerk removes the memory card from the electronic ballot counting device, the clerk shall immediately return it to the memory card programmer and reseal the metal bar in front of the empty memory card slot.

(e)

(1) The town or city clerk shall give public notice of the date and time of a pre-election test of the electronic ballot counting device and ballots.
(2) Upon receipt of the official ballots from the secretary of state, the town or city clerk shall remove the number of ballots needed to test the electronic ballot counting device from among the official ballots and keep them separate and secure from the remaining official ballots thereafter.
(3) The town or city clerk shall mark any ballots used for testing with the words “TEST.”
(4) The town or city clerk shall mark the test ballots in such a way as to demonstrate a vote for each candidate on at least one test ballot, as well as votes for less than and more than the number of candidates that may be voted for an office, write-ins, multiple votes for a candidate who appears in more than one party column for the same office on a general election ballot, and ballots on which there are no votes. The clerk shall mark as many as possible of the combinations of choices that a voter may indicate on the ballot.
(5) The town or city clerk shall run each of the test ballots through the counting device in the following orientations: Top first with side one face up, bottom first with side one face up, top first with side one face down, and bottom first with side one face down.
(6) The town or city clerk shall count the votes marked on the test ballots run though the electronic ballot counting device and multiply the results by 4 to account for the 4 different orientations, and check these results against the tally from the electronic ballot counting device.
(7) If the electronic ballot counting device’s tally does not match the count of the town or city clerk, the clerk shall notify the moderator, who shall order that the electronic ballot counting device not be used at the election.
(8) The pre-election test shall be completed no later than the Wednesday immediately prior to the election.
(9) The town or city clerk shall document the pre-election test by preserving:

(A) The test ballots.
(B) The count of votes on the test ballots made by the town or city clerk.
(C) The results from the electronic ballot counting device that was tested.

(10) The clerk shall test all electronic ballot counting devices and memory cards in the possession of the town or city.
(11) Prior to placing the electronic ballot counting device or any memory card into service in an election, the moderator shall certify that there is evidence that pre-election testing was conducted on each electronic ballot counting device and each memory card in the town or city clerk’s possession, and that these devices and cards have passed the test.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1998, 311:3. 2009, 70:3. 2010, 317:70, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 656:43

 656:43 Lease or Purchase. – Any town or city authorizing the use of an electronic ballot counting device for the counting of ballots shall pay the cost of lease or purchase. When such a device is purchased by a town or city, the person from whom such device is purchased shall give to the secretary of state a suitable bond with sufficient sureties to keep such device in good working order for not less than 2 years at the seller’s own expense.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2009, 70:4, eff. Aug. 8, 2009.

Section 656:43-a

 656:43-a Replacement. – [Repealed 2009, 70:7, eff. Aug. 8, 2009.]

Section 656:44

 656:44 Listing Names; Voting Machines. – [Repealed 1997, 195:2, eff. Aug. 17, 1997.]

CHAPTER 657 – ABSENTEE VOTING

Eligibility

Section 657:1

 657:1 Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability Absentee Voting. –

I. Any person who is absent on the day of any state election from the city, town, or unincorporated place in which he or she is registered to vote or who cannot appear in public on any election day because of his or her observance of a religious commitment or who is unable to vote there in person by reason of physical disability may vote at such elections as provided in this chapter. A person who is unable to appear at any time during polling hours at his or her polling place because of an employment obligation shall be considered absent for purposes of this chapter. For the purposes of this section, the term “employment” shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.

II. When the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, blizzard warning, or ice storm warning for election day applicable to the city, town, or unincorporated place:
(a) A person who is elderly or infirm or who has a physical disability, who otherwise would have voted in person but has concerns for his or her safety traveling in the storm, shall be considered absent for purposes of this chapter and may vote absentee on the Monday immediately prior to the election.
(b) A person who cares for children or infirm adults who reasonably anticipates that school, child care, or adult care will be canceled, who otherwise would have voted in person but will be deterred from voting by the need to care for children or infirm adults, shall be considered absent for purposes of this chapter and may vote absentee on the Monday immediately prior to the election.
(c) As required by RSA 652:20, the clerk’s office shall be open to receive applications for absentee ballots, to provide voters the opportunity to complete absentee ballots, and to receive returned ballots on the Monday immediately prior to an election at a minimum from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The clerk may designate a deputy clerk or assistant to provide this service, provided the individual has taken the oath of office and has been trained in the requirements for using an absentee ballot and the procedures for issuing and receiving absentee ballots.

Source. 1979, 308:2; 436:1. 2006, 136:1, eff. July 21, 2006. 2016, 130:1, eff. May 27, 2016. 2018, 329:4.

Section 657:2

 657:2 UOCAVA Voters. –
Any person who is eligible to vote as a UOCAVA voter in any city or town may vote absentee as follows:

I. A person qualified as an absent uniformed services voter as provided in RSA 654:3 may vote absentee at any state election in the New Hampshire city or town which was his or her last home as provided in this chapter.
II. A person qualified as provided in RSA 654:3 whose current domicile is in the New Hampshire town or ward where he or she is registered to vote, but who is temporarily residing outside the United States may vote absentee in all state elections.
III. A person qualified as provided in RSA 654:3 whose current domicile is outside the United States may vote absentee in elections for federal offices only as provided in this chapter.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:19, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:3

 657:3 Armed Services Voter. – [Repealed 2010, 317:71, III, eff. July 18, 2010.]

Application

Section 657:4

 657:4 Forms. –
I. Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare the appropriate application forms for absentee ballots worded in substantially the following form. The secretary of state shall insert the names of all parties qualified as set forth in RSA 652:11 in the list of parties on the application form. The secretary of state shall prepare the application forms in such quantity as he or she deems necessary:

Absence (Excluding Absence Due to Residence Outside the United States),

Religious Observance, and Disability:

I hereby declare that (check one):

_____ I am a duly qualified voter who is currently registered to vote in this town/ward.

_____ I am absent from the town/city where I am domiciled and will be until after the next election, or I am unable to register in person due to a disability, and request that the forms necessary for absentee voter registration be sent to me with the absentee ballot.

I will be entitled to vote by absentee ballot because (check one):

_____ I plan to be absent on the day of the election from the city, town, or unincorporated place where I am domiciled.

_____ I am requesting a ballot for the presidential primary election and I may be absent on the day of the election from the city, town, or unincorporated place where I am domiciled, but the date of the election has not been announced. I understand that I may only make such a request 14 days after the filing period for candidates has closed, and that if I will not be absent on the date of the election I am not eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

_____ I cannot appear in public on election day because of observance of a religious commitment.

_____ I am unable to vote in person due to a disability.

_____ I cannot appear at any time during polling hours at my polling place because of an employment obligation. For the purposes of this application, the term “employment” shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.

For use only on the Monday immediately prior to the election:  I cannot appear at my polling place on election day because the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, blizzard warning, or ice storm warning for election day applicable to my city, town, or unincorporated place and either (check one):

______ I am elderly or infirm or I have a physical disability, and would otherwise vote in person but I have concerns for my safety traveling in the storm.

______ I anticipate that school, child care, or adult care will be canceled, and would otherwise vote in person but will need to care for children or infirm adults.

Any person who votes or attempts to vote using an absentee ballot who is not entitled to vote by absentee ballot shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. RSA 657:24.

I am requesting an official absentee ballot for the following election (check one):

_____ Presidential Primary to be held on ________________

(MM/DD/YYYY)

(The date may appear as blank when the date is not known.)

_____ State Primary to be held on ________________

(MM/DD/YYYY)

_____ General Election

For primary elections, I am a member of or I am now declaring my affiliation with the (check one):

_____ Republican Party

_____ Democratic Party

___ (name of any party determined by the secretary of state to have achieved official status under RSA 652:11)

and am requesting a ballot for that party’s primary.

Please print:

Applicant’s Name:

 

(Last) (First) (Middle) (Sr., Jr., II., III)

Applicant’s Voting Domicile (home address):

 

(Street Number) (Street Name) (Apt/Unit) (City/Town) (Ward) (Zip Code)

Mail the ballot to me at this address (if different than the home address):

 

(Street Number) (Street Name) (Apt/Unit) (City/Town) (Ward) (Zip Code)

Applicant’s Phone Number (optional): _________________________

Applicant’s Email Address (optional): __________________________

Applicant’s Signature: __________________

Date Signed: __________________

(MM/DD/YYYY)

I attest that I assisted the applicant in executing this form because he or she has a disability.

Signature ___________________________ Print Name ___________________________________

If your absentee ballot application or affidavit envelope has the printed name and signature of a person who assisted you with voting, your signature will not be compared to your signature on the absentee ballot affidavit to verify your identity.  Otherwise, if your signatures do not appear to be made by the same person, your absentee ballot may not be counted.

The applicant must sign this form to receive an absentee ballot. Any person who witnesses and assists a voter with a disability in executing this form shall print and sign his or her name in the space provided on the application form. The moderator will not compare the voter’s signature on the application with the signature on the absentee ballot affidavit when a person assisting the voter has signed the statement on the absentee ballot application or affidavit envelope that assistance was provided.

II.

(a) Any person, other than the city or town clerk or the secretary of state, that publishes, mails, or distributes in any manner any written communication that contains a form or post card which a reasonable person would consider as intended to be used by the recipient of the communication to submit a request for an absentee ballot shall identify who is publishing, mailing, or distributing the communication, and attach a copy of the form prepared by the secretary of state pursuant to paragraph I of this section to the communication or include in the communication a complete facsimile of the form prepared by the secretary of state pursuant to paragraph I of this section.
(b) Any person that publishes, mails, or distributes forms as described in subparagraph (a) as part of any communication that is made for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures, as defined in RSA 664:2, shall be identified in the same manner as political advertising under RSA 664:14.
(c) Any person that violates this paragraph shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000, to be imposed in the manner set forth in RSA 659:34, III-V.

III. The federal official post card form shall constitute the form made available by the secretary of state pursuant to RSA 654:20 for absentee ballot applications by UOCAVA voters.

Source. 1979, 308:3, 4; 436:1. 1988, 73:3. 2006, 136:5. 2007, 212:2. 2009, 288:2. 2010, 317:20, eff. July 18, 2010. 2016, 90:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; 130:2, eff. May 27, 2016. 2017, 49:1, eff. July 11, 2017; 216:6, eff. July 11, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. 2018, 165:2.

Section 657:5

 657:5 Forwarding Forms. – The secretary of state shall retain for his own use so many application forms for absentee ballots as he may deem necessary and shall supply each town and city clerk in the state with so many of them as he may deem sufficient.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 657:6

 657:6 Procedure by Applicant. – An application form for an absentee ballot shall be mailed or delivered to any person who applies therefor to the secretary of state or to any town or city clerk. It shall be filled out by the applicant and sent to the clerk of the town or city in which he or she desires to vote. Alternatively, a person may apply for an official absentee ballot by sending to said clerk a written statement containing the information required by RSA 657:4, I or by the federal official post card form.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 209:5. 2010, 317:21, eff. July 18, 2010.

Absentee Ballots and Related Materials

Section 657:7

 657:7 Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability. –
Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare the following forms in such quantity as he deems necessary:

I. Absence, religious observance, and disability absentee ballots as provided in RSA 656:33.
II. Affidavit envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots on which shall be printed the following:

(a) Absence from City or Town. A person voting by absentee ballot because of absence from the city or town in which he or she is entitled to vote shall fill out and sign the following certificate:
I do hereby certify under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below that I am a voter in the city or town of _______________, New Hampshire, in ward __________; that I will be unable to appear at any time during polling hours at my polling place because I will be working on election day, or I am voting on the Monday immediately prior to the election, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, blizzard warning, or ice storm warning, and I am elderly or infirm, have a physical disability, or have to care for children or infirm adults, or I will be otherwise absent on election day from said city or town and will be unable to vote in person; that I have carefully read (or had read to me because I am blind) the instructions forwarded to me with the ballot herein enclosed, and that I personally marked the ballot within and sealed it in this envelope (or had assistance in marking the ballot and sealing it in this envelope because I am blind). For the purposes of this certification, the term “working” shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.
(Signature) ____________________
In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.
(b) Absence Because of Religious Observance or Physical Disability. A person voting by absentee ballot because of religious observance or physical disability shall fill out and sign the following certificate:
I do hereby certify under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below that I am a voter in the city or town of ____________, New Hampshire, in ward ____________; that I will be observing a religious commitment which prevents me from voting in person or that on account of physical disability I am unable to vote in person; that I have carefully read (or had read to me because I am blind) the instructions forwarded to me with the ballot herein enclosed, and that I personally marked the ballot within and sealed it in this envelope (or had assistance in marking the ballot and sealing it in this envelope because I am blind).

(Signature) ____________________

The signature on this affidavit must appear to be executed by the same person who signed the absentee ballot application. A person assisting a disabled or blind voter shall make and sign a statement on this envelope in the space provided acknowledging the assistance. The moderator will not compare the voter’s signature on this affidavit with the signature on the absentee ballot application when a person assisting the voter has signed the statement on the affidavit that assistance was provided.
In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

III. Return envelopes of size sufficient to contain the preceding envelope addressed to the town and city clerks of the state in which absentee voters shall return their ballots. On the envelopes shall be printed “Enclosed is the ballot of an absentee voter” and, at the top thereof, 4 blank spaces with the words “Name, Voting Address, Ward, Town or City” appropriately printed thereon.
IV. Such explanatory matter and instructions for voters as the secretary of state with the approval of the attorney general shall deem appropriate to carry into effect the purposes hereof.
V. Mailing envelopes large enough to contain all the above materials in which the town and city clerks shall mail or deliver them to absentee voters.

Source. 1979, 308:5; 436:1. 1983, 220:1. 2003, 289:37. 2006, 136:2, eff. July 21, 2006. 2016, 130:3, eff. May 27, 2016. 2017, 216:7, eff. July 10, 2017. 2018, 329:5.

Section 657:8

 657:8 UOCAVA Oath. –
Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare, in such quantity as he or she deems necessary, affidavit envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots and an electronic affidavit containing the following:
UOCAVA Voters
Persons desiring to vote by absentee ballot who are absent uniformed services voters, absent voters temporarily residing outside the United States, and federal ballot only voters domiciled outside the United States shall sign the following oath:
Standard Oath
I swear or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that I am:

1. A member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty; or, an eligible spouse or dependent of such a member; or, a U.S. citizen temporarily residing outside the U.S.; or, other U.S. citizen residing outside the U.S.; and
2. I am a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age (or will be by the date of the election), and I am eligible to vote in the requested jurisdiction; and
3. I have not been convicted of a felony, or other disqualifying offense, or been adjudicated mentally incompetent, or, if so, my voting rights have been reinstated; and
4. I am not registering, requesting a ballot, or voting in any other jurisdiction in the U.S., except the jurisdiction cited in this voting form.
In voting, I have marked and sealed my ballot in private and have not allowed any person to observe the marking of the ballot, except for those authorized to assist voters under state or Federal law. I have not been influenced.
My signature and date below indicate when I completed this document.
The information on this form is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that a material misstatement of fact in completion of this document may constitute grounds for conviction of perjury.
Signed:____________________________________ Date:__________________
Month/Day/Year

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 220:2. 1988, 209:6. 2003, 289:38. 2010, 317:22, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:9

 657:9 Armed Services Voting. – [Repealed 2010, 317:71, IV, eff. July 18, 2010.]

Section 657:10

 657:10 Forwarding Forms. – The secretary of state shall retain for his or her own use so many of the absentee ballots and forms provided for in RSA 657:7 through 657:8 as he or she may deem necessary and shall supply each town and city clerk in the state with as many of them as he or she may deem sufficient. The same shall be provided electronically and in sealed packages which shall be marked on the outside clearly designating the type and number of ballots enclosed. The secretary of state shall keep a record of the date when and the manner in which the absentee ballots were sent to said clerks and of the number of ballots so forwarded. Additional absentee ballots of any type may be obtained as required from the secretary of state upon written application by a town or city clerk.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:23, eff. Sept. 15, 2010.

Section 657:10-a

 657:10-a Write-In Absentee Ballot. – A person entitled to vote by absentee ballot who is an absent uniformed services voter, an absent voter temporarily residing outside the United States, or a voter domiciled outside the United States who is qualified to vote for federal offices only, who certifies that he or she will be unable to receive, mark, and return an absentee ballot sent no later than 45 days before an election by election day may apply for a write-in absentee ballot. The secretary of state shall prepare write-in absentee ballots of all types necessary for each election and make them available to town and city clerks. Clerks shall send a write-in absentee ballot to any qualified UOCAVA voter requesting such ballot without delay for any request received up to 45 days before an election. The ballot and associated forms and instructions shall be sent by mail or electronically as requested by the voter. In completing the ballot, the voter may designate a candidate by writing in the name of the candidate or by writing in the name of a political party next to the title of the office, in which case the ballot shall be counted for that office for the candidate of the political party.

Source. 1986, 126:7. 1994, 218:2. 2007, 212:3. 2010, 317:24, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:10-b

 657:10-b Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. – Absent uniformed services voters, absent voters temporarily residing outside the United States, and federal ballot only voters domiciled outside the United States may use the federal write-in absentee ballot in general, special, and primary elections to vote for federal offices only. As required by federal law, a federal write-in absentee ballot shall not be counted if it is submitted from any location in the United States by an absent voter temporarily residing outside the United States or a federal ballot only voter domiciled outside the United States. The federal write-in absentee ballot shall not be counted if a state absentee ballot is received from the voter. In completing the ballot, the voter may designate a candidate by writing in the name of the candidate or by writing in the name of a political party next to the title of the office, in which case the ballot shall be counted for that office for the candidate of the political party. Clerks may use the federal write-in absentee ballot as a request for an official absentee ballot as provided for in RSA 657:12.

Source. 2010, 317:25. 2011, 72:1, eff. July 15, 2011.

Disqualification of Clerk

Section 657:11

 657:11 Disqualification of Clerk. – [Repealed 1981, 169:1, eff. Aug. 1, 1981.]

Procedure for Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability and Overseas Voting

Section 657:12

 657:12 Provisions for General Election. – Upon receipt of a properly executed application for an official absentee ballot for a general election, whether the form supplied by the secretary of state, the federal official post card form, or a written statement containing the information required by RSA 657:4, I, a town or city clerk shall forthwith ascertain if the applicant is on the checklist of the town or city. If the applicant is on the checklist, the clerk shall send the materials provided for in RSA 657:15 to the applicant and record the information pursuant to RSA 657:15; if not, the clerk shall refuse to certify as provided in RSA 657:16. An application may be transmitted by facsimile to a town or city clerk.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 209:8. 2003, 8:1. 2010, 182:2, eff. June 21, 2010; 317:72, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:13

 657:13 Provisions for State or Presidential Primary Elections. – Upon receipt of a properly executed application for an official absentee ballot for a state or presidential primary election, whether the form supplied by the secretary of state or a written statement containing the information required by RSA 657:4, I, a town or city clerk shall forthwith ascertain if the person is on the checklist of the town or city and is properly registered as to party designation. If such person is found to be on the checklist and to be properly registered or if such person is found to be on the checklist but is not registered as a member of any party, but the information supplied states he or she is applying for a ballot of a political party, the person shall be registered as a member of said party; and, in either case, the clerk shall send the materials provided for in RSA 657:15. If the person is not on the checklist or is registered as a member of a party different from the one whose ballot he or she is applying for, the clerk shall refuse to certify as provided in RSA 657:16. An application may be transmitted by facsimile to a town or city clerk.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 8:2. 2010, 182:3, eff. June 21, 2010; 317:27, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:14

 657:14 Information Furnished. – The supervisors of the checklist shall furnish to the town or city clerks upon their request any information relative to persons entitled to vote in their ward or town which may be necessary to enable them to determine the proper ballot, affidavit, and voting instructions to be sent to an absentee voter. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:28, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:15

 657:15 Sending Absentee Ballots. –
I. When the verification required by RSA 657:12 or 657:13 has been made, the clerk shall retain the application and, without delay, personally deliver, email, or mail to the applicant the appropriate ballot and materials as described in RSA 657:7 through 657:8 or designate an assistant to deliver such materials to the applicant. The clerk’s option to email an absentee ballot to a voter shall apply only to absentee ballot applications from UOCAVA voters. The clerk shall send absentee ballots in response to verified absentee ballot requests until 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. The clerk may not designate as an assistant any person who is a candidate for nomination or office or who is working for such a candidate. Any ballots sent pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be mailed or delivered only by officials from the city or town clerk’s office and delivered only to the applicant. If the address to which the absent voter’s ballot is sent is outside the United States or Canada, such papers shall be sent by air mail. Said clerks shall keep lists of the names and addresses, arranged by voting places, of all applicants to whom official absentee ballots have been sent, and shall identify those official absentee ballots which have been returned to the clerk and shall record the absentee voter applicant information in the statewide centralized voter registration database. The lists shall not be available for public inspection at any time without a court order.
II. Candidates whose names appear on the ballot and persons bearing notarized requests or copies of notarized requests from candidates whose names appear on the ballot may obtain a list of absentee voter applicants from the clerk, excluding voters who have presented to the supervisors of the checklist valid protective orders pursuant to RSA 173-B.
III. Candidates whose names appear on the ballot for statewide office and persons bearing a notarized request from candidates whose names appear on the ballot for statewide office may obtain a statewide list of absentee voter applicants, excluding voters who have presented to the supervisors of the checklist valid protective orders pursuant to RSA 173-B from the secretary of state. Information on the statewide absentee voter list shall be limited to voter name, voter ID number, and the date the absentee ballot was requested.
IV. The subscription fee for providing a statewide list of absentee voters by the secretary of state under this section shall be $2,000 per election, all of which shall be deposited in the election fund under RSA 5:6-d. The secretary of state shall update the original list of absentee voters on a regular basis.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1986, 126:8. 1990, 119:11. 1996, 36:9. 1998, 246:3. 2003, 12:1. 2010, 182:4; 317:73. 2011, 72:2, eff. July 15, 2011. 2016, 317:3, eff. Aug. 23, 2016.

Section 657:16

 657:16 Refusal to Certify; Procedure. – If he or she refuses to certify the application, the town or city clerk shall notify the applicant in writing within 7 days to that effect. The town or city clerk shall provide the applicant with an absentee ballot and a notice that the ballot will not be counted unless the applicant submits the documents necessary to complete an absentee registration. The applicant shall be advised in writing what documents, if any, have been received in proper form and which the applicant must submit in the outer envelope that contains the absentee ballot envelope. The town or city clerk shall mark the absentee ballot application, the absentee ballot affidavit, and the outer envelope with the words “Not Registered.” Upon receipt of an outer envelope marked “Not Registered,” the clerk shall open the outer envelope. If the applicant returns the required documents with the absentee ballot by the date set for correcting the checklist under RSA 654:27 and RSA 654:28, the town or city clerk shall forward the registration forms to the supervisors of the checklist and, if the applicant is found to be qualified, the applicant shall be registered and his or her absentee ballot shall be processed in the same manner as the absentee ballot of a previously registered voter. All documents received after the deadline for correcting the checklist under RSA 654:27 and RSA 654:28 shall be processed as election day registrations under RSA 654:7-a. If the ballot is returned without the required documents in proper form, the ballot shall be marked in the manner set forth by law for successfully challenged absentee ballots and preserved in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a. The clerk shall preserve the application of any applicant who is not registered as a voter until the time set by law for the destruction of the ballots after the election at which time the application shall be destroyed. Any justice of the superior court has jurisdiction in equity upon such notice as he or she may order to require that the name of the person making application for an absentee ballot be placed upon the checklist or registered as a member of any party and be sent an absentee ballot.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:54. 2010, 317:79. 2014, 74:1, eff. July 26, 2014. 2016, 317:2, eff. Aug. 23, 2016.

Section 657:17

 657:17 Procedure by Voter. – After marking the ballot, the voter or the person assisting a blind voter or voter with a disability who is unable to mark his or her ballot shall enclose and seal the same in an inner envelope. The voter shall execute the affidavit on the envelope. A person assisting a blind voter or voter with a disability who needs assistance executing the affidavit shall sign a statement on the affidavit envelope acknowledging the assistance. The voter or the person assisting the blind voter or voter with a disability who needs assistance shall enclose and seal the inner envelope with the affidavit in an outer envelope. The voter shall then endorse on the outer envelope his or her name, address, and voting place and shall mail the envelope, affixing postage, or personally deliver it or have it delivered by the voter’s spouse, parent, sibling, or child to the city or town clerk from whom it was sent. The city or town clerk, or ward clerk on election day at the polls, shall not accept an absentee ballot from a family member unless the family member completes a form provided by the secretary of state, which shall be maintained by the city or town clerk, and the family member presents a government-issued photo identification or has his or her identity verified by the city or town clerk. Absentee ballots delivered through the mail or by the voter’s spouse, parent, sibling, or child shall be received by the town, city, or ward clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 220:4. 2010, 317:31. 2015, 166:1, eff. Aug. 25, 2015. 2016, 317:1, eff. Aug. 23, 2016. 2017, 216:8, eff. July 10, 2017.

657:17-a  Verification of In-Person Absentee Voter.

  1.  An absentee voter who returns his or her completed absentee ballot to the clerk’s office in person shall be treated as a verified voter provided:

(a)  The voter voluntarily shows the clerk a photo identification that meets the requirements of RSA 659:13; or

(b)  The voter voluntarily completes a challenged voter affidavit in the same manner as is required for an election day voter who does not present a qualified voter identification.

  1.  The clerk shall mark the absentee ballot affidavit enveloped “voter verified” and note on the clerk’s list of absentee voters that the voter has been verified.  The verified voter’s signatures on the application for an absentee ballot shall not be compared to the voter’s signature on the absentee ballot affidavit on election day.

III.  A voter who does not present a qualified photo identification and who does not complete a challenged voter affidavit shall not be treated as a verified voter, and his or her signatures on the application for an absentee ballot shall be compared to his or her signature on the absentee ballot affidavit on election day in the same manner as other absentee voters.

2018, 392:2.

Section 657:18

 657:18 Procedure by Clerk. – Upon receipt of an outer envelope purporting to contain an official absentee voting ballot, the clerk of the city or town shall, subject to RSA 657:16, attach thereto the application for an absentee ballot submitted by said voter and record the information pursuant to RSA 657:15. All such envelopes shall be preserved unopened until election day.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 182:5; 317:74. 2014, 74:2, eff. July 26, 2014.

Procedure for Uniformed Services, Temporarily Residing Outside the United States, and Federal Ballot Only Voting

Section 657:19

 657:19 Sending Ballots to UOCAVA Voters. –
I.

(a) Upon receipt of a properly executed application for an absentee ballot from a UOCAVA voter as defined in RSA 652:16-b, whether the form supplied by the secretary of state, the federal official post card form, or a written statement containing the information required by RSA 657:4, I, a town or city clerk shall retain the application and, without delay and except as provided in subparagraph (b), enter the application in the statewide centralized voter registration database.
(b) On the last business day no earlier than 45 days before a regularly scheduled general election, each city and town clerk shall deliver absentee ballot information to the secretary of state, on forms and methods prescribed by the secretary of state, for each UOCAVA voter as defined in RSA 652:16-b who, between the required meeting of the supervisors of the checklist pursuant to RSA 654:27 for the regularly scheduled primary election and the last business day prior to 45 days before the regularly scheduled general election, has requested an absentee ballot for the next regularly scheduled general election, unless that UOCAVA voter and his or her absentee ballot request has been entered into the statewide voter registration database.

II. If a request for a write-in absentee ballot is received from a UOCAVA voter 45 or more days before an election from a voter qualified to vote using a write-in absentee ballot in accordance with RSA 657:10-a, the clerk shall, without delay, send a write-in absentee ballot and instructions using either mail or electronic transmission, as requested by the voter.
III. If a request for an absentee ballot for a primary election, other than a presidential primary, or a special election is received from a UOCAVA voter 45 or more days before a primary election, the clerk shall send the ballot and instructions to the applicant no later than the day 45 days prior to the primary election using either mail or electronic transmission, as requested by the voter.
IV. If a request for an absentee ballot for a primary election, other than a presidential primary, or a special election is received from a UOCAVA voter less than 45 days before a primary election, the clerk shall send the ballot and instructions without delay using either mail or electronic transmission, as requested by the voter.
V. If a request for an absentee ballot for a regularly-scheduled general election or a presidential primary is received from a UOCAVA voter 45 or more days before a general election or a presidential primary the secretary of state may, on behalf of the clerk and in accordance with the voter’s choice, electronically transmit or mail the appropriate absentee ballot and instructions to the voter no later than the day 45 days prior to the general election or the presidential primary. At the secretary of state’s discretion, the secretary of state may enter in the statewide centralized voter registration database the mail date on which absentee voters were sent ballots pursuant to this paragraph. Alternatively, the secretary of state may provide each city and town clerk with a list of all voters sent absentee ballots by the secretary of state pursuant to this section. Upon receipt of such report from the secretary of state, the clerk shall record the date that the absentee ballot was sent to the voter in the statewide centralized voter registration database.
VI. If a request for a general election absentee ballot is received from a UOCAVA voter less than 45 days before a general election, the clerk shall, in accordance with the voter’s choice, electronically transmit or mail the appropriate absentee ballot and instructions to the voter, without delay.
VII. All valid requests for absentee ballots for a general election received by a town and city clerk prior to the Monday before a primary election shall be entered into the statewide centralized voter registration database no later than that Monday and any valid requests received between that Monday and the forty-fifth day prior to a general election shall be entered into the statewide centralized voter registration database on the day received by the clerk. All requests for absentee ballots received after the date that is 45 days prior to an election shall be entered by the city or town clerk, without delay.
VIII. The clerk shall send the appropriate ballot and materials as described in RSA 657:8, regardless of whether the applicant appears on the checklist, and record the information pursuant to RSA 657:15.
IX. The town or city clerk shall forward a copy of the applicant’s registration forms to the supervisors of the checklist.
X. A town or city clerk who finds an absentee ballot application invalid shall provide the UOCAVA voter the reason it is invalid within 7 days in accordance with the procedures in RSA 657:16.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1986, 126:9. 1988, 209:10. 2003, 289:55. 2010, 317:34. 2011, 72:3. 2014, 113:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014.

Section 657:19-a

 657:19-a Federal Official Post Card Form and Other Requests From UOCAVA Voters. – The federal official post card form as provided in RSA 654:20 for simultaneous voter registration application and absentee ballot application shall be valid at any time for voter registration by a person qualified to vote pursuant to RSA 654:3 as an absent uniform services voter, a temporarily absent voter residing outside the United States, or a federal ballot only voter domiciled outside the United States. An absentee ballot request on this post card or in any other form received on or after January 1 of each year shall be valid through December 31 of the same year for all state and municipal elections to be held within that year, subject to the request of the voter and the eligibility of the voter. Provided, however, that an absentee ballot for the presidential primary shall be sent to all voters requesting an absentee ballot for the primary or any election prior to the primary during the general election year and the prior year. The town or city clerk shall forward a copy of all such federal official post card voter forms to the supervisors of the checklist.

Source. 1988, 209:11. 2003, 289:56. 2010, 182:7, eff. June 21, 2010; 317:35, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:19-b

 657:19-b Procedure for Requesting Voter Registration Applications or Absentee Ballot Applications Electronically. – Any person authorized in RSA 657:19-a to use the federal official post card form may request and receive an absentee voter registration application by downloading the application from the secretary of state’s website, or request that the form be mailed by submitting an electronic request via the e-mail address designated on the website. The secretary shall send the requested application by mail or electronically in accordance with the voter’s choice.

Source. 2010, 317:36, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:19-c

 657:19-c Addresses and Polling Hours Maintained by Clerks. – Each town and city clerk shall establish and maintain an official e-mail address and street address, which shall be publically available to voters. Clerks shall maintain up-to-date polling place locations for each election, including street addresses, and polling hours, and clerks shall keep such information in the statewide centralized voter registration database.

Source. 2010, 317:36. 2011, 73:2, eff. July 15, 2011.

Section 657:20

 657:20 Procedure by UOCAVA Voter. – UOCAVA voters shall follow the procedure set forth in RSA 657:17.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 209:12. 2010, 317:37, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:21

 657:21 Registration of Voters. – Upon receipt of a return envelope containing an armed services or overseas citizen federal election absentee ballot, the clerk of the city or town shall open and retain said envelope and deliver the affidavit envelope to the supervisors of the checklist of the voting place indicated thereon. If the voter is not registered, the appropriate affidavit appearing on said envelope, if properly executed, shall, subject to RSA 657:23, be prima facie evidence of the voter’s qualifications to become a voter and his or her name shall be added to the checklist at the next session of the supervisors of the checklist. The supervisors of the checklist shall retain a copy of the affidavit envelope and absentee ballot request form in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a and return the affidavit envelopes unopened to the city or town clerk who shall see that they agree in number with the mailing envelopes. Said clerk shall attach the application for an armed services or overseas citizen federal election absentee ballot submitted by said voter to the 2 corresponding envelopes and retain them until election day.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 209:12. 2010, 172:16; 317:38. 2014, 114:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014.

Special Assistance to Emergency Services Workers

Section 657:21-a

 657:21-a Special Assistance to Emergency Services Worker. –
I. If an emergency services worker receives notice after noon on the Friday before any state election that he or she is being called into service under circumstances that will prevent that person from obtaining an absentee ballot before leaving and from voting in person at the polls on election day, upon notification that such a call-out has occurred, the secretary of state with assistance from the attorney general and the department of safety shall make every reasonable effort to cause absentee ballot request forms, absentee ballots, absentee affidavits, and any other materials necessary to vote to be transported to the emergency services workers and to be returned to the town or city clerk of each voter’s town or ward.
II. For the purposes of this section, “emergency services worker” shall include law enforcement, emergency medical services personnel, firefighters, members of the New Hampshire national guard, utility workers, employees or volunteers for the American Red Cross, and any other emergency worker declared such by the department of safety.
III. For the purposes of this section “every reasonable effort” includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Employing local, county, or state law enforcement to transport ballots, affidavits, and other necessary materials to and from the site in New Hampshire where emergency services are temporarily housed, staged, or deployed for an in-state emergency.
(b) Causing ballots, affidavits, and other necessary materials to be transported by the United States mail or commercial overnight courier to and from an out-of-state site where emergency services workers are temporarily housed, staged, or deployed for an out-of-state emergency.

IV. For the purposes of this section “circumstances that will prevent that person from voting in person at the polls on election day” shall include deployment to any disaster that has been declared by the President of the United States or the governor of New Hampshire.
V. Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, any ballot returned to a polling place pursuant to this section which arrives before the polls are closed shall be processed according to law and if found otherwise in conformance with law shall be counted.
VI. If, in the judgment of the secretary of state, time does not permit obtaining and transporting the local ballot for each emergency services worker, the secretary of state may prepare and issue a statewide-offices-only absentee ballot for the purposes of this section.
VII. The secretary of state, in cooperation with the department of safety and the attorney general, shall develop procedures for implementing this section. The procedures shall include publication of an emergency telephone number available 24 hours daily during the period covered by this section, to allow after-hours and weekend notification to the secretary of state that this section is being invoked. Suitable information on the availability of this section shall be made available to persons covered by this section.
VIII. The public agency or employer of emergency services workers responsible for making call-outs subject to the provisions of this section shall provide the secretary of state with the name and domicile address of each person called out and an address where an absentee ballot may be delivered on the Saturday, Sunday, or Monday prior to the election at the site of the emergency.
IX. If the costs of executing this section at any election exceed $500, the secretary of state shall certify the same to the state treasurer, and prepare a manifest to authorize the state treasurer to make payments from funds not otherwise appropriated. The governor is authorized to draw a warrant for said sums out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Source. 2006, 166:1. 2008, 361:9, eff. July 11, 2008.

Election Day

Section 657:22

 657:22 Cutoff. – In any state election, a town or city clerk shall not accept any completed absentee ballots delivered to the clerk after 5:00 p.m. on election day except as provided in RSA 657:21-a, V and RSA 659:20-a. The clerk shall record absentee ballots received after such time in the statewide centralized voter registration database with the return date and shall mark the ballot as rejected due to absentee ballot receipt after election day. The clerk shall retain the unopened ballot until the time set for the destruction of other state election ballots as provided in RSA 659:100 at which time the envelopes shall likewise be destroyed, unopened and unexamined.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 176:2. 1995, 48:1. 2010, 182:8. 2011, 72:4, eff. July 15, 2011. 2017, 196:1, eff. Sept. 3, 2017.

Section 657:23

 657:23 Delivery to Moderator. – Upon election day, prior to the closing of the polls or the time set for processing absentee ballots in accordance with RSA 659:49, the clerk shall deliver all such envelopes, the applications therefor received by him or her, and the list of absentee voter applicants compiled pursuant to RSA 657:15 to the moderators in the several voting precincts in which the absentee voters assert the right to vote, taking a receipt from the moderator thereof; except that no UOCAVA voter’s ballot shall be rejected by a moderator for lack of an attached application, provided a signature is available for comparison on a voter registration document.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 182:9, eff. June 21, 2010; 317:75, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 657:24

 657:24 Misusing Absentee Ballot. – Whoever, prior to the closing of the polls or the time of processing absentee ballots on election day, shall show or exhibit an unsealed absentee ballot to any person or shall use an absentee ballot for any purpose except to vote the same shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided that this provision shall not apply to any person engaged in printing or distributing or otherwise dealing with said ballots according to law, to any person who because of blindness is unable to mark his ballot, or to any person who assists a blind person in marking his ballot. Anyone who votes or attempts to vote under the provisions of this chapter who is not entitled to vote by absentee ballot or anyone who knowingly votes or attempts to vote in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 220:5, eff. Aug. 15, 1983.

Section 657:25

 657:25 Conformity With Federal Legislation. – The secretary of state and all other appropriate officials or boards are hereby authorized to perform all acts which he or they may be authorized to perform by any federal statute affecting voting by those to whom the statute is applicable and to accept any federal funds which may be made available to defray any expense in connection therewith, insofar as the same may not be repugnant to the constitution of this state.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Absentee Voter Website

Section 657:26

 657:26 Absentee Voter Website. – The secretary of state shall make available a public website by which an absentee voter, in every state election, may determine whether the voter’s absentee ballot request has been received by the clerk, whether the absentee ballot has been sent pursuant to such request, whether the envelope purporting to contain the absentee ballot has been received by the clerk, and whether the absentee ballot was challenged and rejected by the moderator on election day, including the reason for the challenge. The town and city clerk shall, without delay, enter into the statewide centralized voter registration database the dates that all valid requests for absentee ballots are received, the dates all absentee ballots are sent, and the dates all envelopes purporting to contain absentee ballots are received. The secretary of state shall allow free and secure access to any voter who enters on the website his or her full first name, full last name, the town where the voter has requested an absentee ballot, and the voter’s date of birth as they appear in the statewide centralized voter registration database. The city and town clerk shall provide instructions to absentee voter applicants describing how to access this website.

Source. 2010, 182:10. 2014, 115:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014.

CHAPTER 658 – PRE-ELECTION PROCEDURE

Warrant

Section 658:1

 658:1 General Election. – At least 14 days before any state general election, the selectmen shall post a warrant at all the polling places and at the office of the town or city clerk or at the town hall. Said warrant shall prescribe the hour the polls are to open and the hour before which they may not close as provided in RSA 659:4 and RSA 659:4-a. It shall also state all offices and questions which are to be voted on and the location of the central polling place and of any additional polling places. If the selectmen neglect to issue a warrant for the state general election, or if they neglect to cause copies of such warrant to be posted agreeably to any vote of the town, they shall for each offense be guilty of a violation and any fines collected shall be remitted to the town.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:12. 1998, 275:1, eff. Aug. 25, 1998.

Inspectors of Election

Section 658:2

 658:2 Appointment. – Each state political committee of the 2 political parties which received the largest number of votes cast for governor at the last previous general election is authorized through their respective chairmen to appoint between May 15 and July 15 of each general election year 2 inspectors of election to act at each polling place. If the number of voters qualified to vote at a polling place shall exceed 2,000, said political committees may each appoint for such polling place one additional inspector for each 1,500 qualified voters or fraction thereof in excess of 2,000. By April 15 of each general election year, the secretary of state shall provide a list to the chairman of each such state political committee of the number of inspectors of election that should be appointed for each town or ward. Each such state political committee may also appoint such equal number of additional inspectors as the moderator considers necessary for the efficient conduct of the election. On or before July 15, the chairmen of said political committees shall notify the appointees and the town or ward clerk concerned as to appointments made under this authority. If any such appointments are not made by said political committees and proper notification thereof given on or before July 15, then the appointments shall be made by the selectmen of the town or ward in equal numbers from said 2 political parties.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:7. 2014, 27:1. 2015, 55:1, eff. Aug. 1, 2015.

Section 658:3

 658:3 Qualifications. – The inspectors of election shall be registered to vote at the polling place where they serve.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:8, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.

Section 658:4

 658:4 Oath; Term. – Each inspector of election shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his or her duties and shall hold office for 2 years from August 1 in the year in which he or she is appointed or until a successor is appointed and qualified.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2014, 27:2, eff. July 22, 2014.

Section 658:5

 658:5 Alternates. – In making appointments of inspectors of elections as provided in RSA 658:2, political committees or, in the absence of such appointments by a political committee, the town and ward selectmen, in consultation with the moderator, may designate a list of alternates to the list of appointed inspectors, who shall meet the same qualifications as inspectors of elections. Alternates shall be called in numerical order to serve in case one or more of the principal appointees fails to accept the appointment or is otherwise unavailable to perform his or her duties.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2015, 55:2, eff. Aug. 1, 2015.

Section 658:6

 658:6 Appointment by Court. – In case any appointment shall not be made as provided in RSA 658:2 or 658:5 or vacancies are not filled as provided in RSA 658:22, then, on application of 6 qualified voters of the town or ward, a justice of the municipal or district court shall appoint the inspectors.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Assistant Election Officials

Section 658:7

 658:7 Appointment. – For all state elections, the moderator is authorized to appoint an assistant moderator who shall take the oath of office in the same manner as the moderator. The moderator may also appoint such other election officials as he or she deems necessary and request the town clerk to appoint an assistant town clerk. The assistant moderator, assistant town clerk, and said other election officials shall take the oath of office and perform such duties and have such powers as the moderator may delegate to them, except that the power of making the declaration of the vote cast shall not be delegated to them. The supervisors of the checklist are authorized to appoint assistant supervisors of the checklist who shall be assistant election officials and have the powers of supervisors for the purpose of registering voters on election day. The provisions of this section shall apply only to the appointment of assistant election officials to serve at the central polling place. Appointment of officers to act at additional polling places shall be accomplished as provided in RSA 658:14.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:13. 2007, 331:3, eff. July 16, 2007.

Section 658:7-a

 658:7-a Qualifications. – An assistant election official appointed as provided in RSA 658:7 shall be at least 17 years of age as of the date on which such official initiates performance of the duties of office.

Source. 1997, 195:1. 2015, 5:1, eff. July 4, 2015.

Section 658:8

 658:8 Term. – The term of office of each of the assistant election officials appointed as provided in RSA 658:7 shall expire at the termination of the proceedings at the election for which he or she was appointed.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2007, 331:4, eff. July 16, 2007.

Preparation of Polling Place

Section 658:9

 658:9 Arrangement. –
I. The selectmen of each town and ward shall provide for a suitable place in which to hold state elections and shall see that the same is warmed, lighted, and furnished with proper supplies and conveniences. Such supplies and conveniences shall include a ballot box and a sufficient number of pens with machine-readable ink or soft black lead pencils and booths with shelves to enable the voter to mark his or her ballot screened from all observation as to the manner in which he or she does so. Each place in which state elections are held shall be easily accessible as provided in RSA 658:9-a to all persons including persons with disabilities and elderly persons who are otherwise qualified to vote in the choice of any officer or officers to be elected or upon any question submitted at such election. The selectmen of each town and ward shall be charged with the responsibility to see that the flag of the United States is displayed inside and, weather conditions permitting, flown outside the polling place on election day. A guardrail shall be so constructed and placed so that only such persons as are inside such rail can approach within 6 feet of the ballot box and of the voting booths. The arrangements shall be such that the voting booths can be reached only by passing within the guardrail.
II. The voting booths shall be in plain view of the election officers, and both they and the ballot box shall be in plain view of those outside the guardrail. Each of said booths shall have 3 sides enclosed, one side in front to open and shut by a door swinging outward or to be enclosed with a curtain. Each side of the booths shall be not less than 6 feet high. The booth shall be between 28 and 36 inches wide, and between 28 and 36 inches deep. The door or curtain shall extend to within 2 feet of the floor and shall be closed while the voter is marking his or her ballot. Each booth shall be well lighted and shall contain a shelf between 12 and 15 inches wide running the width of the booth at a convenient height for writing.
III. In addition to the voting booths described in paragraph II, each polling place shall have at least one voting booth which is easily accessible to elderly persons and to persons with physical disabilities. Each booth shall have 3 sides enclosed, one side in front to open and shut by a door swinging outward or to be enclosed with a curtain. The entrance to the booth shall have a clear opening of at least 60 inches and shall have clearances that comply with the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, and with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36. Each side of the booths shall be not less than 6 feet high. The booth shall be at least 60 inches wide at its front, at least 60 inches deep, and at least 60 inches wide along the back wall. The door or curtain shall extend to within 2 feet of the floor and shall be closed while the voter is marking his or her ballot. Each booth shall be well lighted and shall contain a shelf or table at a height of between 30 and 32 inches which shall be convenient for writing with at least 28 inches of unobstructed space from the floor to the bottom of the shelf. The secretary of state shall include a diagram of an accessible booth that satisfies the requirements of this section in the election laws and procedures manual issued pursuant to RSA 652:22.
IV. In addition to the voting booths described in paragraphs II and III, each polling place shall have table-top voting screens available for use in an election. Each voting screen shall consist of 3 panels, to be positioned on a table or similar surface so that when a voter is marking a ballot he or she is provided privacy. Each panel of the screen shall be at least 17 inches high and 15 inches wide.
V.

(a) Each polling place shall have available for use in an election at least 2 of the voting booths described in paragraph II, one of the voting booths described in paragraph III, and 2 of the voting screens described in paragraph IV.
(b) The minimum number of voting booths and screens that shall be erected for an election shall be as follows:

(1) For a general election where votes will be cast for president, one for every 100 voters on the checklist. This requirement may be modified with the approval of the secretary of state and the attorney general for specific polling places, if conditions within the polling place will not permit the required number of voting booths. Under no circumstances shall the required number of voting booths drop below one booth for every 125 voters for a general election where votes will be cast for president.
(2) For a general election where votes will not be cast for president, one for every 125 voters on the checklist.
(3) For all other state elections, including the state primary election, one for every 150 voters on the checklist.
(4) For all city, town, school district, and village district elections, one for every 200 voters on the checklist.

(c) The minimum requirements established in subparagraph (b) may be satisfied with any combination of booths or screens, provided that no more than 50 percent of the minimum requirement is satisfied by voting screens and that the requirements of subparagraph (a) are also met. The moderator may require that booths or screens exceeding the minimum number be erected or available at the polling place. This section shall not be interpreted to mandate the erection of voting screens if there are sufficient booths to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph V(b).

VI. In addition to or in lieu of voting booths described in paragraphs II, III, and IV, portable booths set up in pods of up to 4 voting stations may be used. Each pod shall meet the requirements of paragraph II except as described in this paragraph. Each voting station in the pod shall have 2 sides enclosed that are at least 32 inches long and meet at a right angle. A table top shall fit into the corner of the enclosed sides with the edges of the table top that contact the sides being at least 14 inches deep, and the edge of the table facing the voter no less than 25 inches in width. The third, open side of the voting station shall be enclosed by a curtain large enough, and designed in a way, to give the voter privacy.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 210:1. 1998, 110:1. 2007, 312:1. 2008, 66:1. 2014, 105:1. 2015, 196:1, eff. July 6, 2015.

Section 658:9-a

 658:9-a Accessibility. –
Every polling place in which state elections are held shall be easily accessible to all persons, including persons with disabilities and elderly persons who are otherwise qualified to vote in the choice of any officer or officers to be elected or upon any question submitted at such election. In order for a polling place to be considered accessible to elderly persons and to persons with physical disabilities, the following conditions shall be met; provided, however, that the provisions of paragraph I may be adopted by each municipality on an optional basis:

I. Where parking is provided for the polling place, there shall be at least one van-accessible parking space that is in compliance with the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, and with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36 and designated with the international symbol of accessibility. The van-accessible parking space shall be at least 8 feet wide with an adjacent and parallel access aisle that is at least 8 feet wide and located on a level surface as close as possible to the accessible entrance. There shall be a clear path of travel without curbs or steps to the accessible entrance of the polling place from the van-accessible parking.
II. The paths of travel to and from the polling place shall comply with the accessible route requirements of the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, and with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36.
III. If there is a curb in a path of travel to the accessible entrance to the polling place, there shall be a curb ramp that complies with the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, and with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36.
IV. Where a ramp is provided, the ramp shall comply with the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, and with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36.
V. Entrances, doors, and doorways shall comply with the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36, and with the following requirements:

(a) There shall be at least one primary entrance to the polling place accessible to elderly persons and persons with disabilities and clearly marked with the international symbol of accessibility.
(b) If there are entrances that are not accessible, they shall have signs posted directing voters to the accessible entrance.

VI. The path of travel in the interior of the polling place shall comply with the accessible route requirements of the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, and with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36.

Source. 1987, 210:2. 2007, 312:2, eff. Sept. 1, 2008.

Additional Polling Places

Section 658:10

 658:10 In Towns. – If any town shall so vote, the selectmen shall provide one or more additional polling places in such town and shall, at least 30 days before the next following general election, determine the boundaries of the voting district to be served by each such additional polling place.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:11

 658:11 Central Polling Place. – The polling place presided over by the moderator of the town or ward shall be known as the central polling place and all other polling places shall be known as additional polling places.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:12

 658:12 Checklist. – Immediately after the establishment of an additional polling place and the creation of the voting district to be served thereby, the supervisors of the checklist shall prepare a separate checklist of the voters entitled to vote at such a polling place. Such separate checklist shall thereafter be posted and revised along with the checklist for the central polling place as provided in RSA 654. No later than the Tuesday 2 weeks before any state election, the supervisors shall post at the town or city clerk’s office or at the town hall a true and attested copy of such list and shall, before the election, file with the town clerk 2 copies of such list.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:14. 1994, 4:15, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 658:13

 658:13 Central Polling Place Officers. – Election officers who have their domicile in additional polling districts but are on duty at the central polling place may keep their names on the central polling place checklist by notifying the supervisors of the checklist before the polls are opened.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:14

 658:14 Officers. – The moderator shall appoint an assistant moderator for each additional polling place and the town clerk shall appoint an assistant clerk for each additional polling place. Each assistant moderator and assistant clerk shall have their domicile in the voting district covered by the additional polling place where they will serve. The powers and duties of the assistant moderator and the assistant clerk shall be the same as those of the moderator and the clerk at the central polling place except as otherwise provided in the election laws. The inspectors of elections appointed as provided in RSA 658:2 shall be sworn in by the assistant moderator before entering upon their duties.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:15

 658:15 Equipment. – The selectmen shall equip each additional polling place in the same manner required for central polling places.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:16

 658:16 Conduct of Elections. – Except as otherwise provided, the conduct of the election at the additional polling place shall be the same as at the central polling place.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:17

 658:17 Discontinuance. – A voting district and polling place so established shall continue to be such for successive state elections until the town shall vote to discontinue the same, but the selectmen may from time to time increase or diminish the boundaries thereof in order to effectively accommodate the voters.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:18

 658:18 Special Provision for Cities. – Cities may adopt the provisions of RSA 658:10-658:17. The city council shall create and discontinue the voting districts in city wards, establish the additional polling places therein, and select the election officers for the additional polling place.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Absences Among Election Officers

Section 658:19

 658:19 Moderator Pro Tem. – If the moderator is absent from any state election or is unable to perform his duties, a moderator pro tempore shall be appointed by the moderator.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:20

 658:20 Clerk Pro Tem. – If a town or ward clerk is absent from any state election or is unable to perform his duties and there is no deputy clerk as provided in RSA 41:18, a town or ward clerk pro tempore shall be appointed by the town clerk.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:15, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 658:21

 658:21 Supervisor Pro Tem. – If more than one member of the board of supervisors is absent from any state election or is unable to perform his duties, a supervisor pro tempore shall be appointed by the moderator.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:21-a

 658:21-a Selectmen Pro Tem. – If a selectman is absent from or unable to perform his or her duties for all or any part of the day at any state election, the selectman is authorized to appoint a selectman pro tem to perform his or her duties. If one or more selectmen are absent or unable to perform their duties and have not appointed selectmen pro tem, or if a selectman pro tem is absent or unable to perform his or her duties for all or any part of the day, the moderator is authorized to appoint selectmen pro tem to perform their duties.

Source. 2016, 3:1, eff. Mar. 26, 2016.

Section 658:22

 658:22 Inspectors Pro Tem. – If any of the appointed inspectors of election shall be absent from any state election or unable to perform his duties, the selectmen shall appoint some person qualified as provided in RSA 658:3, using the list of alternate appointees provided under RSA 658:5 unless no person on said list is available.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:23

 658:23 Duties; Term. – An election officer pro tempore as provided for in RSA 658:19 through 658:22 shall have all the powers and duties of the officer he replaces as provided in the election laws and shall take the oath of office in like manner. His term of office shall expire at the termination of the proceedings at the election for which he was appointed.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:24

 658:24 Disqualification of Certain Persons. – Any person, other than a moderator, clerk, selectman, inspector of election, or supervisor of the checklist, whose name appears on a ballot for an elective position, other than a position of an election official, shall be disqualified from performing duties as an election official in that election. A moderator, clerk, selectman, inspector of election, or supervisor of the checklist whose name appears on a ballot for an elective position, other than the position of an election official, shall be disqualified from the handling of marked ballots and the counting of votes.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 366:4. 1990, 119:16. 2008, 66:2, eff. July 20, 2008. 2016, 62:1, eff. July 4, 2016.

Election Day Morning Procedures

Section 658:25

 658:25 Designation of Ballot Clerks. – Two of the inspectors, one from each of the 2 political parties, shall be designated by the moderator at the opening of the polls to act as ballot clerks. They shall have charge of the ballots and shall furnish them to the voters. They shall be given a duplicate copy of the checklist by the town or ward clerk. The other inspectors shall be assigned such duties in the polling place as the moderator may determine including, but not limited to, the relief of the ballot clerks and the assistance of voters marking their ballots as provided in RSA 659:20.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2009, 139:1, eff. Aug. 28, 2009.

Section 658:26

 658:26 Sample Ballots to be Posted. – The town or city clerk shall cause the sample ballots provided for in RSA 656:18 and 656:28 to be posted outside the guardrail in the polling place. For the general election, he shall cause 2 sample ballots to be posted. For the state and presidential primaries, he shall cause 2 sample ballots of each party to be posted. At least one sample ballot for the general election and one sample ballot of each party for each of the primaries shall be posted no higher than 48′ so as to be convenient for those voters in wheelchairs.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:16. 1991, 254:8, eff. Aug. 9, 1991.

Section 658:27

 658:27 Absentee List to be Posted. – [Repealed 1998, 246:6, eff. June 25, 1998.]

Section 658:28

 658:28 Voter Instruction Cards to be Posted. – The secretary of state shall also prepare full instructions for the guidance of voters at such elections as to obtaining ballots, the manner of marking them, the method of gaining assistance and obtaining new ballots in place of those accidentally spoiled. He shall cause the same to be printed on separate cards to be called voter instruction cards and shall furnish a suitable number of the same to each town and ward clerk. Each town and ward clerk shall cause one voter instruction card to be posted in each voting booth and not less than 3 such cards to be posted immediately outside the guardrail in the polling place.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:29

 658:29 Statutes Posted. – The secretary of state shall prepare and distribute copies of the following RSA sections which the selectmen shall post or cause to be posted outside the guardrail in the polling place at all elections: RSA 654:7-a, RSA 654:7-b; RSA 659:13, RSA 659:13-b, RSA 659:27, RSA 659:30, RSA 659:31, RSA 659:32, RSA 659:34, RSA 659:35, RSA 659:37, RSA 659:38, RSA 659:40, RSA 659:41, RSA 659:103; RSA 666:4, RSA 666:5, RSA 666:8. In addition, the secretary of state shall include any other statutes or regulations that are required to be posted by state or federal law. The secretary of state may also include statutes or regulations that, in the secretary of state’s judgment, would aid a voter in casting a vote or in contacting the appropriate official if the voter believes that his or her voting rights are being violated.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 28:1; 151:2. 2005, 111:1. 2012, 284:5, eff. June 27, 2012; 284:9, eff. Sept. 1, 2015.

Section 658:29-a

 658:29-a Proof of Voter Identity Instructions to be Posted. – The secretary of state shall prepare a notice explaining to voters the photo identification requirement in RSA 659:13, including all the permissible methods for proving identity, and directing voters to the department of state’s website or to the town or city clerk to obtain the explanatory document described in RSA 652:26, I, for additional information. Such notice shall also include the penalties as described in RSA 659:34. The governing body of each town or ward shall prominently display this notice for at least 14 days prior to each election held after the effective date of this section. The poster shall be placed outside the guardrail at each polling place at all elections.

Source. 2012, 284:10, eff. Sept. 1, 2015.

Section 658:30

 658:30 Delivery of Ballots to Election Officers. – The city or town clerk shall deliver to the election officers before the opening of the polls on the day of the election the sealed packages of ballots in their possession together with filament tape or other similar tape with which to seal the ballots. Any city or town clerk who shall fail to deliver such material to the election officers as herein provided shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:31

 658:31 Counting Ballots. – At or prior to the opening of the polls in each town or ward, the seal of the packages shall be publicly broken by the town or ward clerk; and the ballots shall be given to the ballot clerks and the ballots shall be examined and counted by the election officers in the presence of the clerk, the moderator, and at least one other legal voter. If the ballots are counted prior to the opening of the polls, the clerk shall post, in an appropriate place and prior to election day, notice of the time and place of the counting.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1999, 12:1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Section 658:32

 658:32 Moderator’s Certificate. – The secretary of state shall prepare and distribute to each town or ward clerk 2 copies of the moderator’s certificate. When the ballots are counted, the moderator shall certify thereon the total number of ballots received. One copy shall be retained by the moderator for his or her records; the other shall be certified by the clerk and forwarded to the secretary of state with the election returns pursuant to RSA 659:75.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2011, 185:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.

Section 658:33

 658:33 Delivery of Ballots to Additional Polling Place. – Before the polls are opened at the central polling place on the day of an election, the town clerk shall seal up the 2 duplicate copies of the checklist for each additional polling place lodged with the clerk by the supervisors with a number of blank ballots equal to the number of voters on such checklist and 50 additional ballots. If the moderator has authorized the counting of votes and thereby authorized the processing of absentee ballots at the additional polling place, the absentee ballots of those persons qualified to vote in that additional polling place shall be sealed up along with a list of those persons qualified to vote at that additional polling place to whom absentee ballots have been sent pursuant to RSA 657:15. This package shall be prepared and sealed in the presence of the moderator and selectmen and shall be delivered immediately to the assistant moderator of the additional polling place by 2 election officers designated by the moderator.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 454:6. 2010, 182:11, eff. June 21, 2010.

Section 658:34

 658:34 Pasters. – If pasters are to be used at the election and have been delivered to the town or city clerk, the clerk shall deliver the pasters to the moderator who shall cause them to be pasted in the proper place on each ballot before it is handed to the voter.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:35

 658:35 Unofficial Ballots. – If the official ballots have not been received at the polling place of any town or ward on the morning of election before the opening of the polls, it shall be the duty of the town or city clerk to cause unofficial ballots to be prepared, as far as possible, in form of the official ballots. Upon receipt of such unofficial ballots from a town or city clerk accompanied by a statement under oath that the same have been so prepared and that the official ballots have not been received, the moderator shall cause the unofficial ballots so substituted to be used in lieu of the official ballots.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 658:36

 658:36 Inspection of Ballot Box. – At the opening of the polls, the ballot box shall be publicly opened and shown to be empty; and the election officers shall ascertain that fact by a personal examination of the box.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

CHAPTER 659 – ELECTION PROCEDURE

Hours of Polling

Section 659:1, 659:2

 659:1, 659:2 Repealed. – [Repealed 1988, 10:3, eff. July 1, 1988.]

Section 659:3

 659:3 Early Closing of Polls. – Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the voters present at the polling place may vote to close the polls at any time that the number of those who have voted plus the number of absentee ballots received at the polls equals the number of names on the checklist.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 10:1, eff. July 1, 1988.

Section 659:3-a

 659:3-a Early Closing of Polls in Dixville, Hart’s Location, and Millsfield. – The polls may not be closed pursuant to RSA 659:3 in Dixville, Hart’s Location, or Millsfield until every person domiciled in the town who is not on the checklist has been contacted by the town clerk to see if they wish to register to vote prior to the closing of the polls.

Source. 1998, 246:4. 2003, 289:40. 2014, 251:3, eff. July 22, 2014.

Section 659:4

 659:4 Hours of Polling in Municipalities. – At all state elections in towns and cities the polls shall open not later than 11 o’clock in the morning and shall close not earlier than 7 o’clock in the evening. In cities, the city council shall determine the polling hours no later than 30 days prior to a state election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1988, 10:2. 1991, 254:9. 1994, 4:16, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 659:4-a

 659:4-a Change of Polling Hours in Towns. –
I. At any annual town meeting, any town may vote to place a question on the state election ballot to change the hours at which polls shall open, provided that the polls shall not open later than 11 o’clock in the morning and shall not close earlier than 7 o’clock in the evening. Such vote shall be under an article inserted into the warrant pursuant to RSA 39:3. The wording of the question shall be as follows:
“Polling hours in the town of __________ (name of town) are now __________ (hour at which polls now open) to __________ (hour at which polls now close). Shall we place a question on the state election ballot to change polling hours so that polls shall open at __________ (proposed hour at which polls would open) and close at __________ (proposed hour at which polls would close) for all regular state elections beginning __________ (next state election)?”
II. Upon an affirmative vote on the question in paragraph I, the governing body of the town shall notify the secretary of state, by the filing deadline established in RSA 655:14, of the approved times for the question to be printed on the next state general election ballot. The secretary of state shall place the following question on the next state general election ballot in the form prescribed by RSA 656:13:
“Polling hours in the town of __________ (name of town) are now __________ (hour at which polls now open) to __________ (hour at which polls now close). Shall we change polling hours so that polls shall open at __________ (proposed hour at which polls would open) and close at __________ (proposed hour at which polls would close) for all regular state elections beginning __________ (next state election)?”
III. In a town with a town council as the legislative body, the town council may vote to place a question on the state election ballot to change the hours at which polls shall open, provided that the polls shall not open later than 11 o’clock in the morning and shall not close earlier than 7 o’clock in the evening. The governing body shall notify the secretary of state of the question to be placed on the ballot in accordance with the requirements of paragraph II.
IV. As an alternative to the procedures established in paragraphs I-III, the governing body of a town may extend the hours of polling in the town, provided that no extension of the hours of polling adopted under this paragraph shall take effect sooner than 60 days after its adoption. Any reduction of the hours of polling adopted under this paragraph shall conform to the provisions of paragraphs I-III.

Source. 1998, 275:2. 2007, 8:1, eff. July 1, 2007.

Section 659:5

 659:5 Petition to Extend Hours of Polling in Other Towns. – [Repealed 1988, 10:3, eff. July 1, 1988.]

Section 659:6

 659:6 Other Changes in Hours of Polling. – Except as provided in RSA 659:3, in all state elections, the voters present at the polling place may vote to keep the polls open until a later hour but may not vote to close the polls at an earlier hour than that prescribed in the warrant.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:7

 659:7 In Cities. – [Repealed 1988, 10:3, eff. July 1, 1988.]

Section 659:8

 659:8 At Additional Polling Places. – The hours of polling at any additional polling place shall be the same as those at the central polling place as provided in RSA 658:16.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Conduct of Voting

Section 659:9

 659:9 Moderator to Oversee Voting. – It shall be the duty of the moderator to secure the observance of the provisions of the following sections relating to the conduct of voting.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:9-a

 659:9-a City Chief Elections Officer Duties. – The city chief elections officer shall establish uniform practices and procedures that conform to state and federal law for the conduct of elections at all polling places within the city. The moderators and other election officials who conduct elections at the individual polling places within the city shall comply with the uniform procedures established for the city by the city chief elections officer. The secretary of state shall resolve any conflicting interpretations of state and federal laws arising between the chief elections officer and other election officials. The legislative body of any city may vote to have the duties of the ward officers relative to the selection and equipping of polling places assigned to the city chief elections officer.

Source. 2006, 78:2, eff. July 1, 2006.

Section 659:10

 659:10 Supervisors’ Attendance Required Where Checklist is Used. – The supervisors shall be present at the opening of each election at which a checklist is to be used and shall have with them the corrected checklist for that election and shall remain in attendance until the close of the election.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:11

 659:11 Conduct of Voting at Additional Polling Places. – The voting at each additional polling place shall be conducted as at the central polling place as provided in RSA 658:16.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Voting Procedure

Section 659:12

 659:12 Who Can Vote. – All persons whose names are entered upon the corrected checklist brought by the town or ward clerk to the polling place shall be entitled to vote. No person whose name is not upon the checklist shall be allowed to vote, unless, in the opinion of the supervisors of the checklist, it clearly appears that the name of a qualified voter has been omitted from the checklist by clerical error or mistake or that the person is a serviceman on leave who is qualified to vote and who by reason of such service was not in the town or city of his or her legal domicile at the time of the last session of the supervisors of the checklist.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2011, 73:3, eff. July 15, 2011.

Section 659:13

 659:13 Obtaining a Ballot. –
I.

(a) A person desiring to vote shall, before being admitted to the enclosed space within the guardrail, announce his or her name and address to one of the ballot clerks who shall, if the name is found on the checklist by the ballot clerk, repeat the name and address. If the address announced by voter is different from what appears on the checklist, but is in the same town or ward, the ballot clerk shall record the change of address in red on the paper checklist and the supervisors of the checklist shall cause the centralized voter registration database to reflect the change.

[Paragraph I(b) effective until July 1, 2018; see also paragraph I(b) set out below.]

(b) The voter, if the ballot clerk determines that he or she is qualified to vote in the town or ward, and unless challenged as provided for in RSA 659:27 through 659:33, shall then be asked to present proof of his or her identity meeting the requirements of paragraph II. If the voter presents such proof of identity to the ballot clerk, the ballot clerk shall give the voter one of each ballot to be voted on in that election which shall be folded as it was upon receipt from the secretary of state. The ballot clerk shall also mark the checklist using a ruler or other straight edge to ensure accuracy of the mark in order to show that the voter obtained his or her ballot. If the photo identification is an out-of state driver’s license or nondriver’s identification card, the ballot clerk shall record the state of issuance on the checklist in accordance with uniform procedures developed by the secretary of state in a color designated for such entries and the supervisors of the checklist or designee shall submit the information to the secretary of state within 30 days of the election. The voter shall then be allowed to enter the space enclosed by the guardrail to mark and cast his or her ballot.

[Paragraph I(b) effective July 1, 2018; see also paragraph I(b) set out above.]

(b) The voter, unless challenged as provided for in RSA 659:27 through 659:33, shall then be asked to present proof of his or her identity meeting the requirements of paragraph II. If the voter presents such proof of identity to the ballot clerk, the ballot clerk shall give the voter one of each ballot to be voted on in that election which shall be folded as it was upon receipt from the secretary of state. The ballot clerk shall also mark the checklist using a ruler or other straight edge to ensure accuracy of the mark in order to show that the voter obtained his or her ballot. If the photo identification is an out-of-state driver’s license or nondriver’s identification card, the ballot clerk shall record the state of issuance on the checklist in accordance with uniform procedures developed by the secretary of state in a color designated for such entries and the supervisors of the checklist or designee shall record the state of issuance of the voter’s driver’s license or identification card in the statewide centralized voter registration database within 30 days of the election. The voter shall then be allowed to enter the space enclosed by the guardrail to mark and cast his or her ballot.
(c)

(1) If the voter does not have a valid photo identification, the ballot clerk shall inform the voter that he or she may execute a challenged voter affidavit. The voter shall receive an explanatory document prepared by the secretary of state explaining the proof of identity requirements. If the voter executes a challenged voter affidavit, the ballot clerk shall mark the checklist in accordance with uniform procedures developed by the secretary of state.
(2) If the voter executes a challenged voter affidavit, the moderator or the moderator’s designee shall take a photograph of the voter and immediately print and attach the photograph to, and thus make it a part of, the affidavit form. The photograph shall be 2 inches by 2 inches, or larger, and may be in color or in black and white. The moderator or his or her designee who took the photograph and the voter shall then sign the challenged voter affidavit. The moderator or designee shall delete the photograph from the camera in the presence of the voter. If the moderator or his or her designee is unable to take the voter’s photograph due to equipment failure or other cause beyond the moderator’s or his or her designee’s reasonable control, the voter may execute a challenged voter affidavit without a photograph.
(3) If the voter objects to the photograph requirement because of religious beliefs, he or she may execute an affidavit of religious exemption in accordance with RSA 659:13-b, which shall be attested to by an election officer and attached to the challenged voter affidavit.
(4) The person entering voter information into the centralized voter registration database shall cause the records to indicate when a voter has not presented a valid photo identification and has executed a challenged voter affidavit.

II.

(a) A valid photo identification shall show the name of the individual to whom the identification was issued, and the name shall substantially conform to the name in the individual’s voter registration record; it also shall show a photograph of the individual to whom the identification was issued. The photo identification shall also have an expiration date that has not been exceeded by a period of more than 5 years , except that a voter 65 years of age or older may use an otherwise qualified form of identification without regard to expiration date, and except that student identification cards shall comply with the date requirements in subparagraph (5). The following forms of identification bearing a photograph of the voter shall satisfy the identification requirements of paragraph I:

(1) A driver’s license issued by any state or the federal government.
(2) An identification card issued under RSA 260:21, RSA 260:21-a, or RSA 260:21-b or a nondriver’s identification card issued by the motor vehicles division, department, agency, or office of any other state.
(3) A United States armed services identification card.
(4) A United States passport or passcard.
(5) A valid student identification card if:

(A) The card is issued by:

(i) A college, university, or career school in New Hampshire and approved to operate or licensed to operate in New Hampshire.
(ii) A public high school in New Hampshire.
(iii) A nonpublic high school in New Hampshire accredited by a private school accrediting agency that is recognized by the department of education.
(iv) Dartmouth College.
(v) A college or university operated by the university system of New Hampshire or the community college system of New Hampshire.

(B) The card has either an expiration date or an issuance date that has not been exceeded by a period of more than 5 years, except that, at all elections prior to September 1, 2018, student identification cards without a date of expiration or issuance shall be accepted.

(6) A challenged voter affidavit in accordance with subparagraph I(c).
(7) A photo identification not authorized by subparagraphs (1) through (6) but determined to be legitimate by the supervisors of the checklist, the moderator, or the clerk of a town, ward, or city, provided that if any person authorized to challenge a voter under RSA 659:27 objects to the use of such photo identification, identifies the reason for the objection in writing, and states the specific source of the information or personal knowledge upon which the challenge of the photo identification is based, the voter shall be required to execute a challenged voter affidavit as if no identification was presented.

(b) In addition to the forms of photo identification authorized in subparagraph (a), the identification requirements of paragraph I may be satisfied by verification of the person’s identity by a moderator or supervisor of the checklist or the clerk of a town, ward, or city, provided that if any person authorized to challenge a voter under RSA 659:27 objects to such verification, identifies the reason for the objection in writing, and states the specific source of the information or personal knowledge upon which the challenge of the photo identification is based, the voter shall be required to execute a challenged voter affidavit as if no verification was made.
(c) The secretary of state shall post the lists of educational institutions provided by the commissioner of the department of education under RSA 21-N:4, XI on the department of state’s website, and otherwise shall make such lists available to local election officials.

III. If a voter on the nonpublic checklist executes an affidavit in accordance with subparagraph I(c), the affidavit shall not be subject to RSA 91-A.
IV.

(a) The secretary of state shall cause a letter of identity verification to be mailed by first class mail to each voter who executed a challenged voter affidavit or affidavit of religious exemption in accordance with paragraph I, unless the same person is sent letter of identity verification pursuant to RSA 654:12, V(b). The letter shall be mailed by January 10 in every odd-numbered year in the case of persons executing challenged voter affidavits or affidavits of religious exemption at a state primary or general election, or within 90 days after any other election. The secretary of state shall mark the envelope with instructions to the United States Post Office not to forward the letter and to provide address correction information. The letter shall notify the person that a person who did not present valid photo identification voted using his or her name and address and instruct the person to return the letter within 30 days with a written confirmation that the person voted or to contact the attorney general immediately if he or she did not vote. The letter shall also inform the person of the procedure for obtaining a free nondriver’s picture identification card for voting purposes.
(b) The secretary of state shall conduct an inquiry regarding any letters mailed pursuant to subparagraph (a) that are returned as undeliverable by the United States Post Office and of voters who were mailed letters under subparagraph (a) and have not responded to the secretary of state. The inquiry may include consulting with, and examining public records held by, municipal officials, which contain information relevant to a person’s qualifications to vote in New Hampshire, and interviewing persons living at the address listed on the letters. After such inquiry, the secretary of state shall prepare and forward to the attorney general for investigation a list of those people whose identity or eligibility to vote could not be confirmed. The attorney general shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether fraudulent voting occurred.
(c) Within 60 days after any election held after November 1, 2012, the secretary of state shall compile a report by voting district of the number of voters who registered or voted on election day but did not present valid photo identification, and forward the report to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the appropriate house and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over election law.

V.

(a) The secretary of state shall provide to each town or city the photography equipment, supplies, and printing device that are necessary to enable it to comply with the photograph provision of subparagraph I(c), along with instructions in their use.
(b) If the moderator or his or her designee is unable to take the voter’s photograph due to equipment failure or other cause beyond the moderator’s or his or her designee’s reasonable control, the secretary of state may waive a voter’s compliance with the photograph requirement of subparagraph I(c).

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2002, 98:1. 2006, 300:2. 2012, 284:1, 7; 289:2, 4. 2013, 278:4, 7. 2014, 131:1-3; 319:5, 6. 2015, 276:182, eff. Sept. 1, 2015 at 12:03 a.m. 2016, 71:14, eff. May 10, 2016; 82:1, eff. July 18, 2016; 190:2, eff. Aug. 2, 2016. 2017, 67:1, eff. July 1, 2018; 222:3, eff. July 10, 2017.

Section 659:13-a

 659:13-a Observing Voter Check-In. – No person not authorized by law may stand or sit within 6 feet of the ballot clerk for purposes of observing the check-in of voters without the express permission of the moderator.

Source. 2010, 103:1, eff. July 25, 2010.

Section 659:13-b

 659:13-b Affidavit of Religious Exemption. – The affidavit of religious exemption shall be in the following form:

AFFIDAVIT OF RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION

Name: ____________________

Domicile Address: ____________________

Date of birth: _______________

I hereby swear or affirm that because of my religious beliefs, I object to having my photograph taken and that I do not possess a form of identification that meets the requirements of the election laws of this state showing my photograph.

I hereby swear or affirm, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am the identical person whom I represent myself to be and that to the best of my knowledge and belief the information above is true and correct.

_________________________

(Signature of affiant)

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposely providing false information when voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

This affidavit was executed before us on the date shown and the person who subscribed his or her name to the foregoing affidavit swore that the facts contained in this affidavit are true to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.

 

(Name of Election Officer) (Date)

 

(Signature of Election Officer)

Source. 2012, 284:11, eff. Sept. 1, 2015.

Section 659:14

 659:14 Special Provisions for State and Presidential Primary Elections. –
I. A person desiring to vote at a state or presidential primary election shall, at the time of announcing the person’s name, also announce the name of the party to which the person belongs or whether the person is registered as an undeclared voter. If the person’s party membership has been registered before, the person shall be given only the ballot of the party with which the person is registered, unless the person desires to vote the ballot of a party not having official existence at the time the person’s party membership was previously registered, in which case the person may vote the ballot of such a party in the state primary election immediately following the political organization’s official existence as a party, and not in any subsequent state primary election. A person may also vote the ballot of such a party in the presidential primary election only if the presidential primary election precedes the state primary election to be held in that same year. If the rules of a party permit a person who is registered as an undeclared voter to vote in the party’s primary, any person desiring to vote in that party’s primary shall also announce the name of that party at the time of announcing the person’s name. No person shall be permitted to vote in any more than one party primary during any primary election.
II. The secretary of state shall include on the voter instruction cards required by RSA 658:28 whether a party rule has been adopted which permits a person who is registered as an undeclared voter to vote in the party’s primary. The party chairman shall notify the secretary of state in writing prior to the filing period for state offices whether the party has adopted such a rule. This rule shall not be changed or rescinded by a party until the results of the primary have been announced, and any change or rescission shall be mailed to the secretary of state by the party chairman.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 129:1. 1993, 193:6. 1994, 218:1, eff. May 25, 1994.

Section 659:15

 659:15 Voter Proceeds to Booth. – On receipt of his ballot, the voter shall forthwith without leaving the space enclosed by the guardrail proceed to one of the voting booths and shall mark his ballot.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:16

 659:16 Number of Voters Allowed Within Guardrail. – The number of voters within the guardrail at any one time shall not exceed the number of voting booths at the polling place, provided that the number of voters shall not include election officers or any voter who is engaged in the act of handing his ballot to the moderator.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:17

 659:17 Marking the Ballot; Instructions to Voters. –
The secretary of state shall provide on the top of the general election ballot the following voting instructions. The secretary of state is authorized to replace the phrase “Make the appropriate mark” with an appropriate description and example of the mark to be made for the type of ballot in use, such as “Make a cross (X) in the box,” “Completely fill in the oval,” or “Complete the arrow”:
1) To Vote
Make the appropriate mark to the right of your choice. For each office vote for not more than the number of candidates stated in the sentence: “Vote for not more than ___.” If you vote for more than the stated number of candidates, your vote for that office will not be counted.
2) To Vote by Write-In
To vote for a person whose name is not printed on the ballot, write in the name of the person in the “write-in” space. Make the appropriate mark to the right of your choice.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 309:9; 324:5. 1995, 97:1. 2004, 201:4. 2007, 1:1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Section 659:17-a

 659:17-a Appropriate Mark. – For the purposes of this chapter, the term “appropriate mark” shall mean the mark to be used in the proper manner of marking the ballot as stipulated in the instructions to voters.

Source. 1994, 324:6, eff. June 8, 1994 at 12:01 a.m.

Section 659:18

 659:18 Instructions for Write-In Voting. – [Repealed by 2004, 201:5, eff. June 11, 2004.]

Section 659:19

 659:19 Voting on Questions. – A voter shall vote on questions submitted to voters by making an appropriate mark as instructed on the ballot next to the answer he or she desires to give.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2009, 214:8, eff. Sept. 13, 2009.

Section 659:20

 659:20 Assistance in Voting. – Any voter who declares to the moderator under oath that said voter needs assistance marking his or her ballot shall, upon the voter’s choice and request after the moderator has informed the voter of the accessible voting options that are available at the polling place, receive the assistance of one or both of the inspectors of election detailed for that purpose by the moderator or of a person of the voter’s choice provided that the person is not the voter’s employer or union official. Such person so assisting shall be sworn, shall mark the ballot as directed by said voter, and shall thereafter give no information regarding the same. Such person so assisting shall leave the space within the guardrail with the voter.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 97:1. 2004, 229:7. 2009, 139:2, eff. Aug. 28, 2009.

Section 659:20-a

 659:20-a Assistance in Voting; Disabled Voter. – Any voter, after appearing at the polling place location prior to the closing of the polls to vote in person, who declares to the moderator under oath that said voter is unable to access a polling place due to disability shall, upon the voter’s request, have the required documents delivered to the voter outside the guardrail by the town or ward clerk or one of his or her assistants. The absentee ballot delivered by the town or ward clerk shall be processed using the same procedures as any other absentee ballot except that the cutoff time listed in RSA 657:22 shall not apply.

Source. 2016, 88:1, eff. July 18, 2016. 2017, 196:2, eff. Sept. 3, 2017.

Section 659:21

 659:21 Admittance Within Guardrail. – No person other than the election officers, the voters admitted or those admitted to aid a voter pursuant to RSA 659:20 shall be permitted within the guardrail except by the authority of the election officers and, then, only for the purpose of keeping order and enforcing the law.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:22

 659:22 Spoiled Ballots. – If any voter spoils a ballot, he may receive others, one at a time, not exceeding 3 in all, upon returning each spoiled one. The ballots thus returned shall be immediately marked “cancelled” by the moderator over his signature and, at the close of the polls, shall be preserved as provided in RSA 659:95.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:23

 659:23 Folding and Depositing Ballot. –
I. Before leaving the voting booth, the voter shall fold his ballot in the same way it was folded when received by him and shall keep it folded so that the marks on it cannot be seen. He shall then proceed to the checkout table and shall announce his name to the town clerk who shall repeat the name and place a mark beside it on his checklist. The voter shall then present his ballot with the official endorsement uppermost to the moderator who shall then deposit the ballot in the ballot box.
II. The provisions of paragraph I shall not apply in cities and towns which use one or more electronic ballot counting devices for the counting of ballots, as provided in RSA 656:40.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1989, 71:1. 2009, 70:5, eff. Aug. 8, 2009.

Section 659:24

 659:24 Unofficial Ballots. – If the supply of ballots shall become exhausted before the closing of the polls, it shall be the duty of the town or city clerk to cause unofficial ballots to be prepared as provided in RSA 658:35. Except as provided in this section and in RSA 658:35, no ballot without the official endorsement shall be allowed to be deposited in the ballot box.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:25

 659:25 Time Allowed for Voting. – The voter shall mark and deliver the ballot without undue delay and shall leave the enclosed space within the guardrail as soon as he or she has delivered the ballot to the moderator. No voter shall be allowed to occupy a voting booth already occupied by another voter nor be allowed to remain within the enclosed space more than the time determined by the moderator.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 20:1, eff. June 22, 2003.

Section 659:26

 659:26 Voters Not Readmitted. – No voter, other than an election officer, whose name has been checked on the list by ballot clerks shall be allowed to reenter the enclosed space within the guardrail during the hours of polling except as provided in RSA 659:20.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:26-a

 659:26-a Hours of Polling Extended by Order. – In any federal election where hours of polling are extended by a federal or state court order or other order, the moderator or his or her designee shall mark all ballots cast during the extended hours of polling “EH.” These extended hours ballots shall be counted in the usual manner, but shall be separated and held apart from other ballots when stored.

Source. 2003, 289:57, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Challenges

Section 659:27

 659:27 Challenge of Voter; Affidavit. –
I. A voter offering to vote at any state election may be challenged by any other voter registered in the town or ward in which the election is held, an election official, a challenger appointed by a political committee pursuant to RSA 666:4, or a challenger appointed by the attorney general pursuant to RSA 666:5.
II. Upon receipt of a written challenge, the moderator shall determine if the challenge to the ballot is well grounded. If the moderator determines that the challenge is well grounded, the moderator shall not receive the vote of the person so challenged until the person signs and gives to the moderator an affidavit in the following form: I, ____________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) under penalties of voter fraud, that I am the identical person whom I represent myself to be, that I am a duly qualified voter of this town (or ward), and have a legal domicile therein. My telephone number (requested but optional) is _______________, and my email address (requested but optional) is _______________. If the moderator determines that the challenge is not well grounded, the moderator shall permit the voter to proceed to vote.
III. No voter or appointed challenger shall challenge a person’s qualifications to be a voter at the election day voter registration table.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2009, 278:3. 2010, 366:4. 2014, 319:7, eff. Sept. 30, 2014.

Section 659:27-a

 659:27-a Asserting a Challenge. –
I. No challenge may be asserted except in the form of a signed affidavit, under oath administered by an election official, in the following form:
INFORMATION ON THE PERSON MAKING THE CHALLENGE
Name of Person Making the Challenge:
Last Name First Name Middle Name/Initial
Party affiliation
If person making a challenge is a voter: Physical Address-Street Name -AND- Number
If person is a political party or attorney general appointee: mailing address -AND- phone number
The challenger’s qualifications to assert the challenge
INFORMATION ON THE VOTER BEING CHALLENGED: The person making the challenge shall complete the following:
Name being used by the voter who you wish to challenge:
Last Name First Name Middle Name
GROUNDS FOR THE CHALLENGE: The person making the challenge shall indicate the ground on which the challenge is made (check all grounds that apply).
___ The person seeking to vote is not the individual whose name he or she has given
___ The person seeking to vote has already voted in the election at (name polling place) ____________ at approximately (state time if known) __________
___ The person seeking to vote is disqualified as a voter by conviction of a willful violation of the elections laws (state offense, court, and date of conviction)
___ The person seeking to vote is under 18 years of age
___ The person seeking to vote is not a United States Citizen
___ The person seeking to vote is not domiciled in the town or ward where he or she is seeking to vote (state person’s true domicile-town/city)
___ The person seeking to vote does not reside at the address listed for that person on the checklist
___ The person seeking to vote is an incarcerated convicted felon who is currently sentenced to incarceration (state name of institution person is in)
___ This is a primary and the person seeking to vote in the (state political party name) __________ primary is not a declared member of the party he or she claims to be affiliated with
___ The person seeking to vote is ineligible to vote pursuant to the following state or federal statute or constitutional provision:
BASIS FOR THE CHALLENGE: The person making the challenge shall state the specific source of the information or personal knowledge upon which the challenge of the particular individual is based:
OATH: The person making the challenge shall complete the following:
I hereby swear and affirm, under the penalties of perjury, that to the best of my knowledge and belief the information above is true and correct.
____________________
(Signature of challenger)
On the date shown above, before me, __________ (print name of notary public, justice of the peace, election officer), appeared __________ (print name of person whose signature is being notarized), known to me or satisfactorily proven (circle one) to be the person whose name appears above, and he or she subscribed his or her name to the foregoing affidavit and swore that the facts contained in this affidavit are true to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.
____________________
Notary Public/Justice of the Peace/Official Authorized by RSA 659:30
TO BE COMPLETED BY THE MODERATOR: Ruling on the challenge:
If the ground at issue is age, citizenship, or domicile: The supervisors of the checklist have ruled that the challenged voter is: qualified as a voter; not qualified as a voter.
The moderator rules on challenges based on other grounds. The moderator rules that the challenge is: well grounded; not well grounded. If it is ruled that the voter is not qualified or that the challenge is well grounded, the challenged person may vote only if he or she completes and swears to a challenged voter affidavit.
II. A challenge may be asserted only upon personal knowledge or other basis of probable cause that the challenged voter is ineligible to vote. No challenge may be accepted unless one of the following grounds is asserted and specific facts are offered in support of such grounds:

(a) The person seeking to vote is not the individual whose name he or she has given.
(b) The person seeking to vote has already voted in the election at the time and place specified in the challenge.
(c) The person seeking to vote is disqualified as a voter by conviction of a willful violation of the elections laws, such conviction having been for the offense specified in the challenge.
(d) The person seeking to vote is under 18 years of age.
(e) The person seeking to vote is not a United States citizen.
(f) The person seeking to vote is not domiciled in the town or ward where he or she is seeking to vote because the person’s true domicile is in the town or city specified in the challenge.
(g) The person seeking to vote does not reside at the address listed for that person on the checklist.
(h) The person seeking to vote is an incarcerated convicted felon who is currently sentenced to incarceration in the institution specified in the challenge.
(i) The person is attempting to vote in a primary and the person is not a declared member of the party with which he or she claims to be affiliated.
(j) The person is ineligible to vote pursuant to some other state or federal statute or constitutional provision specified in the challenge.

Source. 2010, 366:5, eff. July 23, 2010.

Section 659:28

 659:28 Secretary of State to Prepare Affidavit Blanks. – The secretary of state shall prepare and distribute to the town and ward clerks before every state election printed blanks for the affidavits required by RSA 659:27.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:29

 659:29 Special Provisions for State and Presidential Primary Elections. – Any voter at any state or presidential primary election may challenge any other voter offering to declare himself as a member of a party or to vote the ballot of a party. Such challenged voter shall not be allowed to so declare or so vote until he makes an oath or affirmation that he affiliates with and generally supports the candidates of the party.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:30

 659:30 Affidavit. – The affidavit of a challenged voter, an asserting a challenge form, a qualified voter affidavit, or any other affidavit required by the election statutes may be sworn before any person authorized by law to administer oaths or before any election officer.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:58. 2006, 94:2. 2007, 212:5. 2009, 278:4. 2011, 73:4, eff. July 15, 2011. 2017, 205:11, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Section 659:31

 659:31 Receiving Vote. – A moderator shall not receive the vote of any voter who is challenged and who refuses to make an affidavit as required by RSA 659:27 or 659:29. A moderator who does receive the vote of such voter shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:32

 659:32 Affidavits Recorded. – The town clerk shall record the name and domicile of all voters making such affidavits, the name of the person challenging and the reason for the challenge.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:33

 659:33 Affidavits Preserved. – [Repealed 2011, 185:7, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.]

Prohibited Acts

Section 659:34

 659:34 Wrongful Voting; Penalties for Voter Fraud. –
I. A person is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 if such person:

(a) When registering to vote; when obtaining an official ballot; when casting a vote by official ballot; or when applying for a photo identification card for voting purposes, purposely or knowingly makes a false material statement regarding his or her qualifications as a voter to an election officer or submits a voter registration form, an election day registration affidavit, a qualified voter affidavit, a challenged voter affidavit, an affidavit of religious exemption, an identification card voucher, or an absentee registration affidavit containing false material information regarding his or her qualifications as a voter;
(b) Votes more than once for any office or measure;
(c) Applies for a ballot in a name other than his or her own;
(d) Applies for a ballot in his or her own name after he or she has voted once;
(e) Votes for any office or measure at an election if such person is not qualified to vote as provided in RSA 654;
(f) Gives a false name or answer if under examination as to his or her qualifications as a voter before the supervisors of the checklist or moderator;
(g) Presents falsified proof of identity, domicile, or verifiable action of domicile at any election;
(h) Registers to vote on election day using an affidavit to satisfy proof of being qualified, represents on the affidavit that the person possesses proof that he or she does not have in his or her possession at the polling place, and purposely and knowingly fails to provide a copy of the document by mail or present the document in person to the town or city clerk by the deadline established in RSA 654:12; or
(i) Purposely and knowingly provides false information in a written and signed statement or other documentation that another person is domiciled at an address that is owned, leased, rented, or managed by the individual providing the statement for the purposes of voter registration and that statement is used for voter registration purposes.

II. A person is guilty of a class B felony if, at any election, such person purposely or knowingly commits an act specified in subparagraph I(b) or I(e). A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if, at any election, such person purposely or knowingly commits any of the other acts listed in paragraph I, and, if the act involved the use of false proof of identity or voting using the name of another person, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory sentence in the county correctional facility of not less than 30 days for a first offense under this section, 90 days for a second offense under this section, and 180 days for a third or subsequent offense under this section.
III. The attorney general is authorized to impose a civil penalty under paragraph I.

(a) The attorney general may impose a civil penalty by providing written notice to the person:

(1) Setting forth the date, facts, and nature of each act or omission which makes the person liable to pay a civil penalty;
(2) Specifically identifying the particular provision or provisions of the law involved in each violation; and
(3) Advising the person of each penalty that the attorney general imposes and its amount.

(b) The written notice shall be served in hand or sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of such person. The person shall have 30 days to pay any civil penalty assessed under this section to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

IV. The decision of the attorney general to impose a civil penalty may be appealed to superior court. An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date on which the person received it.
V. The attorney general is authorized to institute a civil action to collect a penalty imposed pursuant to this section. The attorney general shall have the exclusive power to compromise, mitigate, or remit such civil penalties.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:41. 2004, 229:1. 2006, 68:2. 2009, 144:222; 278:5. 2012, 284:6, eff. June 27, 2012; 289:3, eff. July 6, 2012. 2017, 205:12, 13, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Section 659:34-a

 659:34-a Voting in More Than One State Prohibited. –
I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if, at any election, such person knowingly checks in at the checklist and casts a New Hampshire ballot on which one or more federal or statewide offices or statewide questions are listed if the person also casts a ballot in the same election year in any election held in any other state or territory of the United States where one or more federal or statewide offices or statewide questions are listed. For federal or statewide offices and statewide questions, neither the candidates nor the questions need be the same in both jurisdictions for a violation to occur. The titles for offices need not be identical, but must serve an equivalent role in government, for a violation to occur.
II. Two or more elections occur with the same election year if:

(a) The election for federal or statewide office or on a question being voted on statewide in another state or territory is held on the same day that New Hampshire holds its general election; or
(b) The term of office for any office listed on the ballot in the other state or territory starts in the same year as the term of office for that office or its equivalent in New Hampshire.

III. The state shall not be required to prove that the person actually marked the ballot for a candidate for any specific office; it shall be sufficient to prove that the person cast a ballot. Evidence that a person was checked off on the checklist, or the equivalent record in another state or territory, as having voted is prima facie evidence that the person cast a ballot in that election.
IV. If the election in New Hampshire and the other state or territory are held on different dates, it is an affirmative defense that the person legitimately moved his or her domicile to or from the other state or territory between the dates when the elections were held.

Source. 2006, 68:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2006.

Section 659:35

 659:35 Showing or Specially Marking Ballot. –
I. No voter shall allow his or her ballot to be seen by any person with the intention of letting it be known how he or she is about to vote or how he or she has voted except as provided in RSA 659:20. This prohibition shall include taking a digital image or photograph of his or her marked ballot and distributing or sharing the image via social media or by any other means.
II. No voter shall place a distinguishing mark upon his or her ballot nor write in any name as the candidate of his or her choice with the intention of thereby placing a distinguishing mark upon the ballot.
III. No voter shall use or attempt to use any ballot not given him or her by the ballot clerk to accomplish any of the acts or purposes prohibited by paragraph I or II or both.
IV. Any person willfully violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.
V. Before each state election, the secretary of state shall prepare and distribute to the town and ward clerks a sufficient number of posters measuring 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches highlighting the provisions of paragraphs I through IV.
VI. Each town and ward clerk shall prominently post the posters referred to in paragraph V at each polling place in his or her town or ward.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2014, 82:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2014.

Section 659:36

 659:36 Marking Ballot by Election Officers. – No mark of any nature shall be placed on any ballot by an election officer except as provided in RSA 659:20, 659:22 and 659:51. Whoever knowingly violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:37

 659:37 Interfering With Voter, Etc. – No person shall interfere or attempt to interfere with any voter when such voter is in the space within the guardrail or endeavor to induce any voter before voting to show how he marks or has marked his ballot. Whoever knowingly violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:38

 659:38 Forgery; Removing Ballot. – No person shall forge or falsely make the official endorsement on any official ballot, or furnish to any voter a ballot with the intent that such voter shall use the same in voting instead of the ballot given him by the ballot clerk, or take or remove any ballot outside the guardrail before the close of the polls, or knowingly delay the delivery of any ballots. Whoever knowingly violates this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:39

 659:39 Giving Liquor. – Any person who shall directly or indirectly give intoxicating liquor to a voter at any time with a view to influencing any election shall be guilty as provided in RSA 640:2.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:40

 659:40 Bribing; Intimidation; Suppression. –
I. No person shall directly or indirectly bribe any person not to register to vote or any voter not to vote or to vote for or against any question submitted to voters or to vote for or against any ticket or candidate for office at any election.
II. No person shall use or threaten force, violence, or any tactic of coercion or intimidation to knowingly induce or compel any other person to vote or refrain from voting, vote or refrain from voting for any particular candidate or ballot measure, or refrain from registering to vote.
III. No person shall engage in voter suppression by knowingly attempting to prevent or deter another person from voting or registering to vote based on fraudulent, deceptive, misleading, or spurious grounds or information. Prohibited acts of voter suppression include:

(a) Challenging another person’s right to register to vote or to vote based on information that he or she knows to be false or misleading.
(b) Attempting to induce another person to refrain from registering to vote or from voting by providing that person with information that he or she knows to be false or misleading.
(c) Attempting to induce another person to refrain from registering to vote or from voting at the proper place or time by providing information that he or she knows to be false or misleading about the date, time, place, or manner of the election.

IV. Whoever violates the provisions of this section or whoever conspires to violate the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class B felony.
V. This section is not intended to preclude prosecution or sentencing under any section of RSA 640.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2008, 118:1, eff. July 1, 2008.

Section 659:40-a

 659:40-a Interference With Communications. – Any person who, on the day of any election, knowingly blocks, or solicits another person to block, the access of any candidate or committee to the candidate’s or the committee’s communications equipment or services with the intent of interfering with campaign activity shall be guilty of a class B felony.

Source. 2003, 172:1. 2006, 305:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.

Section 659:41

 659:41 Assault, Etc. – Any person who shall assault a town, city, or ward officer as provided in RSA 631 in the discharge of any duty of his office at any election shall be guilty of a class A felony or a class B felony, but never less than a class B felony, other provisions of the law to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person who shall take away, injure or destroy the ballot box or checklist when in use at any election shall be guilty of a class B felony.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:42

 659:42 Tampering With Electronic Ballot Counting Devices. – Whoever shall tamper with or injure or attempt to injure any electronic ballot counting device for the counting of ballots to be used or being used in an election or whoever shall prevent or attempt to prevent the correct operation of such device or whoever shall tamper with software used in the counting of ballots or design such software so as to cause incorrect tabulation of the ballots or any unauthorized person who shall make or have in his or her possession a key to an electronic ballot counting device to be used or being used in an election shall be guilty of a class B felony if a natural person or guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2006, 305:5. 2009, 70:6, eff. Aug. 8, 2009.

Section 659:43

 659:43 Distributing Campaign Materials at Polling Place. –
I. No person shall distribute, wear, or post at a polling place any campaign material in the form of a poster, card, handbill, placard, picture, pin, sticker, circular, or article of clothing which is intended to influence the action of the voter within the building where the election is being held.
II. No person who is a candidate for office or who is representing or working for a candidate shall distribute any campaign materials or perform any electioneering activities or any activity which affects the safety, welfare and rights of voters within a corridor 10 feet wide and extending a distance from the entrance door of the building as determined by the moderator where the election is being held.
III. Whoever violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.
IV.

(a) Whoever violates any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.
(b) The court, upon petition of the attorney general, may levy upon any person who violates the provisions of RSA 659:43 a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation. All penalties assessed under this paragraph shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.
(c) The attorney general shall have authority to notify suspected violators of this section of the state’s intention to seek a civil penalty, to negotiate, and to settle with such suspected violators without court action, provided any civil penalty paid as settlement shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 354:1. 2004, 50:1. 2009, 144:223, eff. July 1, 2009. 2016, 320:1, eff. June 24, 2016.

Section 659:44

 659:44 Electioneering at the Polling Place. – No election officer shall electioneer while in the performance of his official duties. For the purposes of this section, “electioneer” shall mean to act in any way specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any question or office. Any person who violates this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:44-a

 659:44-a Electioneering by Public Employees. –
I. No public employee, as defined in RSA 273-A:1, IX,shall electioneer while in the performance of his or her official duties.
II. No public employee shall use government property or equipment, including, but not limited to, telephones, facsimile machines, vehicles, and computers, for electioneering.
III. For the purposes of this section, “electioneer” means to act in any way specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any question or office.
IV. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 2003, 172:2, eff. June 18, 2003. 2016, 176:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.

Section 659:45

 659:45 General Provisions. – It shall be the responsibility of the moderator to report any violation occurring under RSA 659:34 through RSA 659:44 to the attorney general. All fines imposed under RSA 659:35 through RSA 659:44 shall be paid to the county in which the offense was committed. All penalties assessed under RSA 659:34 shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2004, 229:2. 2009, 144:224, eff. July 1, 2009.

Processing Absentee Ballots

Section 659:46

 659:46 Delivery of Absentee Ballots to Moderator. – [Repealed 2014, 319:16, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.]

Section 659:47

 659:47 Absentee Ballots Received Late. – No absentee ballot shall be processed or counted unless it is delivered to the moderator at the proper polling place prior to the closing of the polls.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1995, 48:2, eff. July 2, 1995.

Section 659:48

 659:48 Death of a Voter. – If the officers charged with the duty of processing absentee ballots are cognizant of the fact that the voter has died prior to the opening of the polls, they shall not open the envelope containing the absentee ballot.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:49

 659:49 Processing Absentee Ballots. –
I. Processing of previously received absentee ballots shall begin at 1:00 p.m. unless a different time, that is no earlier than 2 hours after the opening of the polls, is posted and announced in accordance with paragraph II. The processing of the absentee ballots shall not unnecessarily interfere with normal voting procedures, nor shall the polls be closed at any time for the processing of such ballots during normal polling hours. Absentee ballots which are received after the start time for processing absentee ballots and prior to 5:00 p.m. on the day of the election shall be processed as soon after receipt as possible. Under no circumstances shall absentee ballots be counted prior to the closing of the polls.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, upon the written challenges of 10 or more voters who are present at the polls no later than 1:00 p.m., the moderator shall postpone the processing of all absentee ballots until after the polls close and prior to the counting of all ballots cast in the election. The moderator, or his or her designee, shall post the time at which the processing of absentee ballots shall begin at the polling place and one other public location at least 24 hours before the polls open. In addition, when the polls open the moderator shall announce the time at which the processing of absentee ballots shall begin.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1985, 122:1. 1995, 48:3. 1997, 103:1. 1998, 246:5. 2014, 319:15, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.

Section 659:49-a

 659:49-a Option to Count Absentee Ballots Before Closing of Polls. – [Repealed 1998, 246:6, II, eff. June 25, 1998.]

Section 659:49-b

 659:49-b Opening Absentee Ballot Outer Envelopes. – The moderator or the moderator’s designee may authorize the opening of absentee ballot outer envelopes on election day prior to the time established for processing absentee ballots in RSA 659:49, provided that the opening of the outer envelopes occurs in public with notice of the time and place. The envelope containing the ballot shall not be removed from the outer envelope at such time, and the outer envelope containing the inner envelope shall be secured until it is processed pursuant to RSA 659:50.

Source. 2008, 108:1. 2010, 317:40, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 659:50

 659:50 Announcement by Moderator. –
I. The moderator shall begin processing absentee ballots by clearly announcing that he or she is about to open the envelopes which were delivered to him or her. The moderator shall then remove the envelope containing the ballots of each absentee voter and, for those absentee ballots where the absentee voter has not been verified by the clerk as provided in RSA 657:17-a, shall compare the signature on the affidavit with the signature on the application for the ballot. If:

(a) The name of the voter is on the checklist; and
(b) The affidavit appears to be properly executed; and
(c) If the affidavit or application shows that the voter received assistance, the absentee voter shall be processed as verified.  Otherwise, the signatures the signature on the affidavit shall be examined to determine if it appears to be executed by the same person who signed the application.
II. For the absentee ballots processed in accordance with paragraph I and those where the clerk has previously verified the absentee voter in accordance with RSA 657:17-a, if  the signatures appear to be the signatures of a duly qualified voter who has not voted at the election; then the moderator shall publicly announce the name of the absentee voter, except that with respect to any voter who has been included in the address confidentiality program under RSA 7:43 or who has been granted a protective order under RSA 173-B, the moderator shall identify such voters as “confidential voter number 1” and “confidential voter number 2,” and so forth. If these conditions are not met, the moderator shall follow the procedure provided in RSA 659:53.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:41, eff. July 18, 2010. 2017, 216:9, eff. July 10, 2017. 2018, 329:3.

Section 659:51

 659:51 Challenges. –
I. All absentee ballots are subject to challenge after the moderator publicly announces the name of the absentee voter, except for voters provided for in RSA 7:46, but not after the ballot is removed from the envelope. No challenge to an absentee ballot may be asserted except in conformity with the requirements of RSA 659:27-a.
II. If the ballot is challenged, the moderator shall write on the envelope containing the ballot the word “challenged” and the name and address of the person who makes the challenge and the basis of the challenge. The moderator shall also number each challenged envelope consecutively by marking, for example, the first challenged ballot “Challenged Ballot No. 1.”
III. The moderator shall then determine if the challenge to the ballot is well grounded. If the moderator decides the challenge is well grounded, the moderator shall not open the envelope but shall preserve it with the other ballots cast at the election as provided in RSA 659:101 and shall record next to the name of the absentee voter on the clerk’s list of absentee voters prepared pursuant to RSA 657:15 the word “challenged” and the reason for the challenge. The clerk shall record this information in the statewide centralized voter registration database. If the moderator decides that the challenge is not well grounded, he or she shall open the envelope so the affidavit is not destroyed and proceed first to mark on the reverse of the folded ballot the corresponding challenge number as previously marked on the envelope. The moderator shall then proceed to deposit the ballot as provided in RSA 659:52.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 182:12, eff. June 21, 2010; 317:76, eff. July 18, 2010; 366:8, eff. July 23, 2010.

Section 659:52

 659:52 Opening Envelope; Depositing Ballot. – If the absentee ballot is not challenged, the moderator shall, after announcing the name of the voter, open the envelope containing the ballot so the affidavit is not destroyed. The moderator shall then take the ballot out of the envelope without unfolding the ballot or without permitting the ballot to be examined, and he or she shall preserve the affidavit with the ballots cast at the election as provided in RSA 659:101. The moderator shall then have a checkmark placed beside the name of the absentee voter on the checklist and write therewith the letters “A.V.” in red ink and shall then deposit the ballot in the ballot box.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 182:13, eff. June 21, 2010; 317:77, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 659:53

 659:53 Forms Not in Order. – If the moderator finds that the absentee voter is not entitled to vote, the moderator shall not open the envelope and shall mark across the face of the envelope the reason the ballot is rejected, such as “rejected as not a voter” “voted in person,” “affidavit improperly executed,” “not signed by proper person,” or whatever the reason is and shall record next to the name of the absentee voter on the clerk’s list of absentee voter applicants prepared pursuant to RSA 657:15 the word “rejected” and the reason for the rejection. The clerk shall record this information in the statewide centralized voter registration database. The moderator shall save all the unopened envelopes and shall preserve the envelopes with the ballots cast at the election as provided in RSA 659:101.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 182:14, eff. June 21, 2010.

Section 659:54

 659:54 Immaterial Defects. – No absentee ballot shall be rejected by the moderator for any immaterial addition, omission, or irregularity in the preparation or execution of any writing or affidavit required herein.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:54-a

 659:54-a Immaterial Defects; Electronically Transmitted Absentee Ballots. – No electronically transmitted absentee ballot shall be rejected by the moderator for any ballot, envelope, or affidavit weight, size, or color, or any ink font size, alignment, or color.

Source. 2010, 317:44, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 659:55

 659:55 Absentee Voter Not to Vote in Person. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a red ink “A.V.” is properly placed against the name of a voter who has voted by absentee ballot, that voter against whose name the red ink “A.V.” has been properly placed and who has voted by absentee ballot shall not be permitted to vote in person. The ballot clerk shall notify the moderator if a voter appears at the polling place on election day to vote and that voter’s name has been marked as voting absentee on the checklist.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2014, 116:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014.

Certification of Checklist

Section 659:56

 659:56 Certification of Checklist. – After the closing of the polls at a state election, the moderator and the town or ward clerk shall certify on the checklist used by them that such checklist is in fact the one used by them at said election and that it contains a correct and complete list of the legal voters in their town or ward.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:57

 659:57 Transfer of Checklist. – The certified checklist shall be used to prepare the election return as provided in RSA 659:74 and shall then be delivered to the supervisors by the town or ward clerk.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Counting of Votes

Section 659:58

 659:58 Disqualification of Officials. – Any election official, other than the moderator, who is also a candidate for office shall not be allowed to remain within the guardrail during the counting of votes for an office for which he is a candidate. Such official shall disqualify himself from election duties relating to the tabulation of votes; and the moderator shall appoint an assistant who shall take the same oath as, serve in the same capacity as, and have all the powers of the election official who is disqualified until such official may properly return.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:59

 659:59 Optional Counting of Votes at Additional Polling Places. – The moderator may order the assistant moderator in writing to process absentee ballots and to count the votes cast at the additional polling place in the presence of and with the assistance of the assistant town clerk and election officials in the manner prescribed by this chapter. After the processing of absentee ballots and the counting are complete, the assistant moderator shall place the counted ballots in the ballot box and shall seal it, and the assistant town clerk shall certify the same. The assistant moderator shall also seal in a package the duplicate checklists used at the additional polling place together with the absentee envelopes and the spoiled and unused ballots; and he, together with the assistant town clerk, shall immediately deliver the ballot box, checklists, absentee envelopes, unused and spoiled ballots, and a written report of his count signed by him and the assistant town clerk to the moderator of the town at the central polling place. If the moderator does not order the counting as provided herein, the assistant moderator shall comply with the provisions of RSA 659:62.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 454:7, eff. Aug. 22, 1981.

Section 659:60

 659:60 Duties of Moderator. – The moderator, or the moderator pro tempore if the moderator is disqualified under RSA 658:24, shall oversee the counting of votes by other election officers, including the selectmen and the town clerk, and may discharge any other duties relating to the counting of votes.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1999, 31:1, eff. July 10, 1999.

Section 659:61

 659:61 Votes Counted After Processing of Absentee Ballots. – After all absentee ballots have been processed, or processed and counted, as provided in RSA 659:49-55, and after the polls have closed, the election officials, except those disqualified in accordance with RSA 659:58, shall, under the supervision of the moderator, immediately begin counting the votes cast at the election. The moderator may use the assistance of a person appointed by the secretary of state or the attorney general to assist in the completion of the election return forms.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 454:8. 1987, 371:2. 2010, 317:45, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 659:62

 659:62 Return of Materials From Additional Polling Place. – Except as provided in RSA 659:59, upon the closing of the polls at each additional polling place, the ballot box at such polling place shall be sealed by the assistant moderator. Such sealing shall be done in the presence of the inspectors of election and shall be certified by the assistant clerk at such polling place. The assistant moderator shall also seal in a package the duplicate checklists used at the additional polling place together with the unused and spoiled ballots. The ballot box and the package shall be delivered to the moderator at the central polling place without unnecessary delay and with the seals unbroken by 2 election officials designated by the assistant moderator. Such 2 election officials shall be of different political parties.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:63

 659:63 Counting to be Public. – The counting of votes shall be public and conducted within the guardrail and shall not be adjourned nor postponed until it shall have been completed. No ballot shall be placed within 4 feet of the guardrail during the counting of votes.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:64

 659:64 Determining Intention of Voter. – If a ballot is marked for any office in a way which does not readily admit of counting or if a disagreement over how to count the ballot for any office occurs among the election officers present and counting votes, then the ballot shall be counted for that office in accordance with the majority vote of the election officials present and counting votes; provided that, if no alternative count receives a majority vote, the ballot shall be regarded as defective for that office as provided in RSA 659:65.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:65

 659:65 Defective Ballots. –
A ballot shall be regarded as defective in whole or in part and shall not be counted in whole or in part as follows:

I. A ballot shall be regarded as defective in whole and shall not be counted in whole if either or both of the following conditions exist:

(a) The ballot does not have printed upon it the official endorsement in accordance with RSA 656:17, unless it has been prepared in accordance with RSA 658:35.
(b) No count of the ballot for any office received a majority vote of the election officials as provided in RSA 659:64.

II. A ballot shall be regarded as defective in part and that part shall not be tabulated if either or both of the following conditions exist:

(a) No count of the ballot for one or more (but less than all) offices received a majority vote of the election officials as provided in RSA 659:64, but the count of the ballot for the other offices results in no disagreement or can be agreed on by majority vote as provided in RSA 659:64.
(b) The ballot has attached to it an adhesive slip, sticker, or paster not prepared in accordance with RSA 656:21 in the space for any office, but the rest of the ballot admits to counting as provided in subparagraph II(a).

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Special Provisions for Counting Vote on State General Election Ballots

Section 659:66

 659:66 Counting Straight Party Vote. – [Repealed 2007, 1:2, III, eff. June 15, 2007.]

Section 659:67

 659:67 Write-In Votes. – In the case of a write-in vote for a candidate whose name appears on the ballot as the nominee of a party for the same office, said write-in vote shall be counted as an additional vote for said candidate; but the said individual ballot shall be counted as only one vote for the same person for the same office.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:68

 659:68 Counting Vote When a Candidate is Nominated by More Than One Party. – [Repealed 1996, 36:12, eff. June 23, 1996.]

Special Provisions for Counting Vote on State and Presidential Primary Election Ballots

Section 659:69

 659:69 Counting Votes on Different Party Ballots. – Votes cast for the same person for the same office on the ballots of different parties at any primary election shall not be added together but shall be credited to the party on whose ballot his name appears and the vote is cast.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Completing the Count and Announcing the Results

Section 659:70

 659:70 Final Counting; Result. – The final count of all votes on all ballots cast at the central and additional polling places, if any, shall be combined and the moderator shall announce the final count for each office.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Election Returns

Section 659:71

 659:71 When to Prepare Return. – After the tabulation of votes has been completed and the result has been announced by the moderator as provided in RSA 659:70, the town or ward clerk shall prepare the election return in the presence of the other election officials.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:72

 659:72 Secretary of State to Prepare Return Blanks. – Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare and distribute to each town, city, or ward clerk election return forms together with such instructions as the secretary of state shall deem necessary.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:73

 659:73 General Content of Return. –
I. The election return forms shall be submitted on paper and electronically immediately after the completion of the vote count in the manner prescribed by the secretary of state. The return of votes shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The name of each candidate printed on the ballot and the number of votes that candidate received for the listed office including any write-in votes for the same office on the same ballot where the voter did not mark the printed candidate name.
(b) For each office the total number of votes cast for each write-in candidate who received 5 or more votes and the candidate’s name, along with the aggregate number of all other write-in votes cast for each candidate receiving less than 5 votes, excluding write-in votes for candidates whose names were printed on the ballot where the voter did not mark the printed candidate name and the vote is reported under subparagraph (a).
(c) For any question submitted to the voters:

(1) The number of affirmative votes.
(2) The number of negative votes.
(d) In a primary, the number of ballots cast for each party.
(e) In a general election, the number of ballots cast.

II. Within 48 hours of the closing of the polls or other time ordered by the secretary of state, the moderator shall forward to the secretary of state a list of all write-in candidates receiving between one and 4 votes in the election.
III. The secretary of state shall provide guidance for completing the return of votes in the election procedure manual issued pursuant to RSA 652:22. The secretary of state may provide an electronic version of the return of votes capable of being used on a computer at the polling place to assist moderators and clerks in completing and submitting the paper and electronic forms.
IV. The moderator shall fill out a moderator’s certificate prepared by the secretary of state, which shall be recorded and signed by the moderator within 48 hours of the closing of the polls or other time ordered by the secretary of state and submitted to the clerk. The worksheet shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The number of official ballots received from the secretary of state brought to the polling place by the city or town clerk on election day, excluding ballots marked as test ballots and used prior to election day to test an electronic ballot counting device.
(b) The number of official ballots cast on election day.
(c) If the polling place runs out of official ballots, the number of absentee ballots used as official ballots and cast.
(d) If the polling place runs out of official ballots, the number of photocopy ballots used as official ballots and cast.
(e) The number of Accessible Voting System ballots cast.
(f) The number of state absentee ballots cast.
(g) The number of federal offices only absentee ballots cast.
(h) The number of state write-in absentee ballots cast.
(i) The number of federal write-in absentee ballots cast.
(j) A comparison of the different methods of tallying ballots cast.

V. The moderator shall record and sign a names on checklist form within 48 hours of the closing of the polls, unless the secretary of state directs otherwise, and shall submit the form to the secretary of state, with a copy to the clerk. The names on checklist form shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The number of people who registered to vote on election day.
(b) For each party, the total number of voters registered as members of the party.
(c) The number of undeclared voters that cast ballots for each party at a state or presidential primary election.
(d) The number of undeclared voters that returned to undeclared after voting in a state or presidential primary election.

VI. The moderator shall record and sign a ballots cast form prepared by the secretary of state within 48 hours of the closing of the polls, or other time ordered by the secretary of state, and shall submit the form to the secretary of state, with a copy to the clerk. The ballots cast form shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The number of ballots cast.
(b) The number of absentee ballots cast.

VII. The town or city clerk may require that forms be completed under this section earlier than the time required by the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:46. 2011, 185:2. 2012, 113:6, eff. May 31, 2012.

Section 659:74

 659:74 Preparing Return. – The town or ward clerk shall prepare the election return in duplicate on the forms supplied by the secretary of state and shall sign and shall certify such returns.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:75

 659:75 Forwarding; Retaining Copies of Return. – One copy of the election return shall be forwarded by the town or ward clerk to the secretary of state in both paper and electronic form no later than 8:00 a.m. on the day following a state election unless the secretary of state orders them at a different time and date. The other shall be kept by the town or city clerk in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a and shall be open to public inspection at reasonable times. If an official state election return is sealed along with the ballots, the clerk having custody of the sealed ballots shall, at the request of the secretary of state, and in the presence of a state election official, unseal the ballots and retrieve the election return. The ballots shall be immediately resealed and the election return shall be delivered to the secretary of state by the election official.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:17. 2007, 75:1. 2010, 317:80. 2011, 185:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.

Section 659:76

 659:76 Return From Unincorporated Place. – As provided in RSA 668:7, the town clerk shall prepare and forward a return of the votes cast in his town by voters of unincorporated places, if any, in the same manner as provided in RSA 659:71-75.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Defective Returns; Penalties

Section 659:77

 659:77 General Neglect by Town or Ward Moderator and Clerk. –
I. If any moderator shall intentionally neglect to cause an accurate count to be made of the votes cast as required by law, for which no other penalty is provided, he or she shall be guilty of a violation.
II. If any town or ward clerk shall intentionally neglect to make any return of votes required by law, for which neglect no other penalty is provided, he or she shall be guilty of a violation.
III. If a return of votes is not timely submitted or is submitted with significant defects, if a recount discloses that the election night vote count was significantly inaccurate, or if other significant deficiencies in the conduct of an election are documented the secretary of state shall report the same to the attorney general. Upon a finding by the attorney general that the late submission, miscount, or other significant deficiency was due to lack of training, lack of established procedures, negligence, or misconduct, the secretary of state in consultation with the attorney general shall appoint an election monitor who shall be an individual trained in the conduct of elections and who shall attend portions of the ballot casting and all of the ballot counting to monitor the next election conducted in that town or ward. The finding of the attorney general may be appealed to the ballot law commission.
IV. An election monitor appointed under paragraph III shall have full access to the polling place, including authority to directly observe the registration of voters on election day, the checking in of voters by inspectors of elections, assistance to voters with disabilities, the use of the accessible voting system, the receipt of ballots, the processing of absentee ballots, and the counting of ballots, and may handle marked ballots for the purposes of instruction during the counting and tabulating process.
V. An election monitor appointed under paragraph III may provide training and guidance to the moderator and clerk who conducts the election. The election monitor shall issue a public written report within 30 days following the election to the voters of the town or ward, the secretary of state, and the attorney general, which shall be posted on the secretary of state’s website, documenting the extent to which the town or ward complies with state law and utilizes the best practices set forth in the election procedures manual and the on-line training available on the secretary of state’s website in conducting the monitored election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:48. 2011, 185:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.

Section 659:78

 659:78 Late Return. – Whenever the election return of any town or ward has not been received by the secretary of state by 8:00 a.m. on the day after a state election, the secretary of state shall so notify the attorney general and the moderator, the selectmen, and the clerk of the town or ward who shall forward such return forthwith.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:49, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 659:79

 659:79 Incorrect or Incomplete Return; Amendment. – If a town or ward clerk shall make an incorrect or incomplete election return, the moderator may require that clerk, at his or her own expense, to appear and amend the return according to the facts within 4 hours of receipt of notification from the secretary of state. If the clerk shall refuse to appear and amend the return, he or she shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:50, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 659:80

 659:80 False Return. – If a town or ward clerk shall knowingly make a false election return, he shall be guilty of a class B felony.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Canvass and Declaration: State General Election

Section 659:81

 659:81 Canvass and Declaration Generally. – Except as provided in RSA 659:82, when the secretary of state has received the returns for an office from all towns or wards comprising the elective district for that office, he shall examine, record and total such returns and shall declare elected to the office the same number of persons as the number of officers to which the district is entitled; provided that those persons declared officers-elect shall be those persons who received the highest number of votes cast for said office.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:82

 659:82 Declaration of State Representatives-Elect From Representative District Containing Only One Town or Ward. – In a state representative district containing only one town or ward, the moderator of such town or ward shall declare state representatives-elect from such district.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:83

 659:83 Certificate of Election Blanks. – The secretary of state shall prepare certificate of election blanks before any state general election and shall retain the appropriate blanks for his own use.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 366:2, eff. Aug. 8, 1994.

Section 659:84

 659:84 Certificates of Election. –
When the time for any recount or appeal to the ballot law commission or superior court has expired or when all candidates for an office whose names were placed on the official state general election ballot have waived in writing a recount and an appeal, whichever is first:

I. The governor shall issue certificates of election to the following officers-elect:

(a) Electors of the president and vice-president of the United States;
(b) United States senator;
(c) United States representatives.

II. The secretary of state shall issue certificates of election to the following officers-elect:

(a) State senators;
(b) State representatives;
(c) County officers.

III. [Repealed.]

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 254:10, 12, eff. Aug. 9, 1991.

Section 659:85

 659:85 Election to Incompatible Offices. – If, upon the conclusion of the canvass of votes in any state general election, any person shall have received the largest number of votes for 2 or more incompatible offices, the secretary of state shall notify the candidate of that fact. Thereupon, the candidate shall, within 10 days, notify the secretary of state of which office he intends to accept. The secretary of state shall then declare that person elected to that office and declare vacant the other offices for which the person received a sufficient number of votes to win. Such a vacancy shall be filled as provided by RSA 661.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Canvass and Declaration: State Primary Election

Section 659:86

 659:86 Canvass and Declaration Generally. – Except as provided in RSA 659:87, when, for each political party having an official state primary election ballot, the secretary of state has received the returns for a nomination from all towns or wards comprising the elective district for that office, he shall examine, record and total such returns and, for each political party, shall declare nominated for the office the same number of persons as the number of officers to which the district is entitled; provided that those persons declared nominated for the office shall be those persons who, on each party ballot, received the highest number of votes cast for the office, except as provided in RSA 659:91.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:87

 659:87 Declaration of Nominees for Office of State Representative From District Containing Only One Town or Ward. – In a state representative district containing only one town or ward, the moderator of such town or ward shall, for each political party having an official state primary election ballot, declare nominees for the office of state representative from such district.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:88

 659:88 Write-In Votes and Nomination. –
I.

(a) A person whose name was not printed on the official state primary election ballot of a political party shall not be entitled to the nomination of that party for any office unless the person received at least 35 write-in votes.
(b) A person whose name was not printed anywhere on the official state primary election ballot, and who receives the nomination of a party by write-in vote in a primary election and wishes to accept the nomination, shall file a declaration of candidacy with the secretary of state no later than the first Monday after the primary. The declaration of candidacy shall be filed with the understanding that, where the form says “primary election,” it shall be construed to mean “general election.” Such person shall not, however, be required to pay the administrative assessment under RSA 655:19-c.

II. If a person is disqualified from a nomination in accordance with the provisions of paragraph I, then the nomination shall be awarded to the qualified person who received the highest number of votes.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 240:1. 1993, 187:1. 1994, 218:4. 2008, 142:1. 2010, 317:51. 2011, 150:6. 2012, 113:7, eff. May 31, 2012.

Section 659:89

 659:89 Notice of Result. –
After the declarations required by RSA 659:86 and 659:87 have been made, the secretary of state shall:

I. Send a certified list of all elected state convention delegates to each state party committee;
II. Notify in writing of his nomination each person nominated by write-in vote at the primary.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 240:2. 1983, 426:17, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.

Section 659:90

 659:90 Rejection of Nomination by Write-In Vote. – Persons nominated by write-in vote who wish to reject the nomination shall reject their nominations as follows. A person notified in writing of his or her nomination by the secretary of state as required by RSA 659:89 shall advise the secretary of state in writing if he or she wishes to reject the nomination. If such rejection of nomination is not received by the secretary of state by the first Tuesday following the date of the primary, the person shall be deemed to have accepted the nomination, and his or her name shall appear on the official ballot as a candidate for the office. If for any reason the person cannot be contacted by the deadline for the printing of the ballots, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the official state general election ballot.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 240:3. 1983, 426:18. 1994, 4:18. 2010, 317:52. 2012, 113:8, eff. May 31, 2012.

Section 659:91

 659:91 Nominations for Incompatible Offices. – Any person who is nominated by the same political party for incompatible offices shall notify the secretary of state in person, in writing, by facsimile transmission, or by e-mailing a signed statement as an attachment no later than the Friday following the date of the primary of which nomination he or she will accept. Thereupon the secretary of state shall declare a vacancy to exist in the nomination which such person declined. The vacancy shall be filled as provided in RSA 655:37 except that all the necessary declarations of candidacy and affidavits shall be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday following the date of the primary.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 240:4. 1983, 426:19. 1994, 4:19. 2010, 317:53. 2012, 113:9, eff. May 31, 2012.

Section 659:91-a

 659:91-a Candidate of One Party. –
I. Any person who runs as a candidate on any party’s state primary election ballot and who is not chosen as the candidate for that party for the elective office for which the person was a candidate shall not under any circumstances run as the nominee of a different party in the state general election.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 655:37, if any candidate is disqualified from accepting the nomination of another party by means of write-in votes because the candidate is disqualified under the provisions of paragraph I, then the nomination shall be given to the candidate who received the highest number of write-in votes and who was not disqualified under the provisions of paragraph I, so long as he or she receives 10 write-in votes, or write-in votes equaling 10 percent or more of the total votes cast for that party on the state primary election ballot, whichever is the smaller.

Source. 1983, 221:1; 429:2. 1986, 61:1. 1996, 36:10. 1999, 202:2. 2001, 231:10, eff. July 13, 2001.

Canvass and Declaration: Presidential Primary Election

Section 659:92

 659:92 Canvass; Publication. – When, for each political party having an official presidential primary election ballot, the secretary of state has received the returns for the office of president from all towns and wards in the state, he shall examine, record and total such returns, which shall be a matter of public record.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:10, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.

Section 659:93

 659:93 Apportionment of Delegates; Notice. –
I. The secretary of state shall apportion delegates to the national party conventions among the candidates voted for at the presidential primary by determining the proportion of the number of votes cast for each presidential candidate to the total votes cast for all presidential candidates of the same political party, rounded to the nearest whole number.
II. A presidential candidate must receive at least 10 percent, before any rounding to the nearest whole number, of the total vote cast for all presidential candidates of his political party to be eligible for a share of the apportioned delegates.
III. In the event the apportionment of delegates according to paragraphs I and II leaves one or more delegates unassigned by the process of mathematical distribution, said delegates shall be apportioned to the presidential candidate of that party with the highest number of votes.
IV. Only one alternate for each delegate shall be authorized.
V. After determining the apportionment of delegates according to this section, the secretary of state shall send by mail notice to each candidate the number of delegates to which he is entitled pursuant to this section. The candidate shall within 10 days after notice is sent to him notify the secretary of state of which delegates and alternates on the list filed pursuant to RSA 655:50 that he chooses to be his delegation at the national convention. The secretary of state shall then notify by mail each delegate and alternate chosen by the candidate to support his candidacy at the national convention.
VI. If a presidential candidate has received a share of the delegates as a result of the presidential primary but withdraws as a presidential candidate at any time prior to the convention, his pledged delegates shall be released by the candidate and each delegate is free to support any candidate of his political party who may be his choice as a candidate for president.

Source. 1979, 367:2; 436:1. 1981, 96:1, eff. June 19, 1981.

Section 659:94

 659:94 Write-In Vote. – If a presidential candidate receives as write-in votes 10 percent or more, before any rounding to the nearest whole number, of the total votes cast for all such candidates of a political party, the secretary of state shall so notify in writing the person; and the person shall then select the number of delegates and alternates to which he is entitled according to RSA 659:93 and such delegates and alternates shall file the certification provided for in RSA 655:51.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 96:2, eff. June 19, 1981.

Preservation of Ballots and Other Election Materials

Section 659:95

 659:95 Sealing and Certifying Ballots. –
I. Immediately after the ballots cast at a state election have been tabulated and the result has been announced and the return has been made, the moderator or the moderator’s designee, in the presence of the selectmen or their designee, shall place the cast, cancelled, and uncast ballots, including such ballots from any additional polling places, and further including the successfully challenged and rejected absentee ballots still contained in their envelopes, in the containers provided by the secretary of state as required by RSA 659:97 and shall seal such container with the sealer provided by the secretary of state as required by RSA 659:97. The moderator or the moderator’s designee shall then enter in the appropriate blanks on such sealer on each container the number of cast, cancelled, and uncast ballots in such container and shall endorse in the appropriate place on such sealer a certificate in substance as follows: Enclosed are the ballots from the state election in the town of _________ (or in ward _______________ in the city of _________________) held on __________, 20___, Box _____ of _____, to be preserved in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a. The moderator and the selectmen or their designee shall sign their names in the appropriate blanks on the sealer.
II. Ballots, including cast, cancelled, and uncast ballots and successfully challenged and rejected absentee ballots still contained in their envelopes, prepared or preserved in accordance with the election laws shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 91-A. This exemption shall apply to any ballots or absentee voter affidavits prepared for or used in any election conducted by the state or any political subdivision, including federal elections.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1985, 292:1. 2003, 289:60. 2010, 317:81, eff. Aug. 16, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.

Section 659:96

 659:96 Ballots for Constitutional Amendments. – If a question to voters is submitted to the vote of the people on a special and separate ballot as provided in RSA 663:2, then those ballots shall be sealed and certified in a separate container as provided in RSA 659:95 except as provided in RSA 659:97.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:97

 659:97 Secretary of State to Prepare Containers, Sealers. – The secretary of state shall, before any state election, prepare and distribute to each town and ward clerk containers to be used for preserving ballots and sealers to seal each such container. He shall prepare special containers and sealers to be used for preserving any special and separate ballots for questions to voters. The secretary of state shall prescribe the size and form of such containers and sealers and shall prescribe the form of any endorsement blank printed upon the sealers, provided that the blank is in substance consistent with the provisions of RSA 659:95.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 659:98

 659:98 Delivery of Ballots to Town Clerk. – The moderator, or the moderator’s designee, and the selectmen, or their designee, after they have sealed and certified the state election ballots as provided in RSA 659:95 and RSA 659:96, shall deliver the sealed containers to the town or city clerk, or to the clerk’s designee, who shall in their presence enter in the appropriate place on each sealer the time of day and shall sign his or her name in the appropriate blank on the sealer. The clerk or the clerk’s designee shall, without breaking the seals or otherwise changing the condition of the containers, deposit the containers in the town or city hall, where the ballots shall be kept for a period set forth in RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1985, 292:2. 2010, 317:82, eff. Aug. 16, 2010 at 12:01 a.m. 2018, 100:2.

Section 659:99

 659:99 Forwarding Ballots to the Secretary of State. – If any person shall make a request for a recount as provided in RSA 660, or if the secretary of state shall request the ballots of the recent election, the clerk having the custody of such ballots shall, at the request of the secretary of state, forward the ballots forthwith to the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 317:56, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 659:100

 659:100 Destruction of Ballots. – All state election ballots remaining in the possession of the town or city clerk may be destroyed in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 208:1. 2010, 172:21, eff. Aug. 16, 2010.

Section 659:101

 659:101 Preservation of Absentee Voting Materials and Election Day Affidavits. – The absentee ballot affidavits and application forms processed by the moderator as provided in RSA 659:50, the absentee ballots challenged and rejected as provided in RSA 659:51 and RSA 659:53, and the qualified voter affidavits as provided in RSA 654:12 and any other documentary proof of qualifications retained by the town or city clerk, the supervisors of the checklist, or other election official shall be preserved in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a. Qualified voter and voter registration affidavits shall be retained for the period set forth in RSA 33-A:3-a, and other materials may be destroyed after the election is settled and all appeals have expired or one year after the election, whichever is longer.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:59. 2006, 94:3. 2009, 278:6. 2010, 317:83, eff. Aug. 16, 2010 at 12:01 a.m. 2017, 205:14, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.

Section 659:102

 659:102 Preservation of Checklists. – Within 90 days of the closing of the polls for each regular state general election, and for each presidential primary election, the supervisors of the checklist in the towns, and the corresponding officers in the cities, shall send one of the marked checklists which were used in that election, certified by the officers, to the state archives. In addition, if directed by the secretary of state, they shall send one of the unmarked checklists which were used in the state general election at which a president was elected to the clerk of the federal district court for the district of New Hampshire. One marked copy of every checklist used in any election shall be turned over to the town or city clerk by the supervisors. The clerk shall preserve such checklists in his or her custody for a public record for a period set forth in RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 510:5. 1983, 426:11. 1994, 4:20. 2010, 172:23. 2011, 185:5. 2013, 106:1, eff. Aug. 23, 2013.

Section 659:103

 659:103 Preservation of Challenge Affidavits. – The forms completed by challengers and affidavits made by challenged voters as provided in RSA 659:27 and RSA 659:27-a shall be preserved in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 172:24. 2011, 185:6, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.

CHAPTER 660 – POST-ELECTION PROCEDURE

State General Election Recounts

Section 660:1

 660:1 Application. – Any candidate for whom a vote was cast for any office at a state general election may apply for a recount, provided that the difference between the votes cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected is less than 20 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted. The application shall be made in writing to the secretary of state and shall be submitted no later than the Friday following the election. Each candidate requesting a recount shall pay the secretary of state fees as provided in RSA 660:2.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 510:1. 1983, 175:2. 1994, 4:21. 1995, 69:1. 2008, 377:2, eff. Sept. 9, 2008.

Section 660:2

 660:2 Fees. –
I. If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be less than one percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the following fees shall apply:

(a) Candidate for president, United States senator or governor, $500.
(b) Candidate for United States representative, $250.
(c) Candidate for executive councilor, $100.
(d) Candidate for state senator or county officer, $50.
(e) Candidate for state representative, $10.

II. If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be between one percent and 2 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the following fees shall apply:

(a) Candidate for president, United States senator or governor, $1,000.
(b) Candidate for United States representative, $500.
(c) Candidate for executive councilor, $200.
(d) Candidate for state senator or county officer, $100.
(e) Candidate for state representative, $20.

III. If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be between 2 percent and 3 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the following fees shall apply:

(a) Candidate for president, United States senator or governor, $2,000.
(b) Candidate for United States representative, $1,000.
(c) Candidate for executive councilor, $400.
(d) Candidate for state senator or county officer, $200.
(e) Candidate for state representative, $40.

IV. If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be greater than 3 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the candidate shall pay the fees as provided in RSA 660:2, III and shall agree in writing with the secretary of state to pay any additional costs of the recount. The secretary of state may require that the applying candidate pay the estimated additional costs of the recount prior to commencing the recount.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1995, 69:2. 2008, 377:3, eff. Sept. 9, 2008.

Section 660:3

 660:3 Number of Recounts. – Any candidate for whom a vote was cast for any office at a state general election, provided that the difference between the votes cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected is less than 20 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, shall be entitled to apply for only one recount under this chapter, and the declaration made by the secretary of state under RSA 660:6 shall be final, subject to a change in the result following an appeal to the ballot law commission, as provided in RSA 665:8, II. If more than one candidate for the same office in the same district applies for a recount under this chapter, and a recount is completed, such applications shall not result in a second recount.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 175:3. 2003, 151:3. 2008, 377:4, eff. Sept. 9, 2008.

Section 660:4

 660:4 Time and Notice. – Upon satisfactory application for a recount as provided in RSA 660:1, the secretary of state shall begin the process of recounting the ballots on a date selected by the secretary of state, which shall be no later than the Wednesday following the deadline for requesting a recount. A recount shall take place at any suitable state facility in the city of Concord as may be designated by the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall give a reasonable notice thereof to the applicant and to each of the opposing candidates. The secretary of state shall also prepare and distribute to the applicant and to each of the opposing candidates the rules and procedures governing the recount at the same time notice of the time and place for holding the recount is given to the applicant and to each opposing candidate.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 175:4. 1995, 69:3. 2012, 113:10, eff. May 31, 2012.

Section 660:5

 660:5 Conduct of Recount. – If directed by the secretary of state, the state police shall collect all ballots requested from the town or city clerks having custody of them and shall deliver them to the public facility designated by the secretary of state. At the time and place so appointed, the ballots cast for such office shall be counted by the secretary of state and such assistants as the secretary of state may require. When counting the ballots, the secretary of state or his or her assistants shall visually inspect each ballot. No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots. The candidates, their counsel, and assistants shall have the right to inspect the ballots and participate in the recount under such suitable rules as the secretary of state may adopt. If the candidate requesting the recount cannot attend the recount, the candidate shall designate, in writing, to the secretary of state the name of an individual who will attend the recount and who will be authorized to make decisions on the candidate’s behalf. Each candidate or his or her counsel or designee shall have the right to protest the counting of or failure to count any ballot. The secretary of state shall thereupon rule on said ballot and shall attach thereto a memorandum stating such ruling and the name of the candidate making the protest. If, at any time during the counting of the ballots, a discrepancy appears in any ballot for any reason, the secretary of state shall suspend the recount until the discrepancy is resolved, at which time the secretary of state shall continue the recount. In no event shall a discrepancy result in a second recount for the same candidate, as provided in RSA 660:3.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 510:4. 1983, 175:5. 2006, 41:1. 2007, 136:1, eff. Aug. 17, 2007.

Section 660:6

 660:6 Declaration; Certificate. –
I. If the recount shall show that some candidate other than the one declared elected upon the original canvass of votes has the greatest number of votes cast for the office, the secretary of state shall declare said candidate to be elected; and, unless the result is changed upon an appeal taken to the ballot law commission, as provided in RSA 665:8, II, such candidate shall be entitled to a certificate of election.
II. If any person who has applied for a recount is declared elected by reason of said recount, the secretary of state shall return to the person within 10 days of the recount all fees paid at the time of applying.
III. If any person who has applied for a recount loses the recount by a margin of less than one percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the district for the office recounted, the secretary of state shall return to the person within 10 days of the recount any fees that were paid in excess of those required by RSA 660:2, I.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1995, 69:4. 2003, 151:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

State or Presidential Primary Recounts

Section 660:7

 660:7 Application. –
I. Any person for whom a vote was cast for any nomination of any party at a state primary may apply for a recount, provided that the difference between the votes cast for the applying candidate and a candidate of that party declared nominated is less than 10 votes or less than 1.5 percent of the total ballots cast in the primary for that party in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted. The application shall be made in writing to the secretary of state and shall be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Friday after the primary election. Each candidate requesting a recount shall pay the secretary of state fees as provided in RSA 660:2. A candidate having requested a recount pursuant to this paragraph may, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Monday after the primary election, withdraw the request and receive a refund of any fees paid.
II. Any person receiving at least 9 percent of the votes cast in any party’s presidential primary may apply for a recount. The application shall be made in writing to the secretary of state and shall be submitted no later than the Friday after the primary for a recount of all ballots cast for such nomination. Each candidate requesting a recount shall pay the secretary of state fees as provided in RSA 660:2. A candidate having requested a recount pursuant to this paragraph may, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Monday after the primary election, withdraw the request and receive a refund of any fees paid.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 510:2. 1983, 175:6; 426:20. 1994, 4:22. 1995, 69:5. 2008, 377:5. 2010, 317:58. 2012, 113:11. 2014, 319:12, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.

Section 660:8

 660:8 Notice of Conduct. – Notice shall be given and the recount shall be conducted as provided for in RSA 660:4 and 660:5.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:9

 660:9 Declaration of Result, State Primary. – If the recount after a state primary election shall show that some candidate other than the one declared nominated upon the original canvass of votes has the greatest number of votes cast for the nomination, such candidate shall be declared nominated and shall be placed upon the official ballot at the following election unless appeal is taken to the ballot law commission in accordance with RSA 665:6, I. If the person who applied for the recount was thereby shown to be the one chosen as the candidate of the party, the person shall also have any fee paid returned.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 510:3. 2003, 151:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 660:9-a

 660:9-a Declaration of Result, Presidential Primary. – If the recount after a presidential primary election shall show that the applying candidate qualified under RSA 659:93 for at least one more delegate than the original count indicated or that such candidate did qualify for federal election funding, such candidate shall receive such funding or shall be apportioned delegates to the national party convention in accordance with RSA 659:93 unless appeal is taken to the ballot law commission in accordance with RSA 665:6, I. If the person who applied for the recount was thereby shown to be entitled to federal funding or at least one more delegate under RSA 659:93, the person shall also have any fee paid returned.

Source. 1981, 510:3. 2003, 151:6, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Constitutional Amendments Recount

Section 660:10

 660:10 Application. – Upon receipt of petitions of 100 voters made no later than the fourth Friday following the date of the election, the secretary of state shall recount the ballots cast on any question to amend the constitution if the proposal was adopted or failed by no more than one percent of the vote cast. The recount shall take place at any suitable state facility in the city of Concord as may be designated by the secretary of state and under such rules of procedure as he shall determine and at such time as he may appoint.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:23, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 660:11

 660:11 Conduct. – The secretary of state shall request that all town and city clerks forward ballots containing such proposed amendment to the secretary of state forthwith, and the clerks shall immediately forward them. At the time and place so appointed, the ballots shall be counted by the secretary of state and such assistants as the secretary of state may require. When counting the ballots, the secretary of state or his or her assistants shall visually inspect each ballot. No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots. The ballots shall be open to the inspection of the petitioners and other interested persons under such suitable rules as the secretary of state may prescribe. If, after the recount, it shall appear that the result of the voting on said question is other than that declared upon the original canvass of votes, the secretary of state shall declare the result found upon recount which shall be final unless the result is changed as a result of an appeal taken to the superior court.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2006, 41:2, eff. June 17, 2006.

County Referendum

Section 660:12

 660:12 County Referendum. – The secretary of state shall recount the ballots cast on any question which may be submitted to the voters of a county at a state general election under the provisions hereinafter set forth. Application for such recount shall be by written petition signed by at least 50 legal voters of said county presented to the secretary of state no later than the second Friday following the state general election. The recount shall take place at any suitable state facility in the city of Concord as may be designated by the secretary of state at such time as the secretary of state may appoint and under such rules of procedure as he or she shall determine. When counting the ballots, the secretary of state or his or her assistants shall visually inspect each ballot. No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots. The secretary of state shall publish notice of the time and place of the recount once in a paper of general circulation throughout the county. The fee for such a recount on a question voted on throughout a county shall be $25 which shall be paid to the secretary of state by the person submitting the application. If, after the recount, it shall appear that the result of the voting on said question is other than that declared upon the original canvass of votes, the secretary of state shall declare the result found upon recount which shall be final unless the result is changed as a result of an appeal taken to the superior court.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:24. 2006, 41:3, eff. June 17, 2006.

Local Questions Recounts

Section 660:13

 660:13 Application. – Five legal voters of any city or town which has voted on any question other than constitutional amendments printed on the ballot at any state election as provided in RSA 663 may, no later than the second Friday after the election, petition the secretary of state for a recount of the votes cast upon said questions. Such application shall be accompanied by a fee of $10 for each 1,000 ballots or fraction thereof cast at the election in said town; however, in no event, shall the fee exceed $50. The secretary of state shall fix a time for recount and shall notify the petitioners and the selectmen, clerk and moderator of the town or the mayor and clerk of the city of the time and place so fixed. He shall request the clerk having custody of the ballots to forward them forthwith to the secretary of state, and the clerk shall immediately forward them.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:25, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 660:14

 660:14 Conduct. – At the time and place so appointed, the ballots shall be counted by the secretary of state and such assistants as the secretary of state may require. The ballots shall be open to the inspection of the petitioners, the officials of the city or town, counsel, if any, of the same, and other interested persons under such suitable rules as the secretary of state shall prescribe. When counting the ballots, the secretary of state or his or her assistants shall visually inspect each ballot. No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2006, 41:4, eff. June 17, 2006.

Section 660:15

 660:15 Declaration of Result. – If after the recount it shall appear that the result of the voting on said question is other than that announced by the moderator at the election, the secretary of state shall declare said result which shall be final unless the result is changed because of an appeal taken within 10 days to the ballot law commission.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

General Provisions for Recounts

Section 660:16

 660:16 Disposal of Ballots. –
I. Upon the conclusion of every recount, the secretary of state shall replace the unprotested ballots and absentee voter envelopes in a suitable container for storage. The secretary of state shall retain the ballots and the absentee envelopes for at least 60 days following the recount. Upon an order of the ballot law commission, the secretary of state shall produce the ballots for the inspection of the commission. Following the commission’s inspection, the secretary of state shall replace the ballots and envelopes, seal them, and certify the contents and the date when they were examined by the commission. The envelopes and ballots shall be subject to the order of the body to which such person claims to be elected or of the officers required by law to examine the records and to issue certificates of election to such office or of any court having jurisdiction over them.
II. Ballots, including cast, cancelled, and uncast ballots and successfully challenged absentee ballots still contained in their envelopes, prepared or preserved in accordance with the election laws shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 91-A. This exemption shall apply to any ballots or absentee voter affidavit envelopes prepared for or used in any election conducted by the state or any political subdivision, including federal elections.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 454:9. 2003, 289:61, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 660:17

 660:17 Penalty for Violating Requirements. – Whosoever shall knowingly violate any of the provisions of RSA 660:1-660:16 shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Contested Elections to General Court

Section 660:18

 660:18 Notice. – Whenever any person intends to contest the election of a state senator or representative, he shall send to him a notice in writing of such contest with the reasons therefor, citing the acts constituting the violation and, if known, the specific sections of the law or of the constitution being violated. The notice shall be sent by certified mail and postmarked on or before the December 15 immediately following the election. At the same time the notice is sent to the senator or representative, a copy thereof shall be sent to the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:19

 660:19 Petition. – In a contested election case, neither party shall be entitled to a hearing before the general court unless their remonstrance or petition shall be presented to the clerk of the senate or house before the second Wednesday of the first session thereof.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:20

 660:20 Depositions. – In any case of contested elections, depositions may be taken as in civil causes. The magistrate taking depositions shall prepare captions therefor, shall seal up the depositions and shall transmit the package to the clerk of the senate or house, as the case may be, with a notation stating the session at which and the case in which the depositions are to be used.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:21

 660:21 Evidence. – But for good cause shown, neither party shall be entitled to have any evidence considered before the committee conducting the hearing which is not in readiness to be submitted before the third Wednesday of the first session of the general court.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:22

 660:22 Compensation. – The party failing to sustain his right to a seat shall not be entitled to any compensation for his services or for any expenses he may have incurred in the contest therefor. However, any person who has received a certificate of election as representative or senator and who has taken his seat but who is unsuccessful in retaining it shall be paid for his mileage for the period during which he has served.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Resolution of Ties

Section 660:23

 660:23 Primaries; County Offices in a General Election. – If the candidates having the highest number of votes for any nomination made at a state or presidential primary or for election to county office made at a state general election shall have an equal number, the secretary of state shall determine the nomination by lot in the presence of the candidates who are tied if, after notice from him, they elect to be present.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:24

 660:24 State Offices in State General Elections. – If the candidates having the highest number of votes for the office of governor, councilor, state senator, or state representative shall have an equal number, the choice shall be made as provided in the state constitution. Such candidate chosen shall then be declared duly elected.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:25

 660:25 United States Senator or Representative. – If 2 or more candidates for United States representative in any district or United States senator shall receive the largest and equal number of votes in any state general election so that no choice is made, the governor, with advice of the council, shall cause precepts to be issued to the selectmen of the several towns within such district for another election, requiring them to warn meetings to be held at the time specified in such precepts for the choice of a representative or senator. The votes given at any such meeting shall be received, sorted, counted, declared, recorded and certified, and the returns thereof made out, signed, certified, sealed, directed and forwarded in the manner prescribed by RSA 659.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 276:1, eff. July 24, 1987.

Section 660:26

 660:26 Canvass. – The secretary of state, as soon as may be, shall lay all returns received pursuant to RSA 660:25 before the governor and council, and the votes shall be examined and counted and the election of the person having the largest number of votes declared and certified, and the certificate thereof shall be made out and transmitted in the manner described in RSA 659:84. If upon second balloting 2 or more persons shall have the largest and equal number of votes in any district, so that no choice is made therein, the same proceedings shall be again had as are provided in RSA 660:25; and so from time to time, so long as may be necessary, until some one shall have the largest number of votes.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 276:1, eff. July 24, 1987.

Meetings of Presidential Electors

Section 660:27

 660:27 Time. – The electors of the president and vice-president shall meet in the state house in Concord on the day fixed by law and, by 12 o’clock at midday, shall give notice to the governor and council of the number of electors present who accept the office.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:28

 660:28 Vacancies. – If the requisite number of electors are not present or do not accept, or if the requisite number of electors shall not be chosen by reason of 2 or more persons having an equal number of votes, the electors present who do accept, in the presence of the governor and council, shall forthwith choose by ballot the number needed.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:29

 660:29 Conduct. – The electors shall give their votes for president and vice-president of the United States in Concord on said day and shall proceed according to law.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 660:30

 660:30 Compensation. – Each elector shall be paid $3; and each shall receive $.10 a mile for their travel to and from Concord. Also, the electors shall be allowed a reasonable sum, not to exceed $25, to pay for the services of a secretary.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Recount Administrative and Fee Account

Section 660:31

 660:31 Depositing Fees and Assessments. – There is established in the state treasury a separate nonlapsing account to be known as the recount administrative account. The account shall be used by the secretary of state for the administration of recounts under RSA 660. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all fees which are paid to the secretary of state under RSA 660:1 shall be credited to this account. All fees which are credited to this account shall be continually appropriated to the secretary of state.

Source. 1992, 267:4. 2005, 118:9. 2010, 180:8, eff. June 21, 2010.

CHAPTER 661 -VACANCIES AMONG PUBLIC OFFICERS ELECTED AT STATE ELECTIONS

General Provisions

Section 661:1

 661:1 Vacancies Generally. – Any vacancy as defined in RSA 652:12 in a public office voted for at any state election shall be filled according to the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 661:2

 661:2 Determination of Vacancy. – The officer having the authority to make an appointment or arrange for an election to fill a vacancy in a public office shall determine whether a vacancy exists in that office; provided that the secretary of state shall determine whether a vacancy exists under the election laws among officers-elect.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 661:3

 661:3 Duties; Privileges. – A person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in a public office shall, during the unexpired term, perform the same duties as did his predecessor, be subject to the same requirements as was his predecessor and be entitled to the same privileges and emoluments as was his predecessor.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 661:4

 661:4 Qualifications. – A person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in a public office shall meet the qualifications of the office as provided in RSA 655:3-10 at the time of his election or appointment.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

By Office

Section 661:5

 661:5 United States Senator. – If a vacancy occurs in the office of United States senator, the governor shall fill the vacancy by temporary appointment until the next state general election, when a senator shall be elected for the unexpired term.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 661:6

 661:6 United States Representative. – If a vacancy occurs in the office of United States representative, the governor with advice of council shall, as soon as practicable, have precepts issued to the selectmen of the towns and cities in the district where the vacancy exists directing them to call a special state general election on the day he designates to fill the vacancy. Such election shall be conducted as provided in RSA 661:11 and shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 661:7

 661:7 Governor. – If a vacancy occurs in the office of governor, the vacancy shall be filled as provided in Part II, Article 49 of the state constitution.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 661:8

 661:8 Executive Councilor; State Senator; State Representative. –
I. If a vacancy occurs in the office of executive councilor or state senator, it shall be filled as provided in Part II, Articles 34 and 62 of the state constitution.
II. If a vacancy occurs in the office of state representative from a single town or ward district, the vacancy may be filled following the provisions of RSA 655:81 and RSA 655:82 in the same manner as a state general election is held. In a multi-town or multi-ward district, a vacancy in the office of state representative shall be filled following the provisions of RSA 655:81 and RSA 655:82 by a special election if the selectmen of any town or the city for any ward in said district so request of the governor or council.
III. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph II, if a vacancy occurs in the office of state representative in a district comprised of a city ward or wards, a request to hold the primary and special elections on the same dates as the city’s biennial primary and regular elections may be submitted to the governor and council by the governing body of the city. If so requested, the governor and council shall declare the vacancy not less than 56 days prior to the date of the city’s primary election. The filing period shall start on the Monday following the date on which the governor and council declare that there shall be a special election and shall end at 5:00 p.m. on the Friday of that week. The provisions of RSA 655:81, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI shall apply to elections held pursuant to this paragraph.
IV. Within 21 days after proof of a vacancy or a request that a vacancy be filled, the governor, in the case of an executive council vacancy, or the governor and council, in the case of any other vacancy, shall declare that there shall be a special election which shall be held as provided in RSA 655:81 and 82 or as provided in RSA 661:8, III.
V. No special election shall be held after March 15 of the second year of the biennium, as determined by RSA 655:81, I.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 512:2. 1998, 136:2. 2001, 231:11. 2005, 25:1. 2006, 32:2. 2010, 317:59. 2012, 26:4. 2014, 319:17, eff. Aug. 1, 2014.

Section 661:9

 661:9 County Officers. –
I. If a vacancy for a period of one year or longer occurs in the office of county sheriff, county attorney, register of deeds, or county treasurer, the members of the county convention shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term by a majority of the ballots cast. If a vacancy for a period of less than a year occurs in any such office, the members of the county convention shall, by majority vote of the county convention, vote to either fill the vacancy or to leave the office vacant.
II.

(a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of a county commissioner, the members of the county convention, or, if the vacancy occurs in Hillsborough county, the members of the county convention representing the cities and towns in the commissioner’s district, shall fill the vacancy by a majority of the ballots cast until the next biennial election of county officers. If the term filled is less than the unexpired term, then notwithstanding any provisions of RSA 653:1, VI, the commissioner district filled pursuant to this paragraph shall be added to the next biennial election ballot to be chosen by the voters of the county for a 2-year term.
(b) The provisions of subparagraph (a) shall apply only where the vacancy occurred no later than 30 days preceding the printing of the ballots for the primary election.
(c) The provisions of RSA 655:32 and RSA 655:37 relating to nominations by appropriate party committees for vacancies in an office on a primary or general election ballot, respectively, shall apply to vacancies to be filled under this paragraph.

III. If any person holding a county office enumerated in paragraph I or II becomes temporarily absent or incapacitated, the county convention may, upon application of the county attorney or county commissioners, declare a temporary absence and fill the same for a limited period of time expressed in the appointment.
IV. Any officer of a county, including the register of probate, may be removed by the county convention for official misconduct. Any removal under this paragraph shall be initiated by petition of a majority of the county commissioners, of the county attorney, or of a superior court judge. No officer of a county may be removed without notice of the allegations supporting the petition for removal and an opportunity to be heard by the county convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 2:1. 1995, 277:22. 1998, 342:1. 1999, 174:1. 2003, 3:2; 289:42. 2011, 92:1, eff. May 27, 2011. 2016, 178:1, eff. Aug. 2, 2016. 2017, 5:1, eff. May 30, 2017; 191:1, eff. Aug. 29, 2017.

Section 661:9-a

 661:9-a Register of Probate. – If a vacancy occurs in the office of register of probate, the probate court shall appoint a commissioner to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. If any register of probate becomes temporarily absent or incapacitated, the probate court may, in its discretion, declare a temporary absence and fill the same for a limited period of time, but in any event, not to exceed the unexpired term.

Source. 1995, 277:23, eff. Aug. 19, 1995.

Section 661:10

 661:10 Delegate to State Party Convention. – If a vacancy occurs in the office of delegate to a state party convention, the vacancy shall not be filled.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Conduct of Special State General Elections to Fill Vacancies

Section 661:11

 661:11 Nomination and Conduct. – Where a vacancy as described in this chapter is to be filled by a special state general election, nominations shall be made in accordance with RSA 655:81 and 655:82. The general election shall be conducted in as nearly as practicable the same manner as are regular state general elections except that the deadline for requesting a recount pursuant to RSA 660:1 shall be 2 days following the day of the election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 512:3, eff. Aug. 28, 1981.

CHAPTER 662 – ELECTIVE DISTRICTS

Section 662:1

 662:1 U.S. Representative Districts. –
The state is divided into 2 districts for the choosing of representatives in the congress of the United States. Each district may elect one representative. The districts shall be constituted as follows:

I. The first district is constituted of:

(a) The counties of

(1) Carroll, and
(2) Strafford; and

(b) In the county of Belknap, the towns and city of

(1) Alton,
(2) Barnstead,
(3) Belmont,
(4) Gilford,
(5) Gilmanton,
(6) Laconia,
(7) Meredith,
(8) New Hampton,
(9) Sanbornton, and
(10) Tilton; and

(c) In the county of Grafton, the town of

(1) Campton; and

(d) In the county of Hillsborough, the towns and city of

(1) Bedford,
(2) Goffstown,
(3) Manchester, and
(4) Merrimack; and

(e) In the county of Merrimack, the town of

(1) Hooksett; and

(f) In the county of Rockingham, the towns and city of

(1) Auburn,
(2) Brentwood,
(3) Candia,
(4) Chester,
(5) Danville,
(6) Derry,
(7) East Kingston,
(8) Epping,
(9) Exeter,
(10) Fremont,
(11) Greenland,
(12) Hampstead,
(13) Hampton,
(14) Hampton Falls,
(15) Kensington,
(16) Kingston,
(17) Londonderry,
(18) New Castle,
(19) Newfields,
(20) Newington,
(21) Newmarket,
(22) Newton,
(23) North Hampton,
(24) Nottingham,
(25) Plaistow,
(26) Portsmouth,
(27) Raymond,
(28) Rye,
(29) Sandown,
(30) Seabrook,
(31) South Hampton, and
(32) Stratham.

II. The second district is constituted of:

(a) The counties of

(1) Cheshire,
(2) Coos, and
(3) Sullivan; and

(b) In the county of Belknap, the town of

(1) Center Harbor; and

(c) In the county of Grafton, the towns, city, and unincorporated place of

(1) Alexandria,
(2) Ashland,
(3) Bath,
(4) Benton,
(5) Bethlehem,
(6) Bridgewater,
(7) Bristol,
(8) Canaan,
(9) Dorchester,
(10) Easton,
(11) Ellsworth,
(12) Enfield,
(13) Franconia,
(14) Grafton,
(15) Groton,
(16) Hanover,
(17) Haverhill,
(18) Hebron,
(19) Holderness,
(20) Landaff,
(21) Lebanon,
(22) Lincoln,
(23) Lisbon,
(24) Littleton,
(25) Livermore,
(26) Lyman,
(27) Lyme,
(28) Monroe,
(29) Orange,
(30) Orford,
(31) Piermont,
(32) Plymouth,
(33) Rumney,
(34) Sugar Hill,
(35) Thornton,
(36) Warren,
(37) Waterville Valley,
(38) Wentworth, and
(39) Woodstock; and

(d) In the county of Hillsborough, the towns and city of

(1) Amherst,
(2) Antrim,
(3) Bennington,
(4) Brookline,
(5) Deering,
(6) Francestown,
(7) Greenfield,
(8) Greenville,
(9) Hancock,
(10) Hillsborough,
(11) Hollis,
(12) Hudson,
(13) Litchfield,
(14) Lyndeborough,
(15) Mason,
(16) Milford,
(17) Mont Vernon,
(18) Nashua,
(19) New Boston,
(20) New Ipswich,
(21) Pelham,
(22) Peterborough,
(23) Sharon,
(24) Temple,
(25) Weare,
(26) Wilton, and
(27) Windsor; and

(e) In the county of Merrimack, the towns and cities of

(1) Allenstown,
(2) Andover,
(3) Boscawen,
(4) Bow,
(5) Bradford,
(6) Canterbury,
(7) Chichester,
(8) Concord,
(9) Danbury,
(10) Dunbarton,
(11) Epsom,
(12) Franklin,
(13) Henniker,
(14) Hill,
(15) Hopkinton,
(16) Loudon,
(17) Newbury,
(18) New London,
(19) Northfield,
(20) Pembroke,
(21) Pittsfield,
(22) Salisbury,
(23) Sutton,
(24) Warner,
(25) Webster, and
(26) Wilmot; and

(f) In the county of Rockingham, the towns of

(1) Atkinson,
(2) Deerfield,
(3) Northwood,
(4) Salem, and
(5) Windham.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 18:1. 1992, 15:1. 2002, 32:1. 2012, 18:1, eff. June 22, 2012.

Section 662:2

 662:2 Councilor Districts. –
The state is divided into 5 districts for the choosing of councilors, each of which may elect one councilor. The districts shall be constituted as follows:

I. Councilor district number 1 is constituted of the counties of Coos and Grafton, the unincorporated place of Hale’s Location, the towns of Albany, Alton, Andover, Bartlett, Brookfield, Center Harbor, Chatham, Conway, Cornish, Croydon, Danbury, Eaton, Effingham, Freedom, Gilford, Grantham, Hart’s Location, Hill, Jackson, Madison, Meredith, Middleton, Milton, Moultonborough, New Durham, New Hampton, New London, Newport, Ossipee, Plainfield, Sanbornton, Sandwich, Springfield, Sunapee, Tamworth, Tilton, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, Wilmot, and Wolfeboro, and the cities of Claremont and Laconia.
II. Councilor district number 2 is constituted of the towns of Acworth, Alstead, Barnstead, Belmont, Boscawen, Bradford, Canterbury, Charlestown, Chesterfield, Dublin, Durham, Farmington, Gilmanton, Gilsum, Goshen, Hancock, Harrisville, Henniker, Hinsdale, Hopkinton, Langdon, Lempster, Madbury, Marlborough, Marlow, Nelson, Newbury, Northfield, Rollinsford, Roxbury, Salisbury, Stoddard, Strafford, Sullivan, Surry, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Warner, Washington, Webster, Westmoreland, and Winchester, and the cities of Concord, Dover, Franklin, Keene, Rochester, and Somersworth.
III. Councilor district number 3 is constituted of the towns of Atkinson, Brentwood, Chester, Danville, Derry, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Greenland, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, Newton, North Hampton, Pelham, Plaistow, Raymond, Rye, Salem, Sandown, Seabrook, South Hampton, Stratham, and Windham, and the city of Portsmouth.
IV. Councilor district number 4 is constituted of the towns of Allenstown, Auburn, Barrington, Bedford, Bow, Candia, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Goffstown, Hooksett, Lee, Londonderry, Loudon, Northwood, Nottingham, Pembroke, and Pittsfield, and the city of Manchester.
V. Councilor district number 5 is constituted of the towns of Amherst, Antrim, Bennington, Brookline, Deering, Dunbarton, Fitzwilliam, Francestown, Greenfield, Greenville, Hillsborough, Hollis, Hudson, Jaffrey, Litchfield, Lyndeborough, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, New Boston, New Ipswich, Peterborough, Richmond, Rindge, Sharon, Swanzey, Temple, Troy, Weare, Wilton, and Windsor, and the city of Nashua.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 19:1. 1992, 61:1. 2002, 40:1. 2012, 170:1, eff. June 11, 2012.

Section 662:3

 662:3 State Senate Districts. –
The state is divided into 24 districts for the choosing of state senators, each of which may elect one senator. The districts shall be constituted as follows:

I. Senatorial district number 1 is constituted of Atkinson -AND- Gilmanton Academy Grant, Bath, Bean’s Grant, Bean’s Purchase, Benton, Berlin, Bethlehem, Cambridge, Carroll, Chandler’s Purchase, Clarksville, Colebrook, Columbia, Crawford’s Purchase, Cutt’s Grant, Dalton, Dix’s Grant, Dixville, Dummer, Easton, Errol, Erving’s Location, Franconia, Gorham, Green’s Grant, Hadley’s Purchase, Jefferson, Kilkenny, Lancaster, Landaff, Lincoln, Lisbon, Littleton, Livermore, Low and Burbank’s Grant, Lyman, Martin’s Location, Milan, Millsfield, Monroe, Northumberland, Odell, Pinkham’s Grant, Pittsburg, Randolph, Sargent’s Purchase, Second College Grant, Shelburne, Stark, Stewartstown, Stratford, Success, Sugar Hill, Thornton, Thompson and Meserve’s Purchase, Wentworth’s Location, Whitefield, and Woodstock.
II. Senatorial district number 2 is constituted of Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Campton, Center Harbor, Danbury, Dorchester, Ellsworth, Grafton, Groton, Haverhill, Hebron, Hill, Holderness, Meredith, New Hampton, Orange, Orford, Piermont, Plymouth, Rumney, Sanbornton, Tilton, Warren, Wentworth, and Wilmot.
III. Senatorial district number 3 is constituted of Albany, Bartlett, Brookfield, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Effingham, Freedom, Hale’s Location, Hart’s Location, Jackson, Madison, Middleton, Milton, Moultonborough, Ossipee, Sandwich, Tamworth, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, Waterville Valley, and Wolfeboro.
IV. Senatorial district number 4 is constituted of Barrington, Dover, Rollinsford, and Somersworth.
V. Senatorial district number 5 is constituted of Canaan, Charlestown, Claremont, Cornish, Enfield, Hanover, Lebanon, Lyme, and Plainfield.
VI. Senatorial district number 6 is constituted of Alton, Barnstead, Farmington, Gilmanton, New Durham, and Rochester.
VII. Senatorial district number 7 is constituted of Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin, Gilford, Laconia, Northfield, Salisbury, and Webster.
VIII. Senatorial district number 8 is constituted of Acworth, Antrim, Bennington, Bradford, Croydon, Deering, Francestown, Goshen, Grantham, Hillsborough, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury, Newport, Springfield, Stoddard, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Washington, Weare, and Windsor.
IX. Senatorial district number 9 is constituted of Bedford, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Greenfield, Hancock, Jaffrey, Lyndeborough, Mont Vernon, New Boston, Peterborough, Richmond, Sharon, Temple, and Troy.
X. Senatorial district number 10 is constituted of Alstead, Chesterfield, Gilsum, Harrisville, Hinsdale, Keene, Marlborough, Nelson, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland, and Winchester.
XI. Senatorial district number 11 is constituted of Amherst, Merrimack, Milford, and Wilton.
XII. Senatorial district number 12 is constituted of wards 1, 2, and 5 in Nashua, and Brookline, Greenville, Hollis, Mason, New Ipswich, and Rindge.
XIII. Senatorial district number 13 is constituted of wards 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in Nashua.
XIV. Senatorial district number 14 is constituted of Auburn, Hudson, and Londonderry.
XV. Senatorial district number 15 is constituted of Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton, and Warner.
XVI. Senatorial district number 16 is constituted of wards 1, 2, and 12 in Manchester, and Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, and Hooksett.
XVII. Senatorial district number 17 is constituted of Allenstown, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Loudon, Northwood, Nottingham, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Raymond, and Strafford.
XVIII. Senatorial district number 18 is constituted of wards 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in Manchester, and Litchfield.
XIX. Senatorial district number 19 is constituted of Derry, Hampstead, and Windham.
XX. Senatorial district number 20 is constituted of wards 3, 4, 10, and 11 in Manchester, and Goffstown.
XXI. Senatorial district number 21 is constituted of Durham, Lee, Madbury, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, and Portsmouth.
XXII. Senatorial district number 22 is constituted of Atkinson, Pelham, Plaistow, and Salem.
XXIII. Senatorial district number 23 is constituted of Brentwood, Chester, Danville, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Kingston, and Sandown.
XXIV. Senatorial district number 24 is constituted of Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, New Castle, Newton, North Hampton, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, and Stratham.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 45:1. 1983, 153:1, 2. 1992, 130:4. 2004, 178:1. 2012, 8:1, eff. Mar. 23, 2012.

Section 662:4

 662:4 County Commissioner Districts. –
Except for Strafford county where 3 county commissioners shall be elected at large, for the purposes of choosing county commissioners, the counties shall be divided into districts as follows:

I. Belknap: District 1, the towns of New Hampton and Sanbornton and the city of Laconia; District 2, the towns of Barnstead, Belmont, Gilmanton, and Tilton; District 3, the towns of Alton, Center Harbor, Gilford, and Meredith.
II. Carroll: District 1, the towns of Bartlett, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Freedom, Hart’s Location, and Jackson; District 2, the unincorporated place of Hale’s Location and the towns of Albany, Madison, Moultonborough, Ossipee, Sandwich, and Tamworth; District 3, the towns of Brookfield, Effingham, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro.
III. Cheshire: District 1, the towns of Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland, and Winchester; District 2, the towns of Marlborough and Roxbury and the city of Keene; District 3, the towns of Alstead, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Harrisville, Jaffrey, Marlow, Nelson, Richmond, Rindge, Stoddard, Sullivan, and Troy.
IV. Coos: District 1, the unincorporated place of Success, the towns of Randolph and Shelburne, and the city of Berlin; District 2, the unincorporated places of Bean’s Grant, Bean’s Purchase, Chandler’s Purchase, Crawford’s Purchase, Cutt’s Grant, Green’s Grant, Hadley’s Purchase, Kilkenny, Low and Burbank’s Grant, Martin’s Location, Pinkham’s Grant, Sargent’s Purchase, and Thompson and Meserve’s Purchase and the towns of Carroll, Dalton, Gorham, Jefferson, Lancaster, and Whitefield; District 3, the unincorporated places of Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant, Cambridge, Dix’s Grant, Dixville, Erving’s Location, Odell, and Second College Grant and the towns of Clarksville, Colebrook, Columbia, Dummer, Errol, Milan, Millsfield, Northumberland, Pittsburg, Stark, Stewartstown, Stratford, and Wentworth’s Location.
V. Grafton: District 1, the towns of Enfield and Hanover and the city of Lebanon; District 2, the unincorporated place of Livermore and the towns of Bath, Benton, Bethlehem, Easton, Franconia, Haverhill, Landaff, Lincoln, Lisbon, Littleton, Lyman, Lyme, Monroe, Orford, Piermont, Sugar Hill, Thornton, Waterville Valley, and Woodstock; District 3, the towns of Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Campton, Canaan, Dorchester, Ellsworth, Grafton, Groton, Hebron, Holderness, Orange, Plymouth, Rumney, Warren, and Wentworth.
VI. Hillsborough: District 1, the towns of Bedford and New Boston and the city of Manchester; District 2, the towns of Hudson, Litchfield, and Pelham and the city of Nashua; District 3, the towns of Amherst, Antrim, Bennington, Brookline, Deering, Francestown, Goffstown, Greenfield, Greenville, Hancock, Hillsborough, Hollis, Lyndeborough, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, New Ipswich, Peterborough, Sharon, Temple, Weare, Wilton, and Windsor.
VII. Merrimack: District 1, the towns of Boscawen and Webster, and the city of Concord; District 2, the towns of Allenstown, Andover, Canterbury, Chichester, Epsom, Hill, Loudon, Northfield, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Salisbury, and the city of Franklin; District 3, the towns of Bradford, Bow, Danbury, Dunbarton, Henniker, Hooksett, Hopkinton, New London, Newbury, Sutton, Warner, and Wilmot.
VIII. Rockingham: District 1, the towns of Danville, East Kingston, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, New Castle, Newington, Newton, North Hampton, Plaistow, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, and Stratham, and the city of Portsmouth; District 2, the towns of Atkinson, Brentwood, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Hampstead, Newfields, Newmarket, Raymond, Salem, and Sandown; District 3, the towns of Auburn, Candia, Chester, Deerfield, Derry, Londonderry, Northwood, Nottingham, and Windham.
IX. Sullivan: District 1, the town of Cornish and the city of Claremont; District 2, the towns of Croydon, Grantham, Newport, Plainfield, and Springfield; District 3, the towns of Acworth, Charlestown, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Sunapee, Unity, and Washington.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 165:1; 357:1. 1992, 62:1. 2002, 85:1. 2012, 17:1, eff. April 23, 2012.

Section 662:5

 662:5 State Representative Districts. –
The state is divided into districts for the choosing of state representatives, each of which may elect the number of representatives set forth opposite the district, as follows:

I. Belknap County

District No. 1 Center Harbor

New Hampton 1

District No. 2 Gilford

Meredith 4

District No. 3 Laconia Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 4

District No. 4 Sanbornton

Tilton 2

District No. 5 Alton

Gilmanton 2

District No. 6 Belmont 2

District No. 7 Barnstead 1

District No. 8 Alton

Barnstead

Gilmanton 1

District No. 9 Belmont

Laconia 1

 

II. Carroll County

District No. 1 Bartlett

Hart’s Location

Jackson 1

District No. 2 Chatham

Conway

Eaton

Hale’s Location 3

District No. 3 Albany

Freedom

Madison

Tamworth 2

District No. 4 Moultonborough

Sandwich

Tuftonboro 2

District No. 5 Brookfield

Effingham

Ossipee

Wakefield 3

District No. 6 Wolfeboro 2

District No. 7 Albany

Bartlett

Chatham

Conway

Eaton

Freedom

Hale’s Location

Hart’s Location

Jackson

Madison

Tamworth 1

District No. 8 Brookfield

Effingham

Moultonborough

Ossipee

Sandwich

Tuftonboro

Wakefield 1

 

III. Cheshire County

District No. 1 Chesterfield

Hinsdale

Walpole

Westmoreland 4

District No. 2 Alstead

Marlow

Surry 1

District No. 3 Gilsum

Nelson

Stoddard

Sullivan 1

District No. 4 Keene Ward 1 1

District No. 5 Keene Ward 2 1

District No. 6 Keene Ward 3 1

District No. 7 Keene Ward 4 1

District No. 8 Keene Ward 5 1

District No. 9 Dublin

Harrisville

Jaffrey

Roxbury 2

District No. 10 Marlborough

Troy 1

District No. 11 Fitzwilliam

Rindge 2

District No. 12 Richmond

Swanzey 2

District No. 13 Winchester 1

District No. 14 Dublin

Fitzwilliam

Harrisville

Jaffrey

Rindge

Roxbury 1

District No. 15 Marlborough

Richmond

Swanzey

Troy

Winchester 1

District No. 16 Keene Ward 1

Keene Ward 2

Keene Ward 3

Keene Ward 4

Keene Ward 5 2

IV. Coos County

District No. 1 Atkinson -AND- Gilmanton Academy Grant

Cambridge

Clarksville

Colebrook

Columbia

Dix’s Grant

Dixville

Errol

Erving’s Location

Millsfield

Odell

Pittsburg

Second College Grant

Stewartstown

Stratford

Wentworth’s Location 2

District No. 2 Dummer

Milan

Northumberland

Stark 1

District No. 3 Berlin 3

District No. 4 Lancaster

Dalton

Kilkenny 1

District No. 5 Carroll

Jefferson

Randolph

Whitefield 1

District No. 6 Bean’s Grant

Bean’s Purchase

Chandler’s Purchase

Crawford’s Purchase

Cutt’s Grant

Gorham

Green’s Grant

Hadley’s Purchase

Low and Burbank’s Grant

Martin’s Location

Pinkham’s Grant

Sargent’s Purchase

Shelburne

Success

Thompson and Meserve’s Purchase 1

District No. 7 Carroll

Dalton

Dummer

Jefferson

Kilkenny

Lancaster

Milan

Northumberland

Randolph

Stark

Whitefield 1

V. Grafton County

District No. 1 Bethlehem

Littleton 2

District No. 2 Franconia

Lyman

Lisbon

Monroe

Sugar Hill 1

District No. 3 Bath

Benton

Easton

Landaff

Orford

Piermont

Warren 1

District No. 4 Haverhill 1

District No. 5 Lincoln

Livermore

Waterville Valley

Woodstock 1

District No. 6 Ellsworth

Groton

Orange

Rumney

Thornton 1

District No. 7 Campton 1

District No. 8 Hebron

Holderness

Plymouth 3

District No. 9 Alexandria

Ashland

Bridgewater

Bristol

Grafton 2

District No. 10 Enfield 1

District No. 11 Canaan

Dorchester

Wentworth 1

District No. 12 Hanover

Lyme 4

District No. 13 Lebanon Ward 1

Lebanon Ward 2

Lebanon Ward 3 4

District No. 14 Bethlehem

Franconia

Littleton

Lisbon

Lyman

Monroe

Sugar Hill 1

District No. 15 Bath

Benton

Easton

Haverhill

Landaff

Orford

Piermont

Warren 1

District No. 16 Canaan

Dorchester

Ellsworth

Groton

Orange

Rumney

Thornton

Wentworth 1

District No. 17 Alexandria

Ashland

Bridgewater

Bristol

Enfield

Grafton 1

VI. Hillsborough County

District No. 1 Antrim

Hillsborough

Windsor 2

District No. 2 Deering

Weare 3

District No. 3 Bennington

Greenfield

Hancock 1

District No. 4 Francestown

Greenville

Lyndeborough

Wilton 2

District No. 5 Mont Vernon

New Boston 2

District No. 6 Goffstown 5

District No. 7 Bedford 6

District No. 8 Manchester Ward 1 2

District No. 9 Manchester Ward 2 2

District No. 10 Manchester Ward 3 2

District No. 11 Manchester Ward 4 2

District No. 12 Manchester Ward 5 2

District No. 13 Manchester Ward 6 2

District No. 14 Manchester Ward 7 2

District No. 15 Manchester Ward 8 2

District No. 16 Manchester Ward 9 2

District No. 17 Manchester Ward 10 2

District No. 18 Manchester Ward 11 2

District No. 19 Manchester Ward 12 2

District No. 20 Litchfield 2

District No. 21 Merrimack 8

District No. 22 Amherst 3

District No. 23 Milford 4

District No. 24 Peterborough 2

District No. 25 New Ipswich

Sharon

Temple 2

District No. 26 Brookline

Mason 2

District No. 27 Hollis 2

District No. 28 Nashua Ward 1 3

District No. 29 Nashua Ward 2 3

District No. 30 Nashua Ward 3 3

District No. 31 Nashua Ward 4 3

District No. 32 Nashua Ward 5 3

District No. 33 Nashua Ward 6 3

District No. 34 Nashua Ward 7 3

District No. 35 Nashua Ward 8 3

District No. 36 Nashua Ward 9 3

District No. 37 Hudson

Pelham 11

District No. 38 Antrim

Bennington

Francestown

Greenfield

Greenville

Hancock

Hillsborough

Lyndeborough

Wilton

Windsor 2

District No. 39 Deering

Goffstown

Weare 1

District No. 40 Hollis

Milford

Mont Vernon

New Boston 1

District No. 41 Amherst

Bedford 1

District No. 42 Manchester Wards 1, 2, and 3 2

District No. 43 Manchester Wards 4, 5, 6, and 7 3

District No. 44 Litchfield

Manchester Wards 8 and 9 2

District No. 45 Manchester Wards 10, 11, and 12 2

 

VII. Merrimack County

District No. 1 Andover

Danbury

Salisbury 1

District No. 2 Franklin Wards 1 and 2

Hill 2

District No. 3 Franklin Ward 3

Northfield 2

District No. 4 Sutton

Wilmot 1

District No. 5 New London

Newbury 2

District No. 6 Bradford

Henniker 2

District No. 7 Warner

Webster 1

District No. 8 Boscawen 1

District No. 9 Canterbury

Loudon 2

District No. 10 Concord Ward 5

Hopkinton 3

District No. 11 Concord Ward 1 1

District No. 12 Concord Ward 2 1

District No. 13 Concord Ward 3 1

District No. 14 Concord Ward 4 1

District No. 15 Concord Ward 6 1

District No. 16 Concord Ward 7 1

District No. 17 Concord Ward 8 1

District No. 18 Concord Ward 9 1

District No. 19 Concord Ward 10 1

District No. 20 Chichester

Pembroke 3

District No. 21 Epsom

Pittsfield 2

District No. 22 Allenstown 1

District No. 23 Bow

Dunbarton 3

District No. 24 Hooksett 4

District No. 25 Andover

Danbury

Salisbury

Warner

Webster 1

District No. 26 Boscawen

Canterbury

Franklin Ward 3

Loudon

Northfield 1

District No. 27 Concord Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 2

District No. 28 Concord Wards 8, 9, and 10 1

District No. 29 Allenstown

Epsom

Pittsfield 1

 

VIII. Rockingham County

District No. 1 Northwood 1

District No. 2 Candia

Deerfield

Nottingham 3

District No. 3 Raymond 3

District No. 4 Auburn

Chester

Sandown 5

District No. 5 Londonderry 7

District No. 6 Derry 10

District No. 7 Windham 4

District No. 8 Salem 9

District No. 9 Epping 2

District No. 10 Fremont 1

District No. 11 Brentwood 1

District No. 12 Danville 1

District No. 13 Hampstead

Kingston 4

District No. 14 Atkinson

Plaistow 4

District No. 15 Newton 1

District No. 16 East Kingston

Kensington

South Hampton 1

District No. 17 Newfields

Newmarket 3

District No. 18 Exeter 4

District No. 19 Stratham 2

District No. 20 Hampton Falls

Seabrook 3

District No. 21 Hampton 4

District No. 22 North Hampton 1

District No. 23 Greenland

Newington 1

District No. 24 New Castle

Rye 2

District No. 25 Portsmouth Ward 1 1

District No. 26 Portsmouth Ward 2 1

District No. 27 Portsmouth Ward 3 1

District No. 28 Portsmouth Ward 4 1

District No. 29 Portsmouth Ward 5 1

District No. 30 Portsmouth Ward 1

Portsmouth Ward 2

Portsmouth Ward 4

Portsmouth Ward 5 1

District No. 31 Greenland

North Hampton

Newington

Portsmouth Ward 3 1

District No. 32 Candia

Deerfield

Northwood

Nottingham 1

District No. 33 Brentwood

Fremont

Danville 1

District No. 34 Atkinson

Plaistow

Hampstead

Kingston 1

District No. 35 East Kingston

Kensington

Newton

South Hampton 1

District No. 36 Exeter

Newfields

Newmarket

Stratham 1

District No. 37 Hampton

Hampton Falls

Seabrook 1

IX. Strafford County

District No. 1 Middleton

Milton 2

District No. 2 Farmington 2

District No. 3 New Durham

Strafford 2

District No. 4 Barrington 2

District No. 5 Lee 1

District No. 6 Durham

Madbury 5

District No. 7 Rochester Ward 1 1

District No. 8 Rochester Ward 6 1

District No. 9 Rochester Ward 2 1

District No. 10 Rochester Ward 3 1

District No. 11 Rochester Ward 4 1

District No. 12 Rochester Ward 5 1

District No. 13 Dover Ward 1 1

District No. 14 Dover Ward 2 1

District No. 15 Dover Ward 3 1

District No. 16 Dover Ward 4 1

District No. 17 Dover Ward 5

Dover Ward 6

Somersworth Ward 2 3

District No. 18 Rollinsford

Somersworth Ward 1

Somersworth Ward 3

Somersworth Ward 4

Somersworth Ward 5 3

District No. 19 Dover Ward 1

Dover Ward 2 1

District No. 20 Dover Ward 3

Dover Ward 4 1

District No. 21 Dover Ward 5

Dover Ward 6

Rollinsford

Somersworth Ward 1

Somersworth Ward 2

Somersworth Ward 3

Somersworth Ward 4

Somersworth Ward 5 1

District No. 22 Rochester Ward 1

Rochester Ward 6 1

District No. 23 Rochester Ward 2

Rochester Ward 3 1

District No. 24 Rochester Ward 4

Rochester Ward 5 1

District No. 25 Barrington Lee 1

X. Sullivan County

District No. 1 Cornish

Grantham

Plainfield

Springfield 2

District No. 2 Croydon

Sunapee 1

District No. 3 Claremont Ward 1 1

District No. 4 Claremont Ward 2 1

District No. 5 Claremont Ward 3 1

District No. 6 Newport

Unity 2

District No. 7 Acworth

Goshen

Langdon

Lempster

Washington 1

District No. 8 Charlestown 1

District No. 9 Cornish

Croydon

Grantham

Newport

Plainfield

Springfield

Sunapee

Unity 1

District No. 10 Claremont Ward 1

Claremont Ward 2

Claremont Ward 3 1

District No. 11 Acworth

Charlestown

Goshen

Langdon

Lempster

Washington 1

 

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 29:1; 43:7. 1983, 248:3; 282:1; 317:1; 424:5. 1985, 31:1. 1992, 130:1; 183:1-6. 2004, 18:1. 2012, 9:1, eff. Mar. 28, 2012.

Section 662:6

 662:6 Delegates to State Party Conventions. –
At every state primary election, the voters shall elect delegates to each state party convention as follows:
I. Belknap County
Alton2
Barnstead1
Belmont2
Center Harbor1
Gilford2
Gilmanton1
Laconia5
Meredith2
New Hampton1
Sanbornton1
Tilton1
II. Carroll County
Albany1
Bartlett1
Brookfield1
Chatham1
Conway3
Eaton1
Effingham1
Freedom1
Hale’s Location1
Hart’s Location1
Jackson1
Madison1
Moultonborough1
Ossipee1
Sandwich1
Tamworth1
Tuftonboro1
Wakefield2
Wolfeboro2
III. Cheshire County
Alstead1
Chesterfield1
Dublin1
Fitzwilliam1
Gilsum1
Harrisville1
Hinsdale1
Jaffrey2
Keene7
Marlborough1
Marlow1
Nelson1
Richmond1
Rindge2
Roxbury1
Stoddard1
Sullivan1
Surry1
Swanzey2
Troy1
Walpole1
Westmoreland1
Winchester1
IV. Coos County
Atkinson -AND- Gilmanton Academy Grant0
Bean’s Grant0
Bean’s Purchase0
Berlin3
Cambridge1
Carroll1
Chandler’s Purchase0
Clarksville1
Colebrook1
Columbia1
Crawford’s Purchase0
Cutt’s Grant0
Dalton1
Dix’s Grant1
Dixville1
Dummer1
Errol1
Erving’s Location0
Gorham1
Green’s Grant1
Hadley’s Purchase0
Jefferson1
Kilkenny0
Lancaster1
Low -AND- Burbank’s Grant0
Martin’s Location0
Milan1
Millsfield1
Northumberland1
Odell1
Pinkham’s Grant1
Pittsburg1
Randolph1
Sargent’s Purchase1
Second College Grant0
Shelburne1
Stark1
Stewartstown1
Stratford1
Success0
Thompson -AND- Meserve’s Purchase0
Wentworth’s Location1
Whitefield1
V. Grafton County
Alexandria1
Ashland1
Bath1
Benton1
Bethlehem1
Bridgewater1
Bristol1
Campton1
Canaan1
Dorchester1
Easton1
Ellsworth1
Enfield1
Franconia1
Grafton1
Groton1
Hanover3
Haverhill1
Hebron1
Holderness1
Landaff1
Lebanon4
Lincoln1
Lisbon1
Littleton2
Livermore0
Lyman1
Lyme1
Monroe1
Orange1
Orford1
Piermont1
Plymouth2
Rumney1
Sugar Hill1
Thornton1
Warren1
Waterville Valley1
Wentworth1
Woodstock1
VI. Hillsborough County
Amherst3
Antrim1
Bedford6
Bennington1
Brookline2
Deering1
Francestown1
Goffstown5
Greenfield1
Greenville1
Hancock1
Hillsborough2
Hollis2
Hudson7
Litchfield3
Lyndeborough1
Manchester33
Mason1
Merrimack8
Milford5
Mont Vernon1
Nashua26
New Boston2
New Ipswich2
Pelham4
Peterborough2
Sharon1
Temple1
Weare3
Wilton1
Windsor1
VII. Merrimack County
Allenstown1
Andover1
Boscawen1
Bow2
Bradford1
Canterbury1
Chichester1
Concord13
Danbury1
Dunbarton1
Epsom1
Franklin3
Henniker1
Hill1
Hooksett4
Hopkinton2
Loudon2
New London1
Newbury1
Northfield1
Pembroke2
Pittsfield1
Salisbury1
Sutton1
Warner1
Webster1
Wilmot1
VIII. Rockingham County
Atkinson2
Auburn2
Brentwood1
Candia1
Chester1
Danville1
Deerfield1
Derry10
East Kingston1
Epping2
Exeter4
Fremont1
Greenland1
Hampstead3
Hampton5
Hampton Falls1
Kensington1
Kingston2
Londonderry7
New Castle1
Newfields1
Newington1
Newmarket3
Newton1
North Hampton1
Northwood1
Nottingham1
Plaistow2
Portsmouth6
Raymond3
Rye2
Salem9
Sandown2
Seabrook3
South Hampton1
Stratham2
Windham4
IX. Strafford County
Barrington3
Dover9
Durham4
Farmington2
Lee1
Madbury1
Middleton1
Milton1
New Durham1
Rochester9
Rollinsford1
Somersworth4
Strafford1
X. Sullivan County
Acworth1
Charlestown2
Claremont4
Cornish1
Croydon1
Goshen1
Grantham1
Langdon1
Lempster1
Newport2
Plainfield1
Springfield1
Sunapee1
Unity1
Washington1

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 29:2; 43:8. 1983, 248:5; 282:2; 317:2; 424:6. 1985, 31:2. 1992, 183:8. 2002, 28:1. 2012, 63:1, eff. May 14, 2012.

CHAPTER 662-A
DIVISION OF STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS OF TOWNS

Section 662-A:1

 662-A:1 Purpose and Intent. – It is the purpose of this chapter to implement the provisions of part 2, article 11-a of the New Hampshire constitution regarding division of representative districts into 2 or more representative districts. To that end, the general court hereby provides a mechanism whereby a town established as a multi-member representative district may divide into 2 or more districts for the purpose of electing representatives to the general court.

Source. 1997, 312:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997.

Section 662-A:2

 662-A:2 Scope of Authorization. – Any incorporated town comprising a single state representative district under RSA 662:5 shall be entitled to exercise the powers recognized by article 11-a, part second, of the New Hampshire constitution, and implemented through this chapter, to create a redistricting commission to present to its voters a referendum to request that the legislature divide the town into 2 or more districts for the purpose of electing representatives to the general court. If a town to be divided into districts under this chapter is included in a floterial district and also has a non-floterial district solely made up of representatives from the town, the provisions of this chapter shall only apply to the non-floterial district.

Source. 1997, 312:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997.

Section 662-A:3

 662-A:3 Placement of Article on Ballot. –
I. (a) The board of selectmen, or the voters of the town by the procedure established in RSA 39:3, may place an article on the warrant for annual town meeting at which town officers are elected, concerning the establishment of a redistricting commission. Such question shall be voted on by official ballot.
(b) In a town with a town council, the town council, or the voters by petition submitted to the council signed by 25 or more registered voters or 2 percent of the registered voters of the town, whichever is less, may place a question on the official ballot for any regular municipal election for the election of town officers, concerning the establishment of a redistricting commission.
II. The wording of the question shall be:
“Shall the town establish a redistricting commission to divide the town into 2 or more districts for the purpose of electing representatives to the general court?”
III. [Repealed.]

Source. 1997, 312:1. 1998, 307:1, eff. Aug. 25, 1998.

Section 662-A:4

 662-A:4 Redistricting Commission; Membership. –
I. The redistricting commission shall consist of 5 members, all of whom shall be registered voters of the town appointed by the governing body of the town, as defined in RSA 672:6.
II. The town clerk shall within 7 days after the appointment of the commission members, notify those appointed to the commission of the date, time, and place of the organizational meeting of the commission. Such date, time, and place shall be fixed by the clerk and 7 days’ notice of the organizational meeting shall be given. The commission shall organize by electing from its members a chairperson, a vice chairperson and a secretary and shall file notice thereof with the town clerk. Vacancies occurring on the commission shall be filled by vote of the commission from the voters of the town. Members shall serve without compensation.
III. The commission may adopt rules governing the conduct of its meetings and proceedings. A town shall provide its redistricting commission, free of charge, with suitable office space and with reasonable access to facilities for holding public hearings, may contribute clerical and other assistance to such commission, and shall permit it to consult with and obtain advice and information from municipal officers, officials, and employees during ordinary working hours. A town may from time to time appropriate additional funds to the commission.
IV. The commission shall proceed to determine how to divide the town into representative districts. Any such division shall be based on population figures determined at the latest federal decennial census. Any proposal for division recommended by the commission shall provide for equality of representation in accordance with the principle of one-person, one-vote.
V. (a) Within 14 days after its organizational meeting, the redistricting commission shall hold a public meeting for the purpose of receiving information, views, comments, and other pertinent material relative to its functions.
(b) Within 90 days after its appointment, the commission shall prepare a preliminary report including the text of the proposal for new districts which the commission intends shall be submitted to the voters and any explanatory information the commission deems desirable. The preliminary report shall be submitted to the secretary of state for approval pursuant to RSA 662-A:5.
(c) Within 225 days after its appointment, the commission shall submit to the town officers its final report, which shall include the full text and explanation of the redistricting proposal and such comments as the commission deems desirable.
(d) All public hearings before the commission shall be held within the town at such times and places as may be specified in a notice published at least 7 days prior to the hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the town. Hearings may be adjourned from time to time without further published notice.
VI. Upon the filing of the final report, the town officers shall order the redistricting proposal to be submitted to the voters at the next regular town election pursuant to RSA 662-A:6.
VII. Upon the submission of the final report, the commission shall be dissolved.

Source. 1997, 312:1. 1998, 307:2, eff. Aug. 25, 1998.

Section 662-A:5

 662-A:5 Approval and Review. –
I. Within 10 days of the filing of a preliminary report relative to any redistricting proposal, the town clerk shall file certified copies of the report with the secretary of state. Within 30 days of the receipt of the preliminary report, the secretary of state shall review the redistricting proposal to insure that it is consistent with the principle of one-person, one-vote using the most recent decennial census figures for the town and to insure that no provision of the redistricting of the town is in conflict with the constitution or laws of this state or the United States.
II. If the secretary of state approves the preliminary report, the redistricting proposal shall be presented to the voters pursuant to RSA 662-A:6 or RSA 662-A:7.
III. If the secretary of state does not approve, the redistricting proposal shall not be placed on the ballot for voter approval. The secretary of state shall specify objections in writing to the commission within the period of time allowed for review and shall offer recommendations for changes in the redistricting proposal which would correct any inconsistencies in the proposal. Failure to specify objections to a redistricting proposal under this section shall constitute approval by the secretary of state.
IV. The commission may seek judicial review of a disapproval of the proposal by the secretary of state in superior court to determine the lawfulness of the decision of the secretary of state. The clerk of the court shall schedule a hearing on any such appeal within 10 days of the filing of the petition.

Source. 1997, 312:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997.

Section 662-A:6

 662-A:6 Submission of Redistricting Proposal to Voters. –
I. Following approval of the commission’s proposal, the secretary of state shall submit proposed districts to the voters of the town at the next town election. The wording of the question shall be:
“Do you favor dividing the town into representative districts for the purpose of electing representatives to the general court as recommended by the redistricting commission?”
II. The selectmen or town council shall cause the final report of the commission to be printed in the town report, shall make copies available in the clerk’s office, and shall post the report in the same manner that proposed ordinances are posted.
III. If a majority of voters voting on the question answer in the affirmative, the secretary of state shall cause a bill to divide the town into representative districts to be submitted to the general court at the next legislative session. Upon passage of the bill and the signing of the bill into law, the town shall be deemed divided into the approved districts for the next succeeding election of representatives to the general court and all subsequent elections until the completion of the next decennial census and reapportionment of the general court. If legislation adopting the town’s proposed districts is not enacted by the general court in the next succeeding session of the general court, no further action or approval by the town is required for future introduction of legislation adopting the districts approved by the town pursuant to this chapter.
IV. If a majority of the voters voting on the question do not answer in the affirmative, the town shall continue as a multi-member district for the purposes of electing representatives to the general court and reapportionment of the general court.

Source. 1997, 312:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997.

Section 662-A:7

 662-A:7 Amendment of Districts. –
I. A town which has been divided into districts pursuant to this chapter may amend its representative districts created pursuant to this chapter only by following the procedures in this chapter.
II. The question proposed to voters shall be:
“Shall the town establish a redistricting commission for the purpose of amending the representative districts previously adopted by the town and enacted by the legislature?”
III. If the redistricting commission proposes to amend the representative districts previously adopted by the town and enacted by the legislature, the question submitted to voters shall be:
“Shall the proposal of the redistricting commission to amend the representative districts of the town for the purpose of electing representatives to the general court be adopted?”

Source. 1997, 312:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997.

Section 662-A:8

 662-A:8 Rescission of Divided Districts. –
I. A town which has been divided into districts pursuant to this chapter may rescind its decision and return to a single-member district.
II. The article proposing rescission shall be placed on the ballot in accordance with the provisions of RSA 662-A:3, I.
III. The wording of the question shall be:
“Do you favor rescinding the representative districts previously adopted by the town and enacted by the legislature?”
IV. If a majority of voters voting on the question answer in the affirmative, the secretary of state shall cause a bill to return the town to a single, multi-member district to be submitted to the general court, at the next legislative session. Upon passage of the bill and signing of the bill into law, the town shall be deemed to be returned to a single, multi-member district for the next succeeding election of representatives to the general court and all subsequent elections until the completion of the next decennial census and reapportionment of the general court. If legislation returning the town to a single, multi-member district is not enacted by the general court in the next succeeding session of the general court, no further action or approval by the town is required for future introduction of legislation adopting the change approved by the town pursuant to this chapter.

Source. 1997, 312:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997.

Section 662-A:9

 662-A:9 Prevailing Vote. – If a question to amend the representative districts created pursuant to this chapter appears on the same ballot as a question to rescind the division of a town into representative districts, and if a majority of the voters voting on each question vote in the affirmative on each question, then the question that receives the plurality of votes shall prevail.

Source. 1997, 312:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997.

CHAPTER 663
QUESTIONS TO VOTERS

General Provisions

Section 663:1

 663:1 Form on Ballot; Tabulation; Results; Etc. – The questions to voters provided for in this chapter may be submitted on the ballot at any state election. Except as provided in RSA 663:2, questions submitted on the state general election ballot shall be printed on the ballot beneath the offices column in the form provided for in RSA 656:13. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the vote on questions to voters shall be counted and returns made in as nearly as practicable the same manner as that provided in RSA 659.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 309:12, eff. June 8, 1994.

Constitutional Amendments

Section 663:2

 663:2 Form of Submission of Question. – The question of whether to approve a proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the vote of the people by ballot. A constitutional question may, at the direction of the constitutional convention, be printed on the ballot at any state election or may be printed on a separate ballot to be used at a state election or at another election as directed by the constitutional convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 663:3

 663:3 Form of Ballot. – The following words shall be printed above the constitutional amendment questions on all ballots containing such questions: “Questions Relating to Constitutional Amendments Proposed by the Convention to Revise the Constitution” or “Questions Relating to Constitutional Amendments Proposed by the Legislature to Revise the Constitution,” whichever is appropriate. A constitutional question shall include, in the text of the question, the text of the article of the constitution as it is proposed to be amended, and the results of the vote taken on ordering the proposed amendment to third reading in both the senate and the house of representatives or at the constitutional convention, whichever is appropriate.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1999, 67:1. 2013, 231:2, eff. Sept. 13, 2013.

Section 663:3-a

 663:3-a Voter’s Guides. –
I. If the general court proposes the constitutional amendment, the text of the statement for the voter’s guide, if any, shall be included in the resolution proposing the constitutional amendment. The joint committee on legislative facilities may authorize the printing or distribution of the voter’s guide.
II. If the constitutional convention proposes the constitutional amendment, the text of the statement for the voter’s guide, if any, shall be included in the resolution proposing the constitutional amendment.

Source. 1999, 67:2. 2013, 231:1, eff. Sept. 13, 2013.

Section 663:4

 663:4 Result; Publication; Effective Date. – A constitutional convention shall provide for notice of the result of the vote on a proposed constitutional amendment by proclamation by the governor; and, if the result is affirmative, the proclamation shall mark the time the amendment goes into effect, unless otherwise provided by the convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Liquor Sales

Section 663:5

 663:5 Question; Vote; Results. –
I. Upon petition of not less than 5 percent of the legal voters of any city or town filed with the secretary of state not earlier than the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in August and no later than the first Friday in September before a state general election, the following questions shall be submitted to the voters of such city or town on the usual ballot at such state election:
(a) “Shall state stores be operated by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?”
(b) “Shall malt beverages (beer) be sold by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?”
(c) “Shall wines containing not less than 6 percent nor more than 15.5 percent of alcoholic content by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (table wine) be sold by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?”
(d) “Shall liquor be sold for consumption on the premises where sold by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?”
II. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies the disapproval of question (a) above, the commission shall not operate state liquor stores in that city or town.
III. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies the disapproval of question (b) above, then the commission shall not issue licenses or permits for the sale of malt beverages in that city or town.
IV. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies the disapproval of question (c) above, then the commission shall not issue licenses or permits for the sale of wine in that city or town.
V. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies the disapproval of question (d) above, the commission shall not issue licenses or permits for the sale of liquor for consumption on the premises where sold in that city or town.
VI. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies the approval of question (a) above, the commission may at its discretion operate state liquor stores in that city or town.
VII. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies approval of question (b) above, then the commission may at its discretion issue licenses or permits for the sale of malt beverages in that city or town.
VIII. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies the approval of question (c) above, the commission may at its discretion issue licenses or permits for the sale of wine in that city or town.
IX. If a majority of the qualified voters present and voting in a city or town signifies approval of question (d) above, then the commission may at its discretion issue licenses or permits for the sale of liquor for consumption on the premises where sold in that city or town.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 143:1; 387:1. 1994, 4:26. 1995, 34:14, eff. June 23, 1995.

Section 663:6

 663:6 Application. – Unless and until changed pursuant to RSA 663:5, the operation of state stores and the issuance of licenses and permits in cities and in towns shall be in accordance with the approval or disapproval of such operation as signified by the vote regarding the sale of liquor and beverages taken at the state general election in November, 1964.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Sales of Lottery

Section 663:7

 663:7 Question; Vote; Results. – Upon the petition of 5 percent of the voters of any city or town filed with the secretary of state not earlier than the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in August and no later than the first Friday in September before a state general election, the appropriate version of the following question shall be submitted to the voters of such city or town at said election: “Shall lottery tickets (continue to) be sold in this city or town?” If a majority of those voting vote “yes” on the question, tickets may be sold or continued to be sold by the commission in that city or town. If a majority of those voting vote “no” on the question, the commission shall not sell tickets in that city or town. No petition that the question prescribed in this section be printed on the ballot at a state general election shall be made within 2 years of a vote on such a question at a previous state general election.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1981, 387:2. 1994, 4:27. 2004, 97:8, eff. July 10, 2004.

Section 663:8

 663:8 Application. – Unless and until changed pursuant to RSA 663:7, the sales of lottery tickets by the lottery commission under RSA 284 in cities and towns shall be in accordance with the approval or disapproval of such operation as signified by the vote taken at the state general election held in November, 1970.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2004, 97:8, eff. July 10, 2004.

CHAPTER 664
POLITICAL EXPENDITURES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

General Provisions

Section 664:1

 664:1 Applicability of Chapter. – The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all state primary, general, and special elections, but shall only apply to presidential preference primaries as provided in this section. The provisions relating to political advertising, push polling, and enforcement, RSA 664:14 through RSA 664:22, shall additionally apply to presidential primary, city, town, school district, and village district elections.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1989, 212:6. 1991, 387:8. 2008, 118:2, eff. June 3, 2008.

Section 664:2

 664:2 Definitions. –
As used in this chapter:
I. “Election” means any general biennial or special election, political party primary, or presidential preference primary as provided in RSA 664:1.
II. “Candidate” means any person publicly declared as such and for whom votes are sought in an election.
III. “Political committee” means:
(a) Any organization of 2 or more persons that promotes the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures, including the political committee of a political party;
(b) Any segregated fund established by any organization the purpose of which is to promote the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures;
(c) Any organization that has as its major purpose to promote the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures and whose receipts or expenditures total $2,500 or more in a calendar year for that purpose;
(d) Any organization that does not have as its major purpose to promote the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures but that makes expenditures that total $5,000 or more in a calendar year; or
(e) Any segregated fund that is voluntarily registered with the secretary of state for the purpose of reporting its receipts and expenditures under this chapter or any organization that voluntarily registers with the secretary of state, without regard to whether such segregated fund or organization meets the receipt or expenditure thresholds described in this paragraph.
As used in this paragraph, “organization” includes, but is not limited to, one or more natural persons; entities formed under state law, except those entities qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986; committees formed by a candidate, exploratory campaign, or political party; and any other association of natural persons or entities formed under state law that is not registered as a business entity.
IV. “Political party” or “party” means any political organization or number of persons which can nominate candidates in any manner prescribed by law and has done so for the current election. The definition of the word “party” contained in RSA 652:11 shall not apply to this chapter.
V. “Political committee of a political party” means a state, county, regional, city, ward, or town committee of a political party. A regional committee shall be composed only of members who are residents of towns or cities that form a contiguous land area, and shall have been created and approved by the state committee of the political party. To establish regional committees, a party shall amend its by-laws to authorize them in principle; a copy of the by-law authorization and evidence of the approval for each regional committee by the state committee shall be filed by the political party with the secretary of state before the first Wednesday in June of that year.
VI. “Political advertising” means any communication, including buttons or printed material attached to motor vehicles, which expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure or person at any election.
VII. “Communication” shall include, but not be limited to, publication in any newspaper or other periodical or on any Internet site, broadcasting on radio, television, or over any public address system, transmission by telephone or facsimile, placement on any billboards, outdoor facilities, window displays, posters, cards, pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, or other circulars, or in any direct mailing.
VIII. “Contribution” shall mean a payment, gift, subscription, assessment, contract, payment for services, dues advance, forbearance or loan to a candidate or political committee made for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate. “Contributions” shall include the use of any thing of value but shall not include the services of volunteers who receive no pay therefor or the use of personal resources by a candidate on behalf of his candidacy.
IX. “Expenditure” shall mean the disbursement of money or thing of value or the making of a legally binding commitment to make such a disbursement in the future or the transfer of funds by a political committee to another political committee or to a candidate for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures. “Expenditures” includes disbursements constituting independent expenditures, as defined in paragraph XI. It does not include:
(a) The candidate’s filing fee or his or her expenses for personal travel and subsistence;
(b) Activity designed to encourage individuals to register to vote or to vote, if that activity or communication does not mention a clearly identified candidate;
(c) Any communication by any membership organization or corporation to its members or stockholders, if the primary purpose of that membership organization or corporation is not for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates and measure or measures; or
(d) Any communication by any political committee member that is not made for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or measure or measures.
X. “Measure” shall mean any constitutional amendment or question which is submitted or intended to be submitted to a popular vote at an election.
XI. “Independent expenditures” means expenditures that pay for the development and distribution of a communication that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or candidates or the success or defeat of a measure or measures, which are made without cooperation or consultation with any candidate, or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate, and which are not made in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate, or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate.
XII. “Full name” means an individual’s full first name, middle name or initial, if any, and full legal last name, making the identity of the contributor apparent by unambiguous reference.
XIII. “Post office address” means an individual’s principal place of residence and shall include a street and post office box, if any, city, state and zip code. “Post office address” shall not mean:
(a) An individual’s business address.
(b) An individual’s vacation home address or rental property address when the home or rental property is owned, but not occupied by the contributor.
(c) Any address not that of the contributor.
XIV. “Occupation” means an individual’s official job title resulting from employment at or ownership of any agency or organization or other entity.
XV. “Principal place of business” means the primary organization or employer from which an individual derives his or her principal income and shall include the employer’s official name and the employer’s post office address.
XVI. “Business organization” means any enterprise, whether corporation, partnership, limited liability company, proprietorship, association, business trust, real estate trust or other form of organization, organized for gain or profit, and includes any enterprise which is expressly made exempt from income taxation under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986. It does not include a political committee as defined in RSA 664:2, III, or the political committee of a political party, as defined in RSA 664:2, V.
XVII. “Push-polling” means:
(a) Calling voters on behalf of, in support of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office by telephone; and
(b) Asking questions related to opposing candidates for public office which state, imply, or convey information about the candidates character, status, or political stance or record; and
(c) Conducting such calling in a manner which is likely to be construed by the voter to be a survey or poll to gather statistical data for entities or organizations which are acting independent of any particular political party, candidate, or interest group as part of a series of like telephone calls that consist of more than 2,000 connected calls that last less than 2 minutes in presidential, gubernatorial, United States senatorial, or United States congressional elections; or conducting such calling as part of a series of like telephone calls that consist of more than 500 connected calls that last less than 2 minutes in executive council, state senate, city, town, school district, or village district elections; or conducting such calling as part of a series of like telephone calls that consist of more than 200 connected calls that last less than 2 minutes in state representative elections; and
(d) Conducting such calling for purposes other than bona fide survey and opinion research.
XVIII. “Bona fide survey and opinion research” means the collection and analysis of data regarding opinions, needs, awareness, knowledge, views, experiences, and behaviors of a population, through the development and administration of surveys, interviews, focus groups, polls, observation, or other research methodologies, in which no sales, promotional, or marketing efforts are involved, and through which there is no attempt to influence a participant’s attitudes or behavior. Bona fide survey and opinion research includes message testing, which is the study for research purposes of how randomly-selected individuals react to positive or negative information on a candidate, elected public official, or ballot question.
XIX. “Receipts” shall mean the receipt of money or thing of value or the receipt of a legally binding commitment to receive money or thing of value in the future for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or candidates or a measure or measures. Receipts shall not include amounts received by a political committee in commercial transactions in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the political committee or in the form of investments in the political committee or amounts received by the political committee from payors who, at the time of payment, prohibited, in writing, the use of the payment as an expenditure.
XX. “Segregated fund” shall mean a segregated account of money that consists of funds that were paid directly to such account by persons other than the covered political committee that controls the account from which only expenditures defined in paragraph IX are made.
XXI. “Clearly identified candidate” means that the name of the candidate involved appears; a photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent.
XXII. “Political advocacy organization” means any entity that spends $5,000 or more in a calendar year to pay for a communication that is functionally equivalent to express advocacy because, when taken as a whole, such communication is likely to be interpreted by a reasonable person only as advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or candidates or the success or defeat of a measure or measures, taking into account whether the communication involved mentions a candidacy or a political party, or takes a position on a candidate’s character, qualifications, or fitness for office.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 27:1, 2. 1983, 366:1. 1991, 387:9, 10. 1994, 8:1; 216:1. 1998, 12:2. 2004, 72:1. 2007, 143:1. 2009, 50:1. 2014, 6:1, 2, eff. April 23, 2014; 279:1-4 eff. July 28, 2014.

Registration

Section 664:3

 664:3 Registration of Political Committees. –
I. Any political committee, except the political committee of a political party, shall register with the secretary of state as provided in this section. A political committee may register for an election cycle at any time after the final report is due following the then-most-recent general election. The committee’s registration shall be received by the secretary of state not later than 48 hours after the committee meets at least one of the criteria under RSA 664:2, III. The registration shall be accompanied by an itemized statement of the receipts and expenditures, if any, made by the political committee in the election cycle prior to registration. Such itemization shall be made pursuant to the manner set forth in RSA 664:6. The registration shall also be accompanied by a fee of $50, which shall be deposited by the secretary of state into the general fund; provided, however, that the political committee of a candidate that registers under this section shall not be required to pay the $50 fee. Each political committee shall designate a treasurer or agent who is a citizen of this state and who is authorized to receive all process and other legal documents on behalf of the political committee, and through whom may be obtained access to all books and records of the political committee. The political committee shall file with the secretary of state a statement of the purpose of the committee and shall indicate whether the committee will be making independent expenditures. The registration shall also include a statement of the name, address, occupation, and principal place of business of its chairperson and treasurer or agent, and the names and addresses of other officers. The committee shall file an amendment to its registration within 14 days of any change in the officers or purpose of the committee.
II. No member of a political committee which is required to register under RSA 664:3, I, except members of political committees of political parties, shall do any act directly or indirectly on behalf of the committee to promote the success or defeat of a political party, a measure or a candidate, unless the requirements of RSA 664:3, I are met.
III. Any political committee which is organized to support a candidate in any election shall secure the written consent of the candidate or his fiscal agent before it receives contributions or makes expenditures. Such written consent shall be filed with the secretary of state when the statements required by paragraph I are filed.
IV. All political committees’ registrations under this chapter shall be valid from the date of registration until 10 days after the primary or general election, whichever is appropriate, unless terminated sooner, in writing, by the chairman and the treasurer of the committee. However, any committee which has a continuing obligation to report as required under RSA 664:6 shall continue to exist for the purpose of making such reports.
V. Any political committee or political advocacy organization that is exempt from taxation under sections 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 may disclose, but shall not be required to disclose in its itemized statement of receipts, the identity of its donors.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 27:1. 1991, 387:11, 12. 1997, 351:59. 2003, 266:6. 2006, 97:1. 2009, 144:225. 2014, 279:5, 6, eff. July 28, 2014.

Section 664:3-a

 664:3-a Registration of Political Advocacy Organizations. – Political advocacy organizations shall register with the secretary of state under the same deadlines and in the same general form required of political committees under RSA 664:3.

Source. 2014, 279:12, eff. July 28, 2014.

Contributions

Section 664:4

 664:4 Prohibited Political Contributions. –
No contribution, whether tangible or intangible, shall be made to a candidate, a political committee, or political party, or in behalf of a candidate or political committee or political party, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of any candidate or political party at any state primary or general election:
I. [Repealed.]
II. By any partnership as such or by any partner acting in behalf of such partnership.
III. By any labor union or group of labor unions, or by any officer, director, executive, agent or employee acting in behalf of such union or group of unions; or by any organization representing or affiliated with any such union or group of unions, or by any officer, director, executive, agent or employee acting in behalf of such organization.
IV. [Repealed.]
V. By any person (1) if in excess of $5,000 in value, except for contributions made by a candidate in behalf of his own candidacy, or if in excess of $1,000 in value by any person or by any political committee to a candidate or a political committee working on behalf of a candidate who does not voluntarily agree to limit his campaign expenditures and those expenditures made on his behalf as provided in RSA 664:5-a, (2) if made anonymously or under a name not that of the donor, (3) if made in the guise of a loan, (4) if any other manner concealed, (5) if made without the knowledge and written consent of the candidate or his fiscal agent, a political committee or its treasurer, or not to any one of the same.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 415:1. 1991, 387:13, 14. 2011, 150:7, V, eff. Aug. 7, 2011.

Section 664:4-a

 664:4-a Prohibited Coercion of Political Contributions. –
I. No person shall knowingly coerce, or attempt to coerce, any classified state employee to give or withhold a contribution to any political campaign or political committee, or to any candidate, party or cause, for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of any candidate or political party.
II. No business organization, and no officer, director, executive, agent or employee acting in behalf of the business organization, and no enterprise representing or affiliated with one or more business organizations, and no officer, director, executive, agent or employee acting in behalf of such enterprise, shall knowingly coerce, or attempt to coerce, any employee of the business organization or of the enterprise, or any contractor or subcontractor or any employee of the contractor or subcontractor doing business with the business organization, to make a contribution to any political campaign or political committee, or to any candidate, party or cause, for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of any candidate or political party:
(a) By means of the denial or deprivation, or the threat of the denial or deprivation, of any employment, position, or work in or for the business organization or enterprise.
(b) By means of the denial or deprivation, or threat of the denial or deprivation, of the loss of any compensation, payment, or benefit from such employment, position, or work.
(c) By means of the discharge, promotion, degradation, or change in any manner in the official rank or compensation of any employee, or by means of the promise or threat to do so, for giving or withholding a contribution.

Source. 1983, 415:2. 1987, 119:1. 1994, 216:2, eff. July 24, 1994.

Section 664:4-b

 664:4-b Surplus Campaign Contributions. – Surplus campaign contributions may be used after a general or special election for fund raising activities and any other politically related activity sponsored by the candidate, or for donations to charitable organizations. Such surplus campaign contributions, however, shall not be used for personal purposes.

Source. 1989, 212:7. 1992, 91:1. 1995, 276:1, eff. Aug. 19, 1995.

Expenditures

Section 664:5

 664:5 Prohibited Political Expenditures. –
No expenditure or use of a contribution, tangible or intangible, shall be made for the purpose of promoting the success or defeat of any political party, measure or candidate:
I. By a political committee, except the political committee of a political party, unless the political committee meets the requirements of RSA 664:3, I.
II. By a political committee which is organized to support a candidate in any election, or to such candidate or the candidate’s fiscal agent unless the committee secures and files the written consent of the candidate or the candidate’s fiscal agent with the secretary of state in accordance with RSA 664:3, III.
III. By any person, candidate or political committee, for political advertising in a newspaper, periodical, or on a radio or television broadcast, or on a billboard, if at a rate more or less than the applicable rates to be filed with the secretary of state.
IV, V. [Repealed.]

VI.  By any foreign national, as defined in 52 U.S.C. section 30121(b) and 11 C.F.R. section 110.20(a)(3),  for any purpose, including for the use of telephones, facsimile machines, vehicles, and computers, for electioneering.  For the purposes of this paragraph, “electioneering” means to act in any way specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any question or office.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 27:4. 1991, 387:15. 1997, 351:60, 63, eff. Aug. 24, 1997. 2018, 111:1.

Section 664:5-a

 664:5-a Limitations on Political Expenditures. –
I. Any candidate may voluntarily agree to limit his campaign expenditures and those of his committee or committees, his party, and his immediate family on his behalf by filing an affidavit with the secretary of state.
II. The affidavit shall state that the candidate knows the voluntary expenditure limitations as set out in RSA 664:5-b and that he is voluntarily agreeing to limit his expenditures and those made on his behalf by his committee or committees, his party, and his immediate family to the amount set by law. The affidavit shall further state that the candidate does not condone and shall not solicit any independent expenditures made on behalf of his candidacy. The affidavit shall be sworn and subscribed to by the candidate and notarized.
III. Affidavits in compliance with this section shall be filed within 3 days after the date on which a candidate files his declaration of candidacy or his declaration of intent, or is declared a write-in winner of a primary election.

Source. 1989, 212:8. 1991, 387:16, eff. July 2, 1991.

Section 664:5-b

 664:5-b Political Expenditure Limitation Amounts. –
Total expenditures by a candidate who voluntarily agrees to limit campaign expenditures as provided in RSA 664:5-a shall be as follows:
I. For governor:
(a) $625,000 in a state primary election.
(b) $625,000 in a state general election.
I-a. For United States senator:
(a) $625,000 in a state primary election.
(b) $625,000 in a state general election.
II. For representative to Congress:
(a) $350,000 in a state primary election.
(b) $350,000 in a state general election.
III. For executive council:
(a) $50,000 in a state primary election.
(b) $50,000 in a state general election.
IV. For state senate:
(a) $20,000 in a state primary election.
(b) $20,000 in a state general election.
V. For representative to the general court and all county offices, based upon the latest figures filed with the secretary of state:
(a) $.50 per registered voter in the district or the county in a state primary election.
(b) $.50 per registered voter in the district or the county in a state general election.
VI. For the purposes of this section, RSA 664:5-a, and the enforcement provisions of this chapter, “total expenditures” shall mean the sum of all expenditures made to influence either a state primary or a state general election made by a candidate and those made on the candidate’s behalf by the candidate’s committee or committees, the candidate’s party, and the candidate’s immediate family. For candidates for governor, United States senator, representative to Congress, state senate, state representative, and executive council, “total expenditures” shall include any such expenditures made after January 1 of the election year, regardless of when the person actually declares his or her candidacy. Each campaign expenditure limitation amount shall apply solely and independently to either the state primary election or the state general election.

Source. 1989, 212:8. 1991, 387:17. 1992, 267:1. 1995, 276:3. 1998, 136:3. 2000, 281:1, eff. June 21, 2000.

Section 664:5-c

 664:5-c Advisory Committee. – [Repealed 2010, 368:1(53), eff. Dec. 31, 2010.]

Reports

Section 664:6

 664:6 Reporting by Political Committee. –
I. Any political committee whose receipts or expenditures exceed $500 shall file with the secretary of state an itemized statement in the form prescribed by the secretary of state, signed by its chairman and treasurer showing each of its receipts exceeding $25 with the full name and postal address of the contributor in alphabetical order and the amount of the contribution, the date it was received, and the aggregate total for each election for each contributor of over $100. Statements shall be filed not later than the first Wednesday in June and December after the state general election and before the filing deadline established in RSA 655:14, after which statements shall be filed no later than the Wednesday 12 weeks immediately preceding a primary election, before 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and shall cover the period from the day of the committee registration up to and including the Monday before the statement is due. All receipts of $25 or under shall appear on the statements as unitemized receipts. Any listing that exceeds an individual’s aggregate total of $100 for each election shall be accompanied by the contributor’s occupation including official job title, the name of the contributor’s employer, and the city or town of the contributor’s principal place of business, if any. The statement shall also show each committee expenditure exceeding $25 with the full name and postal address of the payee or promise of payment, the date paid or obligated, and the election for which the expenditure was made, with the specific nature and amount of each expenditure since the date of the registration.
II. A political committee shall file an itemized statement in the same form as in paragraph I with the secretary of state not later than the Wednesday 3 weeks immediately preceding a primary and a general election, before 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The statement shall summarize the period under paragraph I if a statement is filed and shall itemize all receipts and expenditures since the cutoff of that statement up until the Monday preceding the filing of the statement under this paragraph.
II-a. A political committee shall file a statement in the same form as in paragraph I with the secretary of state not later than the Wednesday immediately preceding a primary and a general election, before 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The statement shall summarize the statements under paragraphs I and II if such statements are filed and itemize all receipts and expenditures since the cutoff of the statement under paragraph II up until the Monday preceding the filing of the statement under this paragraph. In addition to the reporting requirements contained in this section, the secretary of state shall be notified by the fiscal agent within 48 hours of any contribution exceeding $500 that is received after the statement under this paragraph is filed and prior to the day of election.
III. A political committee shall file an itemized statement in the same form as in paragraph I summarizing the previous statements if such statements are filed and itemizing all receipts and expenditures since the cutoff of the previous report and ending on the day of the primary or the general election with the secretary of state not later than the second Wednesday after the election, before 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
IV. Any political committee whose receipts or expenditures do not exceed $500 for a reporting period need not file. However, when a committee’s accumulated receipts or expenditures for an election exceed $500 the committee shall file a statement at the next reporting deadline, and shall continue to file at each reporting deadline.
IV-a. Any political committee whose independent expenditures, in aggregate, exceed $500 shall file an itemized statement with the secretary of state which shall be received by the secretary of state not later than 48 hours after such expenditures are made, and thereafter each time a further $500 is expended. Such itemized statements shall cover the period during which independent expenditures totaling $500 were made. Each statement shall include a certification by the chairman of the political committee that the independent expenditure meets the definition in RSA 664:2, XI. Each statement shall contain the date of each independent expenditure; the name and address of the person to whom the expenditure was made; the name of the candidate on whose behalf or against whom each independent expenditure was made; the amount of each expenditure; the purpose of each expenditure, and the aggregate amount of all previous independent expenditures. If the independent expenditure is made in support of or in opposition to more than one candidate, the statement made under this paragraph shall allocate the way in which the expenditure was made among the candidates on a reasonable basis. For the purposes of this paragraph, “reasonable basis” means a statement that reflects the benefit or the burden reasonably expected to be derived or suffered by each candidate. The filing requirements of this paragraph shall be in addition to all other filing requirements under this section, and shall not be limited to the filing periods during which expenditures must otherwise be reported.
V. Any political committee which has any outstanding debt, obligation, or surplus following the election shall file reports at least once every 6 months thereafter in the same form as in paragraph I until the obligation or indebtedness is entirely satisfied or surplus deleted, at which time a final report shall be filed.
VI. Copies of the statements required by paragraphs II through V of the state committee of a political party shall be filed with the secretary of state in sufficient numbers so as to provide a copy for the state committee of each party on the ballot, which they may obtain by application to the secretary of state.
VII. Any national political party committee of a party as defined in RSA 652:11 may make contributions or expenditures on behalf of state candidates without complying with the requirements of paragraphs I through V, provided that the total contribution or expenditure made in behalf of a candidate or political committee in this state whether directly or indirectly does not exceed the limit for personal contributions in RSA 664:4.
VIII. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply only to a political committee for an individual candidate who is seeking a federal office whose holder is chosen by the voters of this state only. Such a committee which is required by federal law to file with the federal government reports relative to receipts and expenditures in support of such one candidate may choose, at the time of registering under RSA 664:3, I, to file with the secretary of state copies of reports made to the federal government in accordance with the timetable established by federal laws for such reports in lieu of complying with the other reporting requirements of this section.
IX. Any political committee or political advocacy organization that is exempt from taxation under sections 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 may disclose, but shall not be required to disclose in its itemized statement of receipts, the identity of its donors.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 27:5. 1983, 89:1. 1991, 387:19-22. 1994, 8:2. 1995, 276:2. 1997, 351:61. 2007, 143:2, 3. 2013, 209:4. 2014, 279:7-10, eff. July 28, 2014. 2016, 270:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.

Section 664:6-a

 664:6-a Reporting by Political Advocacy Organizations. – Political advocacy organizations shall report with the secretary of state any funds received or expenses incurred in connection with communications described in RSA 664:2, VII, under the same deadlines and in the same general form required of political committees under RSA 664:6, IV-a.

Source. 2014, 279:13, eff. July 28, 2014.

Section 664:7

 664:7 Reporting by Candidates. – Each candidate at the primary or general election for governor, councilor, state senator, representative to general court, or county officer, who has expenditures exceeding $500, shall file statements before and after an election in like manner and detail as prescribed in RSA 664:6, II, II-a, III, IV, and V, excepting, however, the expenditures of political committees of the party to which the candidate belongs in elections other than primaries.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 27:6. 1991, 387:23, eff. July 2, 1991.

Section 664:7-a

 664:7-a Statement Retention. – Statements or reports required to be filed under RSA 664:6 and 664:7 shall be held in original form for 6 years from the election for which they are filed, after which time they may be destroyed.

Source. 2001, 231:6, eff. July 13, 2001.

Section 664:7-b

 664:7-b Reporting by Candidates for Speaker of the House of Representatives. –
I. Each candidate seeking election to the office of speaker of the house of representatives shall:
(a) File statements before and after such election in like manner and detail prescribed in RSA 664:6, II, II-a, and III, except that the date of the respective election, rather than the date of the primary or general election, shall determine the dates of such statements; and
(b) Register as a political committee, pursuant to RSA 664:3, on the date that such person becomes a candidate for speaker of the house of representatives, notwithstanding the definition of the term “political committee” in RSA 664:2, III.
II. In this section, and notwithstanding RSA 664:2, II, the term “candidate” means a person who seeks nomination for election, or election, to the office of the speaker of the house of representatives, and for purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to seek nomination for election, or election if such person:
(a) Has received gifts or contributions for such purposes; or
(b) Has given his or her consent to another person to receive gifts or contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such person and if such other person has received such gifts or contributions for such purposes.
III. No candidate shall be entitled to the office of speaker of the house of representatives until the sworn itemized statements required to be filed by the candidate or on the candidate’s behalf have been filed as required by this section.

Source. 2002, 99:1, eff. May 3, 2002.

Section 664:8

 664:8 Duplicate Reporting of Contributions Not Required. – [Repealed 1982, 27:8, eff. Mar. 17, 1982.]

Section 664:9

 664:9 Prohibition. – No candidate shall be entitled to the nomination or election until the sworn itemized statements required to be filed by him or in his behalf have been filed as required by RSA 664:6 and 664:7.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 276:2, eff. July 24, 1987.

Section 664:9-a

 664:9-a Itemized Statements Filed by Facsimile Transmission. – The sworn itemized statements required to be filed by a political committee or a candidate or on the candidate’s behalf as required by RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b may be filed by means of a facsimile transmission; provided, however, that a statement which is transmitted electronically or telephonically by a facsimile device shall also be filed by a political committee or a candidate or on the candidate’s behalf not later than the last day of each filing period under RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b if a facsimile transmission is used.

Source. 1992, 267:5. 2002, 99:2, eff. May 3, 2002.

Section 664:9-b

 664:9-b Reports of Receipts and Expenditures Filed Electronically. – A political committee of a candidate or a candidate may electronically report receipts and expenditures, as required by RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b, by uploading the report to the secretary of state’s website. The report shall be publicly available on the website on or before the date that an itemized statement of receipts and expenditures is due. The committee or candidate may publicly release receipt and expenditure information under this section more frequently than is required by RSA 664:6, 664:7, and 664:7-b provided the receipt and expenditure report is up to date when due.

Source. 2016, 102:1, eff. July 18, 2016.

Section 664:10

 664:10 Social Activities. – Outings, dinners and social affairs conducted by political committees, clubs and others at which each person attending pays a sum approximating closely the cost of his own food, sustenance or entertainment shall not, as to such payments and disbursements therefrom, be deemed reportable or limited receipts or expenditures under this chapter.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 664:11

 664:11 Public Inspection. – All statements, assents, and registrations filed by state committees, candidates, and political committees shall be open to public inspection. The secretary of state shall publish on the Internet information on all contributions reported under this chapter, including the name of the contributor, the contributor’s home state, and the date of the contribution.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2006, 57:1, eff. June 23, 2006.

Duties

Section 664:12

 664:12 Fiscal Agent. – As part of the declaration of candidacies filed by candidates for governor, councilor, state senator and county officer and other primary candidacies, every such candidate shall designate some person, who may be the candidate himself, as his financial agent for the purpose of the primary and general election campaign. If his candidacy for such office is established by a primary petition or nomination petitions, there shall be filed together with such petitions the name of the fiscal agent for such candidate. A candidate who is nominated by write-in vote at the primary shall, prior to making any campaign expenditures, file with the secretary of state the name of his fiscal agent. All sums expended or contracted for payment in the primary or general election campaign in behalf of such candidate shall be reported by the candidate or his political committee or both to his fiscal agent, and the candidate or his fiscal agent shall make or approve all disbursements in behalf of his candidate subsequent to his designation as fiscal agent and join with the candidate in making and filing the statements required by this chapter.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 276:3, eff. July 24, 1987.

Section 664:13

 664:13 Committee Treasurer. – If a political committee has no treasurer, or if the treasurer fails to make a report, it shall be the duty of each member of said committee who received or pays out any money in behalf of said committee to make such a report or to cause the same to be made. No member of such committee shall make or permit any unlawful expenditure or act by said committee, in whole or in part, or consent thereto, or aid, abet or conspire to make or permit the same.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1997, 351:62, eff. Aug. 24, 1997.

Reports by Governor-Elect

Section 664:13-a

 664:13-a Inaugural Treasurer; Reporting Requirement. –
I. Before receiving any contribution or making any expenditure for a gubernatorial inauguration, the governor-elect shall appoint an inaugural treasurer, who shall manage the funds of the inaugural committee. The name and address of such treasurer shall be reported to the secretary of state by the governor-elect not later than 2 days after the appointment.
II. No person shall make any expenditure or make or receive any contribution or receipt, in kind or otherwise, for a gubernatorial inauguration except by or through the inaugural treasurer.
III. The inaugural treasurer shall keep detailed accounts of all contributions and other receipts received, in kind or otherwise, and all expenditures made by, a gubernatorial inaugural committee. Reports of the treasurer may be inspected at the office of the secretary of state and shall be held in original form for 6 years from the inauguration for which they are filed, after which time they may be destroyed. No contribution or other receipt received by the inaugural treasurer shall be comingled with personal funds of the governor-elect or inaugural treasurer.
IV. The inaugural treasurer shall file an itemized statement of receipts and expenditures with the secretary of state in like manner and detail as prescribed in RSA 664:6 on March 10 and July 10 following the inauguration. The report filed on March 10 shall be for the period ending on February 28 and the report filed on July 10 shall be for the period beginning on March 1 and ending on June 30. After the July 10 filing, reports shall continue to be filed every 6 months under RSA 664:6, V on the same dates required for state elections until a zero balance is achieved. If a report is sent by certified mail on or before the day it is due, the mailing shall constitute receipt by the secretary of state.

Source. 2016, 40:1, eff. May 3, 2016.

Political Advertising

Section 664:14

 664:14 Signature, Identification, and Lack of Authorization. –
I. All political advertising shall be signed at the beginning or the end with the names and addresses of the candidate, his fiscal agent, or the name and address of the chairman or the treasurer of a political committee, or the name and address of a natural person, according to whether a candidate, political committee, or natural person is responsible for it. Said signature shall clearly designate the name of the candidate, party or political committee by or on whose behalf the same is published or broadcast.
II. Political advertising to promote the success or defeat of a measure by a business organization, labor union, or other enterprise or organization shall be signed. The name of the enterprise or organization shall be indicated and the chairman or treasurer of the enterprise or organization shall sign his name and address. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit contributions which are prohibited under RSA 664:4.
III. In the case of printed or written matter, the signature and address of signer shall be printed or written in a size of type or lettering large enough to be clearly legible.
IV. (a) In the case of political advertising broadcast on radio, television, or any public address system, the name and address of the signer shall be clearly identified.
(b) All political advertising broadcast on television shall identify the name of the candidate who pays for the advertisement or whose advertisement is paid for by a campaign committee. Such identification shall be made both aurally and visually. The visual presentation shall be clearly legible and shall use letters equal to or greater than 12 percent of the vertical picture height and shall air for not less than 4 seconds at the conclusion of the broadcast. For the purpose of this section, “campaign committee” means any committee established to elect a particular candidate to office, including raising funds for that purpose.
V. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, buttons or any printed or written political advertising which is attached to or displayed on any motor vehicle need not be signed.
VI. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any advertising in support of or in opposition to a candidate by a political committee shall comply with this paragraph. If the advertising is not authorized by the candidate or candidate committee, the advertising shall so state and shall identify the sponsor of the advertisement. All such political advertising shall include the statement: “This advertisement has been paid for by (name of sponsor) and has not been authorized by any candidate.” Such statement shall be made both aurally and visually if broadcast on television. The visual presentation on television shall be clearly legible and shall use letters equal to or greater than 12 percent of the vertical picture height and shall be broadcast for not less than 4 seconds at the conclusion of the advertisement.
VII. Any advertising which is not political advertising because it does not advocate the success or defeat of a party, measure, or person, but which mentions or depicts a candidate, shall include the statement: “This advertisement has been paid for by (name of sponsor) and has not been authorized by any candidate.”
VIII. Political advertising in the form of signs or placards may contain an Internet address in lieu of the signature and identification requirements of this section, if the Internet address is printed or written in a size of type or lettering large enough to be clearly legible and the website immediately and prominently displays all of the information required by this section through election day.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 366:2. 1991, 387:24, 25. 1994, 216:3. 1996, 88:6, 7. 1998, 13:2-4. 2004, 72:2, 3. 2014, 147:1, eff. Aug. 15, 2014.

Section 664:14-a

 664:14-a Prerecorded Political Messages. –
I. In this section, “prerecorded political message” means a prerecorded audio message delivered by telephone by:
(a) A candidate or political committee; or
(b) Any person when the content of the message expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure, or person at any election, or contains information about any candidate or party.
II. No person shall deliver or knowingly cause to be delivered a prerecorded political message unless the message contains, or a live operator provides, within the first 30 seconds of the message, the following information:
(a) The name of the candidate or of any organization or organizations the person is calling on behalf of.
(b) The name of the person or organization paying for the delivery of the message and the name of the fiscal agent, if applicable.
III. No person shall deliver or knowingly cause to be delivered a prerecorded political message to any telephone number on any federal do not call list.
IV. (a) A violation of this section shall result in a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation.
(b) Any person injured by another’s violation of this section may bring an action for damages and for such equitable relief, including an injunction, as the court deems necessary and proper. If the court finds for the plaintiff, recovery shall be in the amount of actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater. If the court finds that the act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of this section, it shall award as much as 3 times, but not less than 2 times, such amount. In addition, a prevailing plaintiff shall be awarded the costs of the suit and reasonable attorney’s fees, as determined by the court. Any attempted waiver of the right to the damages set forth in this paragraph shall be void and unenforceable. Injunctive relief shall be available to private individuals under this section without bond, subject to the discretion of the court. Upon commencement of any action brought under this section, the clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleadings to the attorney general and, upon entry of any judgment or decree in the action, shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the attorney general.

Source. 2003, 258:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 664:14-b

 664:14-b Misrepresenting Origin of Campaign Call. –
I. No person shall knowingly misrepresent the origin of a telephone call which expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure, or person at any election, or contains any information about any candidate or party. Such knowing misrepresentation shall include, but shall not be limited to, causing the displayed caller identification information, as defined in RSA 359-E:1, I-a, to indicate that a telephone call originates from a number, person, or organization other than the number, person, or organization originating the call, or making a call knowing that some other person has caused said misrepresentation, except if the displayed caller identification number is a number at which the person or organization responsible for sponsoring or making the call may directly receive a return call.
II. (a) A violation of this section shall result in a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation.
(b) Any person injured by another’s violation of this section may bring an action for damages and for such equitable relief, including an injunction, as the court deems necessary and proper. If the court finds for the plaintiff, recovery shall be in the amount of actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater. If the court finds that the act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of this section, it shall award as much as 3 times, but not less than 2 times, such amount. In addition, a prevailing plaintiff shall be awarded the costs of the suit and reasonable attorney’s fees, as determined by the court. Any attempted waiver of the right to the damages set forth in this paragraph shall be void and unenforceable. Injunctive relief shall be available to private individuals under this section without bond, subject to the discretion of the court. Upon commencement of any action brought under this section, the clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleadings to the attorney general and, upon entry of any judgment or decree in the action, shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the attorney general.

Source. 2009, 320:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.

Section 664:15

 664:15 Approval of Candidate or Fiscal Agent. – A person or business organization publishing a newspaper or periodical or selling billboard space or operating a radio or television station or public address system shall not publish, print or broadcast any political advertising by or in behalf of a candidate in an election unless the same shall be signed by or authorized in writing by the candidate or his fiscal agent.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 216:4, eff. July 24, 1994.

Section 664:16

 664:16 Identification of Political Advertising. – Political advertising printed in newspapers, periodicals or billboards shall be marked at the beginning or at the end thereof “Political Advertising.” Rates for advertising shall be filed, no later than 30 days prior to the deadline for filing for office for an election, with the secretary of state by each person or business organization publishing a newspaper or periodical, operating a radio or television station, or selling billboard space. Such schedule shall be open to public inspection, and such schedules may be amended. However, rates in such amendments shall not take effect until 5 days after they are filed with the secretary of state. No person or business organization publishing a newspaper or periodical, operating a radio or television station, or selling billboard space shall charge an advertising rate to any candidate, political committee, party or cause that is different from that charged to any other candidate, political committee, party or cause.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1982, 27:7. 1994, 216:5. 1996, 88:8, eff. July 14, 1996.

Section 664:16-a

 664:16-a Identification Required. –
I. Any person who engages in push-polling, as defined in RSA 664:2, XVII, shall, prior to asking any person contacted a question relating to a candidate:
(a) Inform the person that the telephone call is a “paid political advertisement;” and
(b) Identify the organization making the call and the organization paying for the call; and
(c) Provide a valid, current, publicly-listed telephone number for the organization making the call; and
(d) Identify that the telephone call is being made on behalf of, in support of, or in opposition to a particular candidate or candidates for public office and identify that candidate or candidates by name.
II. Any person or entity who violates paragraph I shall be subject to penalty under RSA 664:21, V and VI.

Source. 1998, 12:3. 2004, 50:2. 2014, 6:3, eff. April 23, 2014.

Section 664:17

 664:17 Placement and Removal of Political Advertising. – No political advertising shall be placed on or affixed to any public property including highway rights-of-way or private property without the owner’s consent. All political advertising shall be removed by the candidate no later than the second Friday following the election unless the election is a primary and the advertising concerns a candidate who is a winner in the primary. Signs shall not be placed on or affixed to utility poles or highway signs. Political advertising may be placed within state-owned rights-of-way as long as the advertising does not obstruct the safe flow of traffic and the advertising is placed with the consent of the owner of the land over which the right-of-way passes. No person shall remove, deface, or knowingly destroy any political advertising which is placed on or affixed to public property or any private property except for removal by the owner of the property, persons authorized by the owner of the property, or a law enforcement officer removing improper advertising. Political advertising placed on or affixed to any public property may be removed by state, city, or town maintenance or law enforcement personnel. Political advertising removed prior to election day by state, city, or town maintenance or law enforcement personnel shall be kept until one week after the election at a place designated by the state, city, or town so that the candidate may retrieve the items.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 4:28. 2006, 273:1. 2013, 24:1, eff. July 15, 2013.

Section 664:17-a

 664:17-a Advertising on Government and Law Enforcement Vehicles. –
No printed or written political advertising shall be attached to or displayed on any motor vehicle:
I. Which is used by a police officer authorized to make arrests or serve process; or
II. Which displays government license plates and is registered in the name of the state or of a political subdivision of the state.

Source. 1983, 366:3, eff. Aug. 20, 1983.

Enforcement

Section 664:18

 664:18 Complaints. –
Any candidate or voter may make complaint in writing to the attorney general of any violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
I. Upon receipt of such complaint, the attorney general or his designee shall review the complaint, and where sufficient evidence of a violation is presented, conduct investigations to determine whether a violation of this chapter has occurred.
II. Following investigation, the attorney general is empowered, if he determines that a provision of this chapter has been violated, to:
(a) Issue an order requiring the violator to cease and desist from his or her violation. If the attorney general’s order is not obeyed, the attorney general or designee may petition the superior court of the county in which the violation occurred for an order of enforcement.
(b) Prosecute to final judgment through his designee if sufficient cause for such prosecution is found.
III. If, in the opinion of any person making complaint, the family, business or political connection of the attorney general’s designee is such as to make it unlikely that he will act diligently and earnestly in any proceeding therefor, the person complaining may state such facts to the attorney general.
IV. If the attorney general believes that his designee will be hampered by any existing facts or circumstances and in any manner prevented from vigorously proceeding against any respondent complained against for such violation, or that the service of more than one attorney in any proceeding would be in the interest of the state, he shall have authority to employ and assign additional attorneys, to conduct or assist in conducting such proceeding. Such attorneys shall be allowed reasonable compensation, to be approved by the governor and council and paid by the state out of funds not otherwise appropriated.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1991, 387:26. 2003, 151:7, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 664:19

 664:19 Examination of Statements of Receipts and Expenditures. – It shall be the duty of the attorney general to examine the returns of election receipts and expenditures which are made to the secretary of state and to compel such returns be made to comply with the law.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 664:20

 664:20 Subpoena Power. – In the exercise of his powers and duties under this chapter, the attorney general is authorized to require the appearance of individuals and to secure testimony and evidence by use of a subpoena duces tecum.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 664:21

 664:21 Penalty. –
I. Any candidate who voluntarily agrees to limit campaign expenditures as provided in RSA 664:5-a, and who exceeds the total political expenditure limitation as provided in RSA 664:5-a and 5-b in running for any office in either a state primary or state general election, or both, shall be subject to a fine schedule which is based on the percentage by which the candidate exceeds permitted campaign expenditures, so that the candidate shall pay a percentage of the excess campaign expenditures as follows:
(a) Candidates for United States Senate and governor:
under $1,000-one percent
$1,000-$5,000-10 percent
$5,000-$10,000-25 percent
$10,000-$50,000-50 percent
over $50,000-100 percent
(b) Candidates for representative to Congress:
under $1,000-one percent
$1,000-$5,000-10 percent
$5,000-$10,000-25 percent
$10,000-$25,000-50 percent
over $25,000-100 percent
(c) Candidates for executive council and county officers:
under $500-one percent
$500-$1,000-10 percent
$1,000-$5,000-25 percent
$5,000-$10,000-50 percent
over $10,000-100 percent
(d) Candidates for state senate:
under $100-one percent
$100-$500-10 percent
$500-$1,000-25 percent
$1,000-$5,000-50 percent
over $5,000-100 percent
(e) Candidates for the general court:
under $100-one percent
$100-$250-10 percent
$250-$500-25 percent
$500-$1,000-50 percent
over $1,000-100 percent
II. Any fine assessed under the provision of this section shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.
III. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the enforcement powers of the attorney general under RSA 664:18.
IV. In addition to the fines levied under paragraph I, any person who fails to file any report or statement on the date on which the report or statement is due under this chapter shall be subject to a daily fine of $25 for every weekday for which the report or statement is late and until the report or statement is actually filed, except that candidates for the general court shall be subject to a daily fine of $5 under this paragraph.
V. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to violations of this chapter other than the violation of RSA 664:5-a and 5-b, and a person liable under the provisions of this paragraph shall not also be subject to the penalties imposed under paragraphs I, II and IV. Any person who otherwise violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or shall be guilty of a felony if any other person.
VI. (a) Whoever violates any of the provisions of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.
(b) The court, upon petition of the attorney general, may levy upon any person who violates the provisions of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation. All penalties assessed under this paragraph shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.
(c) The attorney general shall have authority to notify suspected violators of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property of the state’s intention to seek a civil penalty, to negotiate, and to settle with such suspected violators without court action, provided any civil penalty paid as settlement shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.
VII. (a) A political committee other than a political committee of a candidate that fails to register in accordance with RSA 664:3 shall be subject to a fine up to 25 percent of the total amount of independent expenditures made during the period from the date the political committee was required to register to the date the political committee registered.
(b) A political committee that fails to report independent expenditures in accordance with RSA 664:6, IV-a shall be subject to a fine up to 25 percent of the total amount of independent expenditures not reported or reported late.
VIII. Any person who willfully makes and subscribes to any statement filed under this chapter that he or she does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter shall be guilty of false swearing under RSA 641:2.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1989, 212:9. 1991, 387:27, 28. 1992, 267:2. 1994, 4:29. 2003, 266:7. 2004, 50:3. 2009, 144:226, 227. 2014, 279:11, eff. July 28, 2014.

Section 664:22

 664:22 Notice to Candidates. – The secretary of state shall give or send by mail a copy of this chapter to each person whose name will be printed on a state primary or general election ballot. Such notification shall be given or sent within 5 days of the close of the filing period.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:12, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.

Section 664:23

 664:23 Severability. – If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect any other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

Source. 1991, 387:29, eff. July 2, 1991.

CHAPTER 665
BALLOT LAW COMMISSION

General Provisions

Section 665:1

 665:1 Organization. –
I. There shall be a ballot law commission consisting of 5 members. Two members shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, one from each of the 2 major political parties in the state based on votes cast for governor in the most recent state general election. Two members shall be appointed by the president of the senate, one from each of the 2 major political parties in the state based on votes cast for governor in the most recent state general election. One member shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the council, and shall be a person particularly qualified by experience in election procedure. No person shall be appointed to the commission who holds an elected office or who is an election official. The terms of all commissioners shall be for 4 years, except that the first appointments shall be as follows: the members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives shall be appointed for terms of 2 years, the members appointed by the president of the senate shall be appointed for terms of 3 years, and the member appointed by the governor shall be appointed for a term of 4 years. A member may be re-appointed upon the expiration of his or her term. The members shall elect annually a chairperson from among the members. Members shall be appointed and terms of office shall expire on July 1. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner for the unexpired term. The secretary of state shall be recording officer and clerk of the commission, but shall have no vote in its decisions.
II. There shall be 5 alternate members for the ballot law commission. Two alternate members shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, one from each of the 2 major political parties in the state based on votes cast for governor in the most recent state general election. Two alternate members shall be appointed by the president of the senate, one from each of the 2 major political parties in the state based on votes cast for governor in the most recent state general election. One alternate member shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the council, and shall be a person particularly qualified by experience in election procedure. The alternate members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate shall not be members of the general court. The terms of all alternate members shall be for 4 years, except that the first appointments shall be as follows: the alternate members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives shall be appointed for terms of 2 years, the alternate members appointed by the president of the senate shall be appointed for terms of 3 years, and the alternate member appointed by the governor shall be appointed for a term of 4 years. The term of each new alternate member shall begin on July 1.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:2

 665:2 Alternate Member. – There shall be 5 members present in person at all meetings. In case any member of the commission is absent from any meeting or unable to perform his or her duties or disqualifies himself or herself as commissioner, an alternate member who shall have the same qualifications as those of the commissioner whose place he or she is temporarily filling shall perform the duties of the commissioner.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:3

 665:3 Political Contributions Prohibited. – No ballot law commission member shall make a contribution, as defined in RSA 664:2, to any candidate for office or political committee.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:4

 665:4 Compensation. – The commissioners shall receive such compensation for their services as shall be approved by the governor and council. All bills for supplies required by the commission, necessary expenses of the commissioners, and fees of witnesses summoned by the commission shall be paid by the state upon the approval of the governor and council.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:5

 665:5 Hearing Date. –
I. If necessary, the ballot law commission shall meet on the third Thursday of September in each general election year and the third Friday following the presidential primary election in order to hear and decide:
(a) Written objections filed pursuant to RSA 665:6, I and II; and
(b) Written appeals filed pursuant to RSA 665:8, I.
II. The ballot law commission shall meet on the fourth Monday in November in each general election year. The commission shall hear and decide all pending matters concerning the election of persons to the New Hampshire general court. At this time, the commission may also act on any other pending matters.
III. The ballot law commission shall also meet at such other times as may be necessary as provided in RSA 655:31, RSA 665:8, II, and RSA 665:9.

Source. 2003, 151:8. 2009, 44:1. 2010, 317:60. 2012, 113:12, eff. May 31, 2012.

Jurisdiction

Section 665:6

 665:6 General Duties. –
The ballot law commission shall have jurisdiction in the following cases:
I. When the nominations at the primary, as declared pursuant to RSA 659:86-89, are in apparent conformity with law, they shall be valid unless changed upon recount as provided by law or unless written objection to their conformity with the law shall be filed with the secretary of state within 3 days of the date of publication of the results of the primary by the secretary of state under RSA 659:89; or, if there is a recount for the office in question, within 3 days after the declaration of the secretary of state upon such recount. If written objections are filed, the secretary of state shall forthwith notify the ballot law commission of such filing. The ballot law commission shall then meet as provided in RSA 665:5 in order to hear and decide all the objections. The decision of the ballot law commission in such cases shall be final as to questions both of law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review such decision.
II. When nomination papers as provided in RSA 655:40-43 or the filling of vacancies in nominations occurring after the primary as provided in RSA 655:37-39 are in apparent conformity with law, they shall be valid unless written objection to their conformity with the law shall be filed with the secretary of state within the time limit provided in RSA 655:44 in the case of nominations by nomination papers or within 3 days of the date on which the appointment to fill a vacancy is filed with the secretary of state in the case of filling vacancies in nominations. If written objections are filed, the secretary of state shall forthwith notify the ballot law commission of the filing. The ballot law commission shall then meet as provided in RSA 665:5 in order to hear and decide all the objections. The decision of the ballot law commission in such case shall be final as to questions both of law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review such decision.
III. The jurisdiction vested in the ballot law commission under paragraphs I and II of this section shall be exclusive of all other remedies.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:7

 665:7 Filing Disputes. – The ballot law commission shall hear and determine disputes arising over whether nomination papers or declarations of candidacy filed with the secretary of state conform with the law. The decision of the ballot law commission in such cases shall be final as to questions both of law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review such decision.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:8

 665:8 Appeals From Recounts. –
The ballot law commission shall hear and determine appeals from recounts in the following cases:
I. In case of a primary recount as provided in RSA 660:7-9-a, any person voted for upon the ballot of any party who, by declaration of the secretary of state upon recount, was not chosen as the candidate of such party may, within 3 days after said declaration, appeal therefrom to the ballot law commission by filing a written appeal with the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall forthwith notify the ballot law commission of the filing. The ballot law commission shall then meet as provided in RSA 665:5 in order to hear and decide the appeal and shall, on the appeal, consider and review all the rulings of the secretary of state on ballots protested during the recount. In no case may the ballot law commission order a second recount. If, after the review, it shall appear that the appellant was nominated, the commission shall change the declaration of the secretary of state and issue a certificate of nomination to the appellant. The decision of the ballot law commission in such cases shall be final as to questions both of law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review such decision. The jurisdiction vested in the commission under this paragraph shall be exclusive of all other remedies.
II. In case of an election recount as provided in RSA 660:1-6, any candidate who, by declaration of the secretary of state upon recount, did not have the greatest number of votes may, within 3 days after said declaration, appeal therefrom to the ballot law commission by filing his written appeal with the secretary of state. The ballot law commission shall forthwith meet, hear, and decide such appeal and shall, on such appeal, consider and review all the rulings of the secretary of state on ballots protested during the recount. In no case may the ballot law commission order a second recount. If, after the review, it shall appear that the appellant had the greatest number of votes, the commission shall change the declaration of the secretary of state and issue a certificate of such changed declaration to the appellant. The decision of the ballot law commission under this paragraph shall be subject to appeal as provided in RSA 665:16. The jurisdiction vested in the commission under this paragraph shall be exclusive of all other remedies. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to bar any person from recourse to the superior court on other questions, within the jurisdiction of such court, relating to the legality or regularity of general elections or the results thereof.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:9

 665:9 Name on Ballot Disputes. – The ballot law commission shall hear and determine all disputes arising over the form of his or her name which a candidate designates to be printed on the state primary and state general election ballot, as provided in RSA 655:14-b. The decision of the ballot law commission shall be final as to questions of both law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review the decision.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:9-a

 665:9-a Administrative Complaint Resolution. – The ballot law commission shall hear and resolve complaints of federal voting law violations, pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, as provided in RSA 666:14.

Source. 2003, 266:11, eff. Jan. 1, 2004 at 12:01 a.m.

Procedures

Section 665:10

 665:10 Rules. – The commission shall have power to adopt and publish rules to govern its proceedings and to regulate the mode and manner of all hearings or proceedings before it. Said rules shall be published and made available at the office of the secretary of state. All hearings shall be open to the public.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:11

 665:11 Evidence. – In any hearing, the commission shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence; but its findings must be supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence. A stenographic transcript shall be made of all oral testimony submitted to the commission; and such transcript together with the exhibits, ballots, and papers filed in the proceedings shall be the exclusive record for its decision. Decisions of the commission shall be made in writing and filed with the secretary of state. Reasonable notice of all hearings before the commission shall be given by the secretary of state by registered mail. In cases of recount appeals under RSA 665:8, notice shall be given to all candidates for the particular nomination or office in question. In cases arising under RSA 665:6, notice shall be given to the person or persons filing objections and to the candidate or candidates to whose nomination objections have been filed. At all hearings, interested parties may appear, present relevant evidence, be represented by counsel, and cross-examine opposing witnesses. The records of the commission in any proceeding before it shall be preserved for at least 6 months after the election in question.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:12

 665:12 Subpoenas; Oaths. – The commission shall have power to subpoena witnesses and administer oaths in any proceeding before it and to compel by subpoena duces tecum the production of any checklist, tally sheet, or other document or thing of any kind whatever.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:13

 665:13 Witness Fees. – Witnesses summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees as witnesses summoned to appear before the superior court, and such summons issued by any justice of the peace shall have the same effect as though issued for appearance before such court.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:14

 665:14 Testimonial Privilege. – No witness in any proceeding before the commission shall be excused from giving testimony or producing documentary evidence upon the ground that such testimony or documentary evidence could tend to incriminate the witness; but, if the witness claims immunity hereunder, no such testimony or documentary evidence shall be used against him or her in any criminal prosecution; nor shall the witness be liable to criminal prosecution for any matter disclosed thereby.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 665:15

 665:15 Perjury. – No person testifying before the commission shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him or her in his or her testimony.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Appeal

Section 665:16

 665:16 Appeal From Decisions. – There may be an appeal to the supreme court from the decisions of the ballot law commission made under RSA 665:8, II as provided in this section and not otherwise. Such appeal shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court within 5 days after the decision of the commission is filed with the secretary of state. Such appeal shall be limited to questions of law. Findings of fact made by the commission shall be final if supported by the requisite evidence. The supreme court may hold a special session to consider such appeal if it considers such action necessary. Appeals under this section shall be limited to contested elections for the offices of presidential elector, governor, councilor, and town and city or city ward offices voted for at general elections. No appeal may be made under this section in the cases of contested elections for the offices of United States senator, representative in congress, state senator, or representative to the general court in view of the constitutional provisions vesting in both houses of congress and both houses of the general court exclusive jurisdiction over the elections and qualifications of their respective members.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Enforcement

Section 665:17

 665:17 Enforcement of Orders of Ballot Law Commission. – The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce any order of the ballot law commission issued hereunder.

Source. 2003, 151:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

CHAPTER 666
PROVISIONS FOR PURITY OF ELECTIONS

General

Section 666:1

 666:1 General Penalty. – Any person guilty of an offense against any provision of the laws relating to elections for which no penalty is specified shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 666:2

 666:2 Official Malfeasance. –
A moderator, supervisor of the checklist, selectman or town clerk shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if at any election:
I. He shall knowingly receive and count any illegal vote; or
II. He shall knowingly omit to receive and count any legal vote; or
III. He shall knowingly remove any vote from the number of legal votes cast; or
IV. He shall knowingly add any illegal vote to the number of legal votes cast; or
V. He shall receive or count any vote given at such election by proxy, that is, without the personal delivery of such vote by the person entitled to give the same; or
VI. He shall fraudulently declare the state of the vote in the election of any officer.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 666:3

 666:3 Official Misconduct. – Any public officer upon whom a duty relating to elections is imposed who shall knowingly fail to perform such duty or who shall knowingly perform it in such a way as to hinder the objects thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if no other penalty is provided by law.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Challengers

Section 666:4

 666:4 Challengers Appointed by Party Committee. – The state committee of a political party may appoint a person to act as challenger of voters at any polling place in the state at a state election. A city or town committee of such a party may appoint a person to act as such challenger at any polling place in such city or town at a town election, business meeting, or city election. A statement signed by the chairman of the committee appointing him shall be sufficient evidence of the authority of any such challenger. He may be reasonably compensated for his services by the political party whose committee appointed him. He shall be assigned by the moderator or other election officer presiding at the polling place to such position within the polling place as will enable him to see and hear each voter as he offers to vote. Nothing herein contained shall deprive any other person of the right to challenge a voter as provided by law.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 666:5

 666:5 Challengers Appointed by Attorney General. – The attorney general may appoint a person to act as challenger of voters at any polling place in the state at a state election. A statement signed by the attorney general appointing him shall be sufficient evidence of the authority of any such challenger. He shall be assigned by the moderator or other election officer presiding at the polling place to such position or positions within the polling place as will enable him to see and hear each voter as he offers to vote. Nothing herein contained shall deprive any other person of the right to challenge a voter as provided by law.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Illegal Influence

Section 666:6

 666:6 False Documents, Names or Endorsement. – Any person who shall, without authority, sign the name of any other person to any letter or other document, or falsely represent that any other has written such letter or document, knowing such representation to be false, for the purpose of influencing votes, or who shall by false representation, use, employ or assign the name of any other person, or a fictitious name on a radio or television broadcast or other means of communication, to signify endorsement of a political party, candidates or programs, or, for the purpose of influencing votes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 666:7

 666:7 Publication of Forged Document. – Whoever publishes any such forged letter or document, knowing the same to be forged, with like intent, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person and shall be guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 666:7-a

 666:7-a Impersonation of Candidates. –
I. Any person who places a telephone call during which the person falsely represents himself or herself as a candidate for office shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
II. (a) Whoever violates paragraph I shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.
(b) The court, upon petition of the attorney general, may levy upon any person who violates the provisions of RSA 666:7-a a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation. All penalties assessed under this paragraph shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.
(c) The attorney general shall have authority to notify suspected violators of this section of the state’s intention to seek a civil penalty, to negotiate, and to settle with such suspected violators without court action, provided any civil penalty paid as settlement shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

Source. 2003, 93:1. 2004, 50:4. 2009, 144:228, eff. July 1, 2009.

Enforcement of the Election Laws

Section 666:8

 666:8 Attorney General. – The attorney general shall be responsible for the enforcement of the election laws as provided in RSA 7:6-c.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 666:9 to 666:11

 666:9 to 666:11 Repealed. – [Repealed 1997, 152:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.]

Section 666:12

 666:12 Testimonial Privilege. – No witness in any proceeding for the violation of election laws shall be excused from giving his testimony upon the ground that such testimony would incriminate him; but no such testimony shall be used against him at any time or in any prosecution. Any person who voluntarily discloses the facts to the proper authorities and procures a conviction in any such proceeding shall not be prosecuted for his connection with the bribery or attempted bribery.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 666:13

 666:13 Impounding Ballots. – If directed by the attorney general as part of his enforcement of the election laws, the state police which he designates shall collect all ballots requested from the town and city clerks who have custody of the ballots. The state police shall deliver the ballots to the public facility which is designated by the attorney general.

Source. 1983, 426:21, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.

Administrative Complaint Procedures

Section 666:14

 666:14 Administrative Complaint Procedures. – The attorney general may establish an administrative complaint procedure for the resolution of complaints of federal voting law violations, pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252. The attorney general may adopt administrative rules under RSA 541-A to implement the complaint resolution procedures. The ballot law commission is hereby designated as the body providing alternative dispute resolution as required by section 402(a)(2)(I) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252.

Source. 2003, 266:9, eff. July 15, 2003.

CHAPTER 667
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS AND STATE PARTY CONVENTIONS

General Provisions: Constitutional Conventions

Section 667:1

 667:1 Election of Delegates. – Whenever the qualified voters of the state under the provisions of the constitution shall determine that there is necessity for the calling of a convention to revise the constitution, the general court shall, as is required by the constitution, call such convention and shall set the day for the election of delegates and the day and time for the assembly of said delegates in the capitol at Concord.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:2

 667:2 Number. – Representation in the convention is on the basis of representative districts of the state. Representative districts are entitled to the same number of delegates to the convention as they are entitled to representatives to the general court.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:3

 667:3 Organization. – The delegates shall assemble in convention in Concord on the day and time specified in the call by the general court and shall proceed to organize by choosing one of their number by ballot to serve as president. They shall also choose such other officers as they deem necessary. They shall be the judges of election and returns of their own members. The delegates may establish rules of proceedings and proceed to recommend constitutional amendments.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:4

 667:4 Books and Papers Furnished. – The secretary of state shall furnish to the convention such books, papers, stationery, and printing as the convention shall require or order.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:5

 667:5 Compensation. – Each delegate shall receive $3 per day for his attendance at the convention and the same allowance for mileage as is provided for members of the general court.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:6

 667:6 Amendments. – The amendments to the constitution as are agreed to by such convention shall be submitted so that they can be voted on by the qualified voters either separately or by groups as the convention may determine. The convention shall provide for ascertaining the voters’ decisions and the publication of the same by executive proclamation which shall be the effective date unless otherwise determined by the convention, and may do any and all other things necessary to carry out the purposes of the convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 469:124, eff. July 1, 1983.

Filing: Constitutional Conventions

Section 667:7

 667:7 Eligibility. – Any person who by the laws of this state is a qualified voter in the town, ward, or unincorporated place from which he may be elected is eligible to be a delegate to the constitutional convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:8

 667:8 Date for Filing. – A declaration of candidacy shall be filed with the town or city clerk on or before a date 36 days before the date of the election. All declarations shall be forwarded by the town or city clerk to the secretary of state for preparation of the ballots at least 35 days before the date of the election.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:9

 667:9 Fee. – At the time of filing a declaration of candidacy, each candidate shall pay to the town or city clerk a filing fee of $2 for the use of the town or city.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:10

 667:10 Declaration of Candidacy. – On or before the closing date for filing declarations of candidacy with the town or city clerk as provided by RSA 667:8, any candidate for delegate shall file with the town or city clerk a declaration of candidacy in substantially the following form, which shall be prepared and furnished by the secretary of state:
I, ____________________, candidate for office of delegate to the constitutional convention from District No. __________ of __________ county hereby certify that I am at least 18 years of age; that I am domiciled in ward ______________ of the city of ______________ (or town or unincorporated place of ____________) county of _______________ state of New Hampshire; that I am a voter in District No. _________ of _____________ county.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:43, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Ballots: Constitutional Conventions

Section 667:11

 667:11 Printing. – The secretary of state shall prepare and cause to be printed ballots for all elections under this chapter. He shall also prepare all necessary forms for declarations of candidacy and furnish the same in reasonable quantities to the town clerks. Said ballots and forms shall be printed and delivered at the expense of the state.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:12

 667:12 Form. – Every ballot for the election shall contain the name and domicile of each candidate who has filed a declaration of candidacy for delegate. The names of candidates upon the ballot shall be arranged in perpendicular columns under the title “For Delegate to the Constitutional Convention.” Below the title shall be printed in easily legible type the words “Vote for” followed by a spelled number designating the number of persons to be elected to such office. At the right of the name of each candidate and on the same line, there shall be a square. Following the names there shall be as many blank lines as there are persons to be elected. Whenever there are 2 or more candidates, the names shall be printed upon the ballot in alphabetical order of their surnames according to the alphabetization procedure established in RSA 656:5-a.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2010, 330:5, eff. July 20, 2010.

Section 667:13

 667:13 Paper. – The ballots shall be printed on plain paper in weight not less than that of ordinary printing paper. The secretary of state shall determine the color of the paper.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:14

 667:14 Uniformity. – There shall be no impression or mark to distinguish one ballot from another.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:15

 667:15 Endorsement. – Upon the back of each ballot shall be printed the words “Official Ballot for Dist. No. ___, County of __________, For Delegate to the Constitutional Convention”, the date of the election and a facsimile of the signature of the secretary of state.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 667:16

 667:16 Other Materials. – The secretary of state shall prepare and furnish to the districts the necessary material, including certificates of election, for a record of the choice of all delegates.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Election Procedure: Constitutional Conventions

Section 667:17

 667:17 Plurality; Ties. – In all elections hereunder, a plurality shall elect; and, in case of a tie vote, the tie shall be determined by lot by the secretary of state in the presence of the candidates who are tied if, upon notice from him, they elect to be present.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Vacancies: Constitutional Conventions

Section 667:18

 667:18 Resignation, Death, or Removal. – A delegate to a constitutional convention may resign his or her office as such by filing his or her intention of resignation in writing with the secretary of state. The resignation shall become effective when approved in writing by the president of the constitutional convention. Whenever a delegate to a constitutional convention dies or moves from the district, town, or ward in which he or she was elected, the clerk of the town or of the city in which the delegate is a voter, or if the delegate is from an unincorporated place the clerk of the town in which he or she is registered, shall notify the secretary of state of the death or removal.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 2003, 289:44, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 667:19

 667:19 Filling Vacancies. – A vacancy caused by the death, resignation or removal from a district of a delegate may be filled by a special election held in the district. The special election may be held on the same day on which another meeting of the town or ward is held or at a different time. However, if the special election is held in a representative district having more than one town, ward or unincorporated place, the election must be held on the same day throughout the district. An article for the election of a delegate shall be inserted in the warrants calling the meeting. All laws relating to the election of representatives to the general court, so far as they are applicable, apply to the special election to fill the vacancy in the office of delegate.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Application of Laws

Section 667:20

 667:20 Application of Laws. – The provisions of RSA 659 insofar as consistent herewith shall apply to elections under the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

State Party Conventions

Section 667:21

 667:21 Date, Call and Purposes. –
I. Not earlier than the third Tuesday of September following any primary, and not later than the last Tuesday of October, upon the call of the chairman of the state committee of the party, the nominees of each party for the offices of governor, United States senator, United States representative, executive councilors, state senators, county officers, representatives, state delegates elected, the incumbent United States senator or senators and the incumbent county commissioners serving 4-year terms, if any, whose term or terms shall not expire during the January following that year’s general election, shall meet in state convention for the purpose of adopting the platform of their party, nominating presidential electors and effecting an organization for the following 2 years. The names and domiciles of the presidential electors nominated by such convention shall be forthwith certified to the secretary of state by the chairman and the clerk of the convention. Upon receipt of the foregoing certifications, the secretary of state shall publish in some paper of general circulation the names of the persons found by him to have been chosen as candidates for presidential electors by the several parties.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, a political party may, in accordance with the provisions of the party’s constitution or bylaws, provide for an alternative method of determining the date, call and purpose of the party’s state convention and the selection of delegates and composition of such convention. If a party decides to hold a convention for the purpose of adopting a platform of the party, nominating presidential electors, effecting an organization for the following 2-year period and other party business as the political party determines, the convention shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of the party under this section.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 168:1. 1987, 73:1. 1992, 183:11. 2001, 37:1, eff. Aug. 7, 2001.

Section 667:22

 667:22 Party Organization. – The nominees from a party, state delegates of each county, the incumbent United States senator or senators and the incumbent county commissioners serving 4-year terms, if any, if they have met the requirements of RSA 667:21, shall determine the membership of a county committee for their party either in said state convention or in county convention upon call of the chairman of the state committee. The county committee shall consist of such number of persons as the nominees from a party, the state delegates of each county, the incumbent United States senator or senators and the incumbent county commissioners serving 4-year terms, if any, if they have met the requirements of RSA 667:21, shall determine to apportion to each county. The members of several committees thus chosen shall constitute the state committee of the party. Resignations from the state committee shall be received by the state committee and the state committee shall set a place and time and manner for filling such vacancies. A state committee may choose as its officers persons not members of the committee and such officers shall be ex officio members of the committee. The party members in each town, ward or city may effect such an organization as they may deem expedient for advancing the purposes of their party.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 168:2. 1987, 73:1. 2001, 37:2, eff. Aug. 7, 2001.

Section 667:23

 667:23 Roll. – Upon application of the chairman of the state committee of any political party, the secretary of state shall deliver to him a duly certified roll of the nominees of his party for the several offices named in RSA 667:21. None but such nominees and state delegates shall take part in such state convention.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

CHAPTER 668
PROVISIONS FOR UNINCORPORATED PLACES

Organized Places

Section 668:1

 668:1 Organization for Voting. – The offices for which the voters of an unincorporated place are entitled to vote shall include: President and Vice-President of the United States, United States senator, United States representative, governor, executive councilor, state senator, state representative, and county offices. The provisions of the election laws relating to town meetings for the choice of election officers and the conduct of state elections shall apply to unincorporated places organized as provided by RSA 53:1.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1994, 381:3. 2003, 289:45, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Unincorporated Places

Section 668:2

 668:2 Designation of Towns. – If an unincorporated place is not organized for voting, the secretary of state shall designate a town in the same representative district where all persons domiciled in the unincorporated place may register, vote, file for office, and exercise all other procedures to which they are entitled under the election laws.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1997, 289:2. 2003, 289:46, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 668:3

 668:3 Registration and Checklists. – The procedure for registration by persons domiciled in an unincorporated place in a town designated pursuant to RSA 668:2 shall be the same as provided in RSA 654, except that a separate checklist shall be maintained for the voters of each unincorporated place. The supervisors shall prepare, revise, and post said checklist along with the checklist for the town as provided in RSA 654.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1997, 289:3. 2003, 289:46, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 668:4

 668:4 Offices Voted for. – The offices for which voters of unincorporated places are entitled to vote shall include: President and Vice-President of the United States, United States senator, United States representative, governor, executive councilor, state senator, state representative, and county offices. The voters of the unincorporated places are not entitled to vote for any town or ward offices or on any questions concerning the towns in which they vote.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:13. 1994, 381:4. 1997, 289:4. 2003, 289:46, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 668:5

 668:5 Preparation of Special Ballots. – For any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare special ballots for the voters of all unincorporated places. For purposes of this section, “special ballots” shall mean the ballots to be used by all unincorporated places in the same state representative district as opposed to separate ballots for each unincorporated place. These special ballots shall have no location printed on them, but shall have a space where the name of an unincorporated place shall be entered by the town clerk of the designated town. The secretary of state shall print only the names of candidates for offices for which the voters of the unincorporated place are entitled to vote, as provided in RSA 668:4. It shall be the duty of the town clerk to make ready in advance a sufficient number of ballots for each person on the official checklist of the unincorporated places. If it is necessary because of election day registrations, extra ballots shall be prepared and the number attested to at the end of the voting. In all other respects, such special ballots shall be printed and forwarded to the town clerk in the same manner as the other ballots for the designated town.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1997, 289:5. 2003, 289:46, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 668:6

 668:6 Establishing Procedures for Voting. – The secretary of state shall issue regulations within the scope of the election laws to establish the procedures for voting and filing for office by voters of unincorporated places. The regulations so issued shall have the force of law.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1997, 289:6. 2003, 289:46, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 668:7

 668:7 Return of Votes Cast. – The town clerk of the town designated pursuant to RSA 668:2 shall make a return of the votes cast in his town by the voters of each unincorporated place in the same manner as provided for in RSA 659.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 276:5. 1997, 289:7. 2003, 289:46, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 668:8

 668:8 Service to Unincorporated Places. –
I. For services to unincorporated places during any state general election as directed by this chapter, the town clerk of the town designated pursuant to RSA 668:2 shall be paid the sum of $50. Said payment shall be a charge against the appropriation for elections for the office of secretary of state.
II. If an unincorporated place exceeds 10 voters, and has not organized pursuant to RSA 53:1, the county in which the unincorporated place is located shall pay the town designated pursuant to RSA 668:2 for costs it incurs in conducting a primary or general election for the unincorporated place. The county shall assess the cost of conducting an election under this paragraph to the unincorporated place.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 276:5. 1997, 289:8. 2011, 22:1, eff. June 27, 2011.

CHAPTER 669
TOWN ELECTIONS

General Provisions

Section 669:1

 669:1 Election Dates. –
I. All towns shall hold an election annually for the election of town officers on the second Tuesday in March, except those towns which have adopted an alternative date under RSA 40:14 or those towns which have adopted the provisions of RSA 31:94-a and have, by majority vote at a previous town meeting, decided to elect officers on the second Tuesday in May.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I of this section, any town which has adopted a municipal charter under the provisions of RSA 49-B:1-6 may establish the second Tuesday in March, the second Tuesday in May, or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in odd-numbered years as the date for the election of town officers.
III. No town election shall be held in conjunction with the biennial election.
IV. Any local political subdivision which has not adopted RSA 40:13, the official ballot referendum form of meeting, but whose voting checklist comprises all or part of the checklist for a school district which has adopted an April or May election date under RSA 40:14, may, by vote of the legislative body, vote to coordinate its elections with the school district’s elections and to hold its elections on the same April or May date as the school district. Such local political subdivision may, in addition, vote to hold the second session of its annual meeting, for transacting all business not required to be voted on by official ballot, within 2 weeks of the election date at a time and date determined by the governing body. The joint elections shall be held at a time and place determined by, and shall be supervised by, the election officials of the local political subdivision, coordinated as set forth in RSA 671:25 and RSA 671:26, with costs allocated in the same manner as in previous years or as may be mutually agreed upon by the governing bodies. A vote under this paragraph may be rescinded by the local political subdivision in like manner. No vote under this section shall take effect until the annual election next following such vote.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1987, 299:6. 1988, 223:12. 1991, 370:7. 2000, 16:9, 10, eff. April 30, 2000.

Section 669:2

 669:2 Warrant. – The selectmen shall include as part of the warrant for the annual town meeting a warrant for each annual town election which shall prescribe the place, day and hour of the election, the officers to be elected, and the questions to be submitted to the voters. In a town which has adopted an official ballot system for the election of town officers, the warrant shall specify the time the polls are open and the hour before which the polls may not close. The warrant shall clearly specify which items shall be voted on by ballot at the town election and which items shall be considered at the town business meeting. In a town which has not adopted an official ballot system, it shall be sufficient for a town meeting warrant to list items to be taken up at the town business meeting, including the election of town officers.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:3

 669:3 Town Meeting Provisions Applicable. – All appropriate provisions of RSA 39 relative to warning the town meeting and posting the town meeting warrant shall apply to the town election.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:4

 669:4 Qualifications of Voters. – Any person having his or her domicile within the town and qualified to vote under RSA 654:1 through 654:6 and who is on the town checklist shall be qualified to vote in town elections.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 2010, 317:61, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 669:5

 669:5 Voters and Checklists. – An updated checklist shall be used at all town meetings and elections for the same purposes a checklist is used at a state election and to insure that only qualified voters participate in town meeting discussions and votes, by voice or otherwise. The supervisors shall prepare, post, and revise the checklist for a town meeting or election in the same manner as for a state election as provided in RSA 654:25-654:31, provided, however, that the session for correction shall be held on Saturday 6 to 13 days prior to the election. The supervisors shall also hold one session for correction of the checklist on the day immediately prior to the first day of the filing period for candidates for town office, as provided in RSA 669:19 or 669:42, as applicable, from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and at the discretion of the supervisors for extended hours.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 571:1. 1987, 219:2. 1996, 36:11. 1998, 194:4. 2001, 272:3. 2003, 27:5, eff. July 1, 2003.

Section 669:6

 669:6 Qualification of Officers. – Unless otherwise provided by law, no person shall hold an elective town office who does not have his domicile within the town.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:7

 669:7 Incompatibility of Offices. –
I. No person shall at the same time hold any 2 of the following offices: selectman, treasurer, moderator, trustee of trust funds, collector of taxes, auditor and highway agent. No person shall at the same time hold any 2 of the following offices: town treasurer, moderator, trustee of trust funds, selectman and head of the town’s police department on full-time duty. No person shall at the same time hold the offices of town treasurer and town clerk. No full-time town employee shall at the same time hold the office of selectman. No official handling funds of a town shall at the same time hold the office of auditor. No selectman, moderator, town clerk or inspector of elections shall at the same time serve as a supervisor of the checklist. No selectman, town manager, school board member except a cooperative school board member, full-time town, village district, school district except a cooperative school district, or other associated agency employee or village district commissioner shall at the same time serve as a budget committee member-at-large under RSA 32.
I-a. No person shall at the same time file a declaration of candidacy for any 2 or more elected offices that are incompatible under paragraph I.
II. The provisions of paragraph I refer to the actual holding of office, and are not to be construed to prevent the transfer between offices of information obtained in the regular conduct of business nor to prevent the personnel in any office from furnishing clerical assistance to any other office.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 282:3. 1983, 132:1. 1993, 123:1. 2000, 308:3. 2014, 99:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014.

Section 669:8

 669:8 Incompatibility of Offices; Town Manager. – The town manager, during the time that he or she holds such appointment, may be manager of a district or precinct located wholly or mainly within the same town and may be elected or appointed to any municipal office in such town or included district or precinct that would be subject to his or her supervision if occupied by another incumbent; but he or she shall hold no other elected or appointed public office of the town except justice of the peace or notary public except as provided in RSA 37:9 and RSA 37:16.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 2004, 55:2, eff. July 2, 2004.

Section 669:9

 669:9 Oaths of Town Officers. – All town officers elected as provided in this chapter shall take an oath of office as provided in RSA 42 before qualifying for office.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:10

 669:10 Term of Office. –
I. Except as otherwise provided, the term of office of any officer elected under this chapter shall begin upon his election and qualification for office and shall end upon the election and qualification of his successor.
II. No person shall assume a town office until after the time period for requesting a recount is over. If a recount is requested for a town office, no person shall assume that office until after the recount is completed.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1989, 116:1, eff. July 7, 1989.

Ballot Systems

Section 669:11

 669:11 Unofficial Ballot System. – If a town has not voted at a previous town meeting to adopt an official ballot system as provided in RSA 669:12 or 669:13 or if a town has voted to rescind such adoption, such town shall elect its officers by means of the unofficial ballot system as provided in RSA 669:54-669:60. A majority vote shall be required to elect using unofficial ballots.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:12

 669:12 Partisan Official Ballot System. – Any town may vote to adopt the partisan official ballot system for election of town officers under an article in the warrant for any town meeting, and may rescind such action in like manner. The partisan ballot system shall not be in effect until the town election first following the town meeting at which such system is adopted. A plurality shall elect in towns using the partisan ballot system.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:13

 669:13 Non-Partisan Official Ballot System. – A town may vote to adopt the non-partisan official ballot system for election of town officers under an article in the warrant for any town meeting, and may rescind such action in like manner. In any town in which the partisan ballot system is in effect, and which has a population, according to most recent federal census, of 4,500 or more, adoption of the non-partisan ballot system shall be by ballot. Whenever in such town there shall appear in the warrant for any town meeting an article relating to the adoption of the non-partisan ballot system, the town clerk shall cause to be printed on the official ballot, if any, otherwise upon a ballot specially prepared for the purpose, the question, “Shall the non-partisan ballot system for the election of town officers be adopted by this town?”, which question shall be followed by boxes in which the voter may indicate “Yes” or “No”. If the majority of the qualified voters present and voting at such meeting shall answer said question in the affirmative, the non-partisan ballot system shall be deemed to have been adopted by said town. In all towns, the non-partisan ballot system shall not be in effect until the town election first following the meeting at which such system is adopted. A plurality shall elect in towns using the non-partisan ballot system.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Officers Elected

Section 669:14

 669:14 Use of Ballot. – Town officers who are to be elected by ballot as provided in RSA 669:15 and all other officers that a town has voted at some previous meeting to elect by ballot shall be elected by means of the partisan or non-partisan official ballot systems if such an official ballot system shall be in effect in a town. In towns where no such official ballot system is in effect, town officers who are to be elected by ballot as provided in RSA 669:15 and such other officers as the town votes to elect by ballot shall be elected by unofficial ballot at the town business meeting pursuant to RSA 669:54-669:60.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:15

 669:15 Officers Who Shall be Elected; Election by Ballot. –
The town officers specified in this section shall be elected at a town election by the voters of the town, and the election of such officers shall be by ballot as specified by the RSA section indicated:
I. Selectmen (RSA 41:8 through 8-e).
II. Moderator (RSA 40:1).
III. Supervisors of the checklist (RSA 41:46-a).
IV. Town clerk (RSA 41:16 through 16-b).
V. Town treasurer (RSA 41:26 through 26-b), unless provision has been made for appointment pursuant to RSA 41:26-e.
VI. Highway agents, unless provision has been made for their appointment (RSA 231:62 through 62-b).

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1983, 164:3. 2007, 35:7, eff. July 13, 2007.

Section 669:16

 669:16 Optional Officers to be Elected by Ballot: Interim Officers. –
The town offices specified in this section shall, if established by a town, be filled by an election by ballot. Such an officer may not be elected by official ballot until the annual town election first following the establishment of the office. However, whenever a town votes to establish such an optional office, the town may also then vote to elect by unofficial ballot at the same meeting an officer to serve until the next annual town election. If a town then fails to elect such an officer by unofficial ballot, the office shall be deemed vacant and shall be filled as provided in RSA 669:61-669:75. This section applies to the following offices:
I. Town clerk-tax collector (RSA 41:45-a).
II. Constables or police officers for full-time duty (RSA 41:47).
III. Trustees of trust fund (RSA 31:19-23).
IV. Sewer commissioners (RSA 149-I:19).
V. Tax collector for a 3-year term (RSA 41:2-b).
VI. Town auditors (RSA 41:32-a).
VI-a. [Repealed.]
VII. Library trustees (RSA 202-A:6).

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1991, 269:13. 2011, 4:2, eff. Apr. 25, 2011.

Section 669:17

 669:17 Officers Who May be Elected; Election by Ballot or Other Means. –
The town officers specified in this section may be elected by ballot or by other means at annual town elections or meetings by the voters of the town as determined by said voters. Such an officer may not be elected by official ballot until the annual town election first following the establishment of the office. When a town votes to establish such an optional office, the town may also then vote to elect by any means at the same meeting an officer to serve until the next annual town election or meeting or may vote to authorize the officer with the power to fill a vacancy in the office as provided in RSA 669:61-669:75 to appoint someone until the next annual town election or meeting. This section applies to the following offices:
I. Town assessors (RSA 41:2-c through 2-i).
II. [Repealed.]
III. Overseers of public welfare (RSA 41:2).
IV. Constables or police officers, other than those elected under RSA 41:47 (RSA 41:2).
V. Elected planning board members (RSA 673:2).
V-a. Elected zoning board of adjustment members (RSA 673:3).
VI. Elected budget committee members (RSA 32:15).
VII. Tax collector for a 1-year term (RSA 41:2).
VIII. Fire chief or firewards for a term of one or more years, as determined by the local legislative body under RSA 154:1 through RSA 154:1-c.
IX. Any other officers the town may judge necessary for managing its affairs under RSA 41:2.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1983, 164:4. 1990, 71:2. 1993, 28:9, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; 332:5, eff. Aug. 28, 1993.

Section 669:17-a

 669:17-a Filing Candidacy. – No person shall file as a candidate for a town officer under the provisions of RSA 669:19 or RSA 669:42 for more than one seat on the same town or school district board, commission, committee, or council.

Source. 1992, 96:5. 2008, 148:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2008.

Section 669:17-b

 669:17-b Discontinuing Optional Elected Office. – When a town votes to discontinue any optional elected office, whether or not such office is to be succeeded by an appointed office, the person holding the elected office at the time of the vote to discontinue it shall continue to hold office until the annual town election first following the discontinuance of the office, at which time the elected office shall terminate irrespective of the length of that officer’s term. This section shall apply to the elective offices of tax collector, highway agent, constable or police officer, overseer of public welfare, auditor, and any other optional town elected office not governed by another statute.

Source. 1994, 112:1, eff. July 10, 1994.

Section 669:17-c

 669:17-c Candidate Notification to Selectmen. – Any person who has been removed from any position in the state which requires bonding and who subsequently becomes a candidate for any elected office that requires bonding under RSA 41:6, shall inform the governing body in that town of all facts relevant to the removal from office no later than the last day of the filing period for candidates. The board of selectmen shall then inform the town’s bonding agent who shall determine the candidate’s ability to be bonded under RSA 41:6.

Source. 2004, 184:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.

Section 669:17-d

 669:17-d Discontinuing Office of Elected Treasurer. – When a town votes to discontinue an elected treasurer office, the person holding the elected office of treasurer at the time of the vote to discontinue it shall continue to hold office until the annual town election first following the discontinuance of the office, at which time the elected office of treasurer shall terminate irrespective of the length of that officer’s term.

Source. 2007, 35:8, eff. July 13, 2007.

By Official Ballot

Section 669:18

 669:18 Nominations; Partisan Ballot System. – In a town which has adopted the partisan ballot system as provided in RSA 669:12, nominations shall be made by caucus as provided in RSA 669:37-669:53.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:19

 669:19 Nominations; Nonpartisan Ballot System. – In a town which has adopted the nonpartisan ballot system as provided in RSA 669:13, all candidates shall file a declaration of candidacy with the town clerk during the filing period for town candidates. All candidates who file on the last day of the filing period shall do so in person before the town clerk. The filing period shall begin on the seventh Wednesday and end on the Friday of the following week before the town election. Such declaration of candidacy shall be prepared by the town clerk in substantially the following form: I, ____________________, declare that I am domiciled in the town of _______________, and that I am a registered voter therein; that I am a candidate for the office of _______________ and hereby request that my name be printed on the official nonpartisan ballot of the town of _______________.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1983, 154:1. 1987, 299:4. 1988, 126:2. 1994, 4:31. 2008, 148:2. 2011, 40:1, eff. July 8, 2011.

Section 669:20

 669:20 Nomination Petitions. – [Repealed 2008, 148:4, I, eff. Aug. 5, 2008.]

Section 669:21

 669:21 Number of Petitions. – [Repealed 2008, 148:4, II, eff. Aug. 5, 2008.]

Section 669:22

 669:22 Withdrawal. – Where a candidate had duly filed according to RSA 669:19 for a non-partisan town election or where a party nominee has been certified to the clerk as provided in RSA 669:50 for a partisan town election, no withdrawal or declination of a candidate shall be accepted by the town clerk subsequent to the last dates for filing except if the candidate dies or shall make oath that he does not qualify for the public office for which he or she is filed because of age, domicile, or incapacitating physical disability acquired subsequent to his or her filing. If a candidate dies or withdraws as provided in this section, the town clerk shall not print the name of that candidate on the ballot. If the ballots have been printed, the clerk shall remove that name using pasters.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1987, 276:6. 2008, 148:3, eff. Aug. 5, 2008.

Section 669:23

 669:23 Preparation of Voting Materials. – The town clerk shall prepare the official ballots for the town and shall arrange the names of candidates upon said ballots in parallel columns. Immediately above the names of each block of candidates shall be printed the title of the office for which they are candidates, such as “For Selectman.” Below the title of each office shall be printed in small but easily legible type the words “Vote for not more than (here insert a number designating how many persons are to be voted for).” Directly to the right of the name of each candidate there shall be a square. Whenever there are 2 or more candidates for the same office the names shall be printed upon the ballot in the alphabetical order of their surnames according to the alphabetization procedure established in RSA 656:5-a. Following the names printed on the ballot under the title of each office, there shall be as many blank lines as there are persons to be elected to that office.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 2001, 80:1. 2010, 330:6, eff. July 20, 2010.

Section 669:24

 669:24 Paper, Uniformity, Endorsement. – The ballots shall be printed on plain white paper, in weight not less than that of ordinary printing paper; provided, however, that if more than one ballot is used during any town election, each ballot shall be of a different color than any other ballot used at the election. There shall be no impression or mark to distinguish one ballot from another. The names of all candidates shall be printed in uniform type and the ballots shall be folded so that their width and length when folded shall be uniform. On the back, or at the top of the face, of each ballot shall be printed the words “Official Ballot for the Town of __________,” the date of the election, and a facsimile of the signature of the town clerk who prepared the ballot. For ballots transmitted electronically, the words “Official Ballot for the Town of __________” shall be located at the top of the face of the ballot.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1991, 370:2. 2010, 317:62, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 669:25

 669:25 Conduct. – In towns which have adopted an official ballot system, the town election shall be conducted in the same manner as a state general election as provided in RSA 658 and 659, except that RSA 659:77, III-V and 659:78  shall not apply, and except that all duties required to be performed by the secretary of state under those chapters shall be performed by the town clerk, and except that no copy of marked or unmarked checklists need be forwarded to the state archives or federal district court as provided in RSA 659:102. Polling hours for a town meeting or election shall be set by the selectmen or by a vote of the town.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 454:10. 2010, 317:63, eff. July 18, 2010. 2018, 100:3.

Section 669:26

 669:26 Absentee Voting. –

I. Every town which has adopted an official ballot system for town elections as provided in RSA 669:12 or 669:13 shall provide for absentee voting. Any eligible voter who is absent from such a town on the day of a town election, or who cannot appear in public on election day because of his or her observance of a religious commitment, or who, by reason of physical disability, is unable to vote in person may vote at a town election in accordance with the provisions of this section and RSA 669:27-669:29. A person who is unable to appear at any time during polling hours at his or her polling place because of an employment obligation shall be considered absent for purposes of this section and RSA 669:27-669:29. For the purposes of this section, the term “employment” shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.

II. When the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, blizzard warning, or ice storm warning for election day applicable to the town:
(a) A person who is elderly or infirm or who has a physical disability, who otherwise would have voted in person but has concerns for his or her safety traveling in the storm, shall be considered absent for purposes of this section and RSA 669:27-669:29 and may vote absentee on the Monday immediately prior to the election.
(b) A person who cares for children or infirm adults who reasonably anticipates that school, child care, or adult care will be canceled, who otherwise would have voted in person but will be deterred from voting by the need to care for children or infirm adults, shall be considered absent for purposes of this section and RSA 669:27-669:29 and may vote absentee on the Monday immediately prior to the election.
(c) As required by RSA 652:20, the clerk’s office shall be open to receive applications for absentee ballots, to provide voters the opportunity to complete absentee ballots, and to receive returned ballots on the Monday immediately prior to an election at a minimum from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The clerk may designate a deputy clerk or assistant to provide this service, provided the individual has taken the oath of office and has been trained in the requirements for using an absentee ballot and the procedures for issuing and receiving absentee ballots.

Source. 1979, 308:7; 410:1. 1981, 454:11. 2006, 136:3. 2010, 317:64, eff. July 18, 2010. 2016, 130:4, eff. May 27, 2016. 2018, 329:6.

Section 669:27

 669:27 Forms. –
Prior to each such election, the clerk shall prepare in such quantities as he may deem necessary the following forms:
I. Official absentee voting ballots, with the words “absentee ballot” printed on them, similar in form to the official ballot to be used at said election, and similarly endorsed and printed on paper of the same color as that used for official ballots;
II. Blank forms of application for absentee ballots worded similar in form to those required by RSA 657:4.
III. Envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots specified in paragraph I, on which shall be printed an affidavit similar in form to that required by RSA 657:7 or 657:8, as applicable.

Source. 1979, 308:8; 410:1. 1981, 392:4. 1987, 276:7. 2003, 289:47. 2006, 136:4. 2010, 317:65, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 669:28

 669:28 Instructions; Information. – The secretary of state shall prepare for the use of the clerks such printed information and instructions, subject to the approval of the attorney general, as he shall deem appropriate to carry into effect the purposes hereof. The secretary of state shall furnish such material to the clerks of all towns, cities, village districts and school districts.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:29

 669:29 Application of Statutes. – The procedure for absentee voting in town elections shall be the same as in state elections as provided in RSA 657:2, 657:6, 657:7, 657:8, 657:12, and 657:14 through 657:24. With respect to the provisions of RSA 657:19, absentee ballots shall not be required to be sent to absent uniformed services voters or absent voters temporarily residing outside the United States at least 45 days prior to town elections, but shall be sent by the clerk as long before election day as is practical.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 169:2; 454:12. 2010, 317:66, eff. July 18, 2010.

Recounts

Section 669:30

 669:30 Recounts; Application. – Any person for whom a vote was cast and recorded for any office at a town election may, no later than the Friday following the election, apply in writing to the town clerk for a recount of the ballots cast for such office, the clerk shall appoint a time for the recount not earlier than 5 days nor later than 10 days after the receipt of said application.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 454:13. 1994, 4:32, eff. May 27, 1994.

Section 669:31

 669:31 Notice; Fee. –
I. The clerk shall notify each of the candidates for the office for which there is to be a recount at least 3 days prior to the day appointed for the recount of ballots. No other notice shall be required.
II. The applicant shall pay to the town clerk, for the use of the town, the following fee:
(a) If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected is less than one percent of the total votes cast, the fee shall be $10.
(b) If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected is between one percent and 2 percent of the total votes cast, the fee shall be $20.
(c) If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected is between 2 percent and 3 percent of the total votes cast, the fee shall be $40.
(d) If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected is greater than 3 percent of the total votes cast, the candidate shall pay the fee as provided in RSA 669:31, II(c) and shall agree in writing with the town clerk to pay any additional costs of the recount.
III. If any person who has applied for a recount is declared elected by reason of the recount, the town clerk shall return to the person within 10 days of the recount all fees paid at the time of applying.
IV. If any person who has applied for a recount loses the recount by a margin of less than one percent of the total votes cast, the town clerk shall return to the person within 10 days of the recount any fees that were paid in excess of those required by subparagraph II(a).

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 454:14. 2003, 34:1, eff. July 1, 2003.

Section 669:32

 669:32 Board of Recount. – At the time and place so appointed and notified, the clerk shall publicly break the seal of and open the package in which the ballots of said election are kept; and, thereupon, said ballots shall be recounted by the clerk, the moderator, and the selectmen of said town who shall constitute the board of recount. When counting the ballots, the board of recount or their assistants shall visually inspect each ballot. No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots. Any member of the board of recount who is one of the candidates for the office being recounted shall disqualify himself or herself from the board of recount for all official duties of said board. The moderator shall appoint an assistant who shall take the same oath as, serve in the same capacity as, and have all the powers of the recount official whom he or she has replaced.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 454:15. 2006, 41:5, eff. June 17, 2006.

Section 669:33

 669:33 Preservation of Ballots After Recount. –
I. Upon the conclusion of the recount, the clerk shall place the ballots and all envelopes or wrappers which had previously contained them in a suitable container showing the contents and the date when and the reason why it was opened; and said clerk shall retain said ballots until the expiration of 60 days from the date of the recount unless some action is pending which makes their further preservation necessary or unless enjoined by action brought before the superior court.
II. Ballots, including cast, cancelled, and uncast ballots and successfully challenged absentee ballots still contained in their envelopes, prepared or preserved in accordance with the election laws shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 91-A. This exemption shall apply to any ballots or absentee voter affidavit envelopes prepared for or used in any election conducted by the state or any political subdivision, including federal elections.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 454:16. 2003, 289:62, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 669:34

 669:34 Declaration of Results. –
I. Upon completion of the recount, the board of recount shall publicly declare the results and certify such declaration to the town clerk.
II. The town clerk shall record the certificate received under paragraph I; and the person so declared to have been elected shall, unless the result is changed upon appeal to the superior court, be the duly elected officer of such town.
III. A person declared elected at the election whose election is affirmed by the recount may take the oath of office and assume office at any time following declaration of the results of the recount, provided the oath is taken by the deadline established by RSA 42:6.
IV. When a different person is declared elected following the recount, if no appeal is taken that person may take the oath of office and assume office on the sixth day following the date of the recount, provided that the oath is taken by the deadline established by RSA 42:6.
V. If a different person is declared elected following the recount, and an appeal is taken, that person may not assume office until the superior court has issued a final ruling on the appeal. The person holding the office prior to the election shall continue to hold the office until a successor is declared elected by the superior court and the person declared elected by the court takes the oath of office.
VI. When an appeal involves a multi-seat office, every declared candidate for that office and any write-in candidate who received 5 percent or more of the votes cast shall be entitled to notice of the appeal and may choose to become a party to the appeal. When ruling on an appeal involving an election where voters elected more than one person to a multi-seat office, the court may remove from office any person who was declared elected at the election and at the recount who has already taken the oath of office and assumed office if the court determines that it is more likely than not that a different person was elected to that seat. The validity of any actions taken by a person who assumes office pursuant to this section and is later removed as a result of an appeal may not be challenged on the basis that the person was subsequently removed as a result of the appeal.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 2008, 280:2, eff. Aug. 26, 2008.

Section 669:35

 669:35 Appeal From Recount. – Any person aggrieved by a ruling of the board of recount with respect to any ballot may, within 5 days thereafter, appeal to the superior court for the county in which such town is located; and such court shall have jurisdiction in equity to hear and determine the question presented. The person shall also file a copy of the appeal with the town clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day following the date of the recount.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 2008, 280:3, eff. Aug. 26, 2008.

Tie Vote

Section 669:36

 669:36 Tie Vote. – In case of a tie vote at any town election, except as provided for unofficial ballots in RSA 669:60, the winner shall be determined by lot by the town clerk in the presence of the candidates who are tied if, upon notice from him, they elect to be present.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Special Provisions for Partisan Ballot System

Section 669:37

 669:37 Nomination by Caucus. – In a town which has adopted the partisan ballot system under RSA 669:12, nominations may be made by any caucus of legal voters representing a political party which at the state election next preceding polled at least 3 percent of the entire vote cast in the state for the office of governor.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:38

 669:38 Party Regulations. – Any party qualified to hold a caucus may, in convention or by its recognized political committee, make regulations concerning the manner of holding the caucus consistent with the provisions of this subdivision.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:39

 669:39 When Held. – Any caucus held for the nomination of candidates for town officers shall be held not later than the sixth Friday before the town election at which such officers are to be elected.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1987, 299:5, eff. July 24, 1987.

Section 669:40

 669:40 Notice. – All town caucuses shall be called by a notice posted in 4 conspicuous places in the town and published in some newspaper, if there be any published in the town, 10 days or more before the day of the caucus. Such notice shall specify the place, day and hour of meeting, and the time during which the polls shall be open for the reception of ballots.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:41

 669:41 Checklists. – The checklist for use at any caucus shall be prepared by the local executive committee of the party holding the caucus. Notice of the times when, and places where, the executive committee shall meet for the purpose of receiving evidence and suggestions as to the make-up of the checklist shall be included in the notice of the caucus.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:42

 669:42 Filing. – A candidate for nomination for office shall file his name, and a declaration of the office for which he is filing, with the clerk of the political party holding the caucus at least 5 days before the date of the caucus. The clerk shall prepare the ballots to be used for said caucus and no other ballots shall be used at said caucus.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:43

 669:43 Ballots. – Voting at the caucus shall be by ballot. The committee shall have full power to regulate the form, size and character of the ballots to be used.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:44

 669:44 Additional Polling Place. – Any caucus held under the provisions of this subdivision in a town which has voted to adopt the provisions for an additional polling place may be held at the central polling place in said town and also at said additional polling place. The local executive committee of the party holding the caucus shall prepare a checklist for each polling place. The polls at the additional polling place shall close one hour prior to the closing of polls at the central polling place and the ballot boxes from the additional polling place shall be taken to the central polling place where they shall be opened and counted.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:45

 669:45 Hours of Polling. – The time the polls shall be open at caucuses shall be fixed by the executive committee of the party in the town holding the caucus. In towns and wards having not more than 2,000 inhabitants, according to the last preceding national census, the polls shall be open not less than 2 hours, and, in those having more than 2,000 inhabitants according to such census, not less than 3 hours.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:46

 669:46 Additions. – No name shall be placed on the checklist after the hour for opening the caucus has arrived except the name of a person whose right to vote in the caucus is well known to the executive committee.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:47

 669:47 Challenge. – When the right of any person to vote in a caucus is challenged, he shall subscribe to the following oath or affirmation before his vote shall be received: I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a legal voter in __________, and that I intend to vote the ticket of the party holding this caucus at the next election.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:48

 669:48 Prohibited Acts. – No person shall vote in any caucus unless his name is on the checklist used by said caucus except as provided in RSA 669:46. No person shall vote using the name of any other person; and no person shall vote in the caucus of more than one political party, or, having voted in the caucus of a political party, sign the nomination papers of any other political party for that election. No person shall vote in any caucus unless he intends to support the ticket of the party holding the caucus at the next election.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:49

 669:49 Plurality; Certificates of Nomination. – A plurality of votes shall be sufficient to nominate a candidate for town office by caucus. After the caucus, certificates of nomination shall be made and shall indicate the name and domicile of each candidate, the office for which he is nominated and the political principles or party he represents, and shall be signed by the chairman and clerk of the caucus or convention; and, when practicable, such certificates of nomination shall be signed by each candidate; but the absence of the signature of the candidate shall not invalidate a certificate of nomination.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:50

 669:50 Filing Nominations; Certificate of Regularity. – In filing nominations with the town clerk, the presiding officer of the caucus shall certify that the caucus was called and conducted according to the provisions of this subdivision. If nominations are not accompanied by such certificate, they shall not be placed upon the official ballot.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:51

 669:51 Filing Checklists. – Within 48 hours after the close of any caucus, the presiding officer shall file with the town clerk the checklist used in the caucus; and the clerk shall keep the same for 60 days thereafter, in his office, open to the inspection of every citizen of such town, and shall not make nor permit to be made upon such checklist any mark whatever.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:52

 669:52 Nomination by Nomination Papers. – As an alternative to nomination by party caucus, a candidate may have his name placed on a partisan town election ballot by submitting nomination papers. All the provisions of RSA 655:40-45 shall apply except that the duties performed by the secretary of state shall be performed by the town clerk. Fifty nomination papers shall be required for each town office for which a person files.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:53

 669:53 Penalty for Violations. – Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who shall swear falsely in making oath under the provisions of this subdivision shall be guilty of perjury and punished accordingly.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

By Unofficial Ballot

Section 669:54

 669:54 Nominations. – In the election of officers by unofficial ballot, nominations of candidates for office shall be by motion at the town meeting.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:55

 669:55 Ballots. – In the election of officers by unofficial ballot, the town clerk shall prepare and provide to the moderator pieces of white paper of uniform size and weight to be used as ballots; provided, however, that if more than one ballot is used during any town election, each ballot shall be of a different color than any other ballot used at the election. The ballots may, at the discretion of the clerk, have printed on them the names of the offices to be elected, such as “For Selectman,” or “For Town Treasurer.” However, no names of candidates shall be printed on the unofficial ballots.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1991, 370:3, eff. Aug. 31, 1991.

Section 669:56

 669:56 Ballot Boxes. – A suitable box shall be provided by the selectmen, at the expense of the town, in which to receive the ballots of the voters.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:57

 669:57 Conduct. – Upon receipt of his ballot from the moderator, each voter shall write thereon the name of every person for whom he desires to vote. Each voter shall deliver his ballot to the moderator in open meeting; and the moderator, on receiving the ballot, shall direct the town clerk to check the name of the voter on the checklist, and shall, without inspecting the name of any person voted for, examine the ballot so far only as to determine whether the same contains more than one ballot; if it does not, he shall place the ballot in the ballot box; but if it does, he shall make it manifest to the meeting and reject the same unless the voter shall correct his ballot.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:58

 669:58 Counting. – When all votes have been cast, the moderator shall, in the open meeting, sort and count the votes. The selectmen and town clerk shall assist in sorting and counting the votes; but no other person shall in any manner interfere therewith. After the counting, the moderator shall make a public declaration of the number of ballots cast, with the name of every person voted for and the number of votes for each; and the town clerk shall make a fair record thereof in the books of the town. No ballot shall be received and counted after the votes have been declared.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:59

 669:59 Blank Votes. – If several offices are to be voted for upon the ballot, no person shall be required to vote for all. Any ballot which does not contain at least one voter for each office shall be regarded as a blank for the office omitted. Blank pieces of paper shall not be counted as ballots.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:60

 669:60 Majority to Elect; Tie Vote. – In determining the results of any election by unofficial ballot, the whole number of persons voting for any office shall first be ascertained and then the vote for each candidate seeking said office. In order to win an office by unofficial ballot, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast for a certain office. In the case that more than one candidate receives a majority, the candidates with the largest majority of votes for the positions available shall be declared elected. In the event that 2 candidates receive an equal number of votes such that a winner cannot be determined, another balloting shall be taken.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Filling of Vacancies

Section 669:61

 669:61 Vacancies in Town Offices. –
I. Whenever a vacancy as defined in RSA 652:12 occurs in any elective town office or whenever a town neglects or refuses to fill an elective town office, said vacancy shall be filled by the action of that body or person authorized by law to appoint or elect such officer for a term ending upon the election and qualification of his successor, unless otherwise provided. Unless otherwise provided, at said next annual town election, the voters of the town shall then elect an officer for the full term provided by law or the balance of an unexpired term provided by law, as the case may be. If a town then refuses or neglects to fill said office, a vacancy shall be deemed again to exist.
II. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to empower a town to find that a vacancy exists, in the case of a contested election or recount, until the rendering of a final judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction or by the ballot law commission as to such contested election in accordance with RSA 652:12, V, or until the recount has been concluded.
III. For the purposes of paragraph I, and with respect to those offices elected by official, non-partisan ballot, the term “next annual town election” shall mean the next annual town election for which the nomination filing period, as set forth in RSA 669:19, begins subsequent to the occurrence of the vacancy. Any vacancy which occurs between the beginning of the filing period and the town election shall not be filled by official ballot until the annual town election the following year.
IV. The legislative body of a town may adopt or rescind the optional procedure in this paragraph for filling vacancies in elective town offices. If the authorized person or body does not make an appointment to fill the vacancy pursuant to paragraph I within 45 days after at least one legally-qualified person has applied in writing for such appointment, then upon the filing of a petition with the selectmen signed by the number of voters required under RSA 39:3 for the warning of a special town meeting, presented not less than 90 days before the next annual town meeting, the selectmen shall call a special election to fill the vacancy. The special election shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 39:3 and other applicable provisions governing town elections. The person elected at the special election shall serve for a term ending upon the election and qualification of his or her successor. Unless otherwise provided, at the next annual town election, the voters of the town shall elect an officer for the full term provided by law or the balance of an unexpired term provided by law, as the case may be. If the town then refuses or neglects to fill the office, a vacancy shall be deemed again to exist.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 520:4. 1994, 112:2. 2008, 267:1, eff. Aug. 25, 2008.

Section 669:62

 669:62 Moderator. – Vacancies in the office of town moderator shall be filled by appointment made by the supervisors of the checklist of said town, or by the town selectmen, where no board of supervisors exists.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:63

 669:63 Selectmen. – Vacancies in the board of selectmen shall be filled by appointment made by the remaining selectmen. Whenever the selectmen fail to make such appointment, the superior court or any justice thereof, on petition of any citizen of the town, and after such notice as the court shall deem reasonable, may appoint a suitable person to fill the vacancy; provided, however, that if the town has adopted the provisions of RSA 669:61, IV, and a petition thereunder is submitted before the submission of a petition under this section, the provisions of RSA 669:61, IV shall apply.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 2008, 267:2, eff. Aug. 25, 2008.

Section 669:64

 669:64 Supervisors of the Checklist. – Vacancies in the board of supervisors shall be filled within 45 days by appointment made by the remaining supervisors. If there is only one member of the board, or if the whole board shall be vacant, or if the remaining supervisors fail to fill the vacancy within 45 days, the moderator shall make the appointments. If a town elects supervisors by means of the partisan ballot system, any such appointee shall be of the same political party as the supervisor whose place he is filling.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979. 2017, 72:1, eff. Aug. 1, 2017.

Section 669:65

 669:65 Town Clerk. – Vacancies in the office of town clerk shall be filled by appointment made by the selectmen except in towns in which pursuant to RSA 41:18 the selectmen have previously appointed a deputy town clerk, in which case the deputy shall serve as town clerk until the next annual town election, unless the deputy does not have his or her domicile in the town, in which case the vacancy shall be filled by appointment made by the selectmen.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 2000, 308:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2002 at 12:01 a.m.

Section 669:65-a

 669:65-a Towns With Non-Domiciled Deputy Town Clerk. – [Repealed 2000, 308:6, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.]

Section 669:66

 669:66 Town Clerk-Tax Collector. – If a vacancy in the office of town clerk-tax collector occurs, the deputy provided for in RSA 41:45-c shall discharge the duties of the town clerk-tax collector until the selectmen fill the position of town clerk-tax collector within 30 days.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1983, 30:5, eff. July 11, 1983.

Section 669:67

 669:67 Tax Collector. – If a vacancy in the office of tax collector occurs before the incumbent thereof has completed the collection of the taxes committed to him, or if the collector is removed from office pursuant to RSA 41:40, the deputy tax collector provided for in RSA 41:38 shall discharge the duties of the tax collector until the selectmen fill the position of tax collector within 30 days.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1983, 30:3, eff. July 11, 1983.

Section 669:68

 669:68 Town Auditors. – Vacancies in the office of town auditor shall be filled by appointment made by the supervisors of the checklist. If a supervisor is also the town treasurer, he shall abstain from the decision on the appointment, and the other supervisors shall make the appointment.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1987, 276:8, eff. July 24, 1987.

Section 669:69

 669:69 Town Treasurer. – Vacancies in the office of town treasurer shall be filled by appointment made by the selectmen except in towns in which, pursuant to RSA 41:29-a, the treasurer has appointed a deputy treasurer, in which case the deputy shall serve as town treasurer until the next annual town election.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:70

 669:70 Municipal Planning Boards. – Vacancies in the membership and alternates of a town’s municipal planning board shall be filled as provided in RSA 673:11 and 673:12.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:71

 669:71 Municipal Budget Committee. – Vacancies on the municipal budget committee shall be filled in accordance with RSA 32:15, VII.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1993, 332:6, eff. Aug. 28, 1993.

Section 669:72

 669:72 Municipal Utility Commissioners. – Vacancies on a board of municipal utility commissioners shall be filled by the remaining members.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:73

 669:73 Trustee of the Trust Fund. – Vacancies in the office of trustee of the trust fund shall be filled by appointment made by the board of selectmen for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:74

 669:74 Highway Agents. – Vacancies in the office of elected highway agents shall be filled by appointment made by the board of selectmen for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 669:75

 669:75 Vacancies in Other Offices. – Vacancies in the offices of constable, sewer commissioner, town assessor, overseers of public welfare, library trustee, and any other optional offices where no other method of filling a vacancy shall be provided by vote of the town shall be filled by appointment made by the board of selectmen.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

CHAPTER 670
VILLAGE DISTRICT ELECTIONS

General Provisions

Section 670:1

 670:1 Election Dates. – The election of village district officers shall be conducted at the annual meeting of the village district which shall be held between January 1 and May 1 of each year. In the case of a district formed for the purpose of impoundment of water, such annual meeting may be held at another time if so voted at a previous meeting.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1981, 375:3, eff. Aug. 22, 1981.

Section 670:2

 670:2 Officers Elected. – The voters of each village district shall, at each annual village district election, elect a moderator, a clerk, 3 commissioners, a treasurer, and such other officers as may be directed by law or as the voters thereof may judge necessary for managing the district’s affairs. Any village district voting to do so may elect one commissioner to serve for one year, one to serve for 2 years and one to serve for 3 years and, at every annual meeting thereafter, elect one commissioner to serve for 3 years. A village district officer shall assume office upon his election and qualification for office, and shall serve until the election and qualification of his successor.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 670:2-a

 670:2-a Optional Election of Commissioners in Districts Within the Towns of Merrimack and Hooksett. –
I. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 670:2, any village district within the town of Merrimack or the town of Hooksett may at any annual meeting under an article in the warrant for the meeting elect 5 rather than 3 commissioners by a majority vote of the legal voters present and voting at the annual meeting in the manner provided in paragraph II.
II. Upon written petition of 25 voters qualified to vote in a village district election and whose names are on the village district checklist, or 2 percent of such voters, whichever number is fewer, addressed and delivered to the commissioners not later than 35 days before any annual meeting, the following question shall be submitted to the voters at the meeting: “Are you in favor of increasing the number of commissioners from 3 to 5?” In districts having an official ballot, the question shall appear upon the ballot pursuant to RSA 670:7. In districts where no official ballot is used, the vote on this question shall be by special ballot. After the question, squares with the words “yes” and “no” shall be printed on the ballot in which the voter may mark his choice pursuant to RSA 670:7.
III. A village district which votes to increase the number of commissioners as provided in paragraph II may rescind its action in the same manner, except that the question shall read: “Are you in favor of decreasing the number of commissioners from 5 to 3 members?”
IV. If a district votes to increase or to decrease the number of commissioners, the change shall not take effect in either case until the first annual meeting following the meeting at which the question was acted upon.
(a) If the village district votes to increase the number of commissioners to 5, and its commissioners serve 3-year terms, at the first annual meeting following the vote the village district shall elect 2 commissioners for 3-year terms, and one commissioner for a one-year term. At the next annual meeting, the village district shall elect 2 commissioners for 3-year terms.
(b) If the village district votes to increase the number of commissioners to 5 and its commissioners serve one-year terms, at the first annual meeting following the vote, the village district shall elect 5 commissioners for one-year terms.
(c) At succeeding annual elections the village district shall fill commissioner vacancies as they regularly occur.
(d) If a village district votes to decrease its commissioners to 3, at the annual meeting following the vote, the terms of office of all the commissioners shall end and the village district shall elect 3 commissioners, as provided in RSA 670:2.

Source. 1986, 13:1, eff. June 17, 1986.

Section 670:3

 670:3 Voters and Checklists. – Any person having his or her domicile within the village district and qualified to vote as provided in RSA 654:1 through 654:6 and whose name is on the village district checklist shall be entitled to vote in any village district election. An updated checklist shall be used at all village district elections and meetings for the same purposes as checklists are used by towns as provided in RSA 669:5. Such checklist or checklists, if the district is located in more than one town, shall be used in the election of district officers.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1985, 120:1. 1993, 163:1. 1994, 218:5. 2010, 317:67, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 670:4

 670:4 Nominations. – To become a candidate for any village district office, a person must have a domicile in the village district. In any village district which has voted to elect district officers by non-partisan official ballot as provided in RSA 669:13, all candidates shall file a declaration of candidacy with the village district clerk, in the same manner as with the town clerk in town elections as provided in RSA 669:19-669:22.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1991, 254:11, eff. Aug. 9, 1991.

Section 670:4-a

 670:4-a Filing Candidacy. – No person shall file as a candidate for a village district office for more than one seat on the same village district or school district board, commission, committee, or council.

Source. 1992, 96:6, eff. April 24, 1992.

Election Procedure

Section 670:5

 670:5 Warrant. – Village district elections shall be warned by the commissioners in the same manner as town elections are warned by the selectmen as provided in RSA 669:2 and RSA 39. The commissioners shall give the supervisors of the checklist 60 days notice of any village district election.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979. 2016, 116:1, eff. July 19, 2016.

Section 670:6

 670:6 Absentee Voting. – A village district which has voted to elect officers by non-partisan official ballot as provided in RSA 670:7 shall provide for absentee voting in the same manner as in town elections as provided in RSA 669:26-669:29 except that all duties performed therein by the town clerk shall be performed by the village district clerk.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 670:7

 670:7 Ballot Systems. – A village district may vote to adopt the non-partisan official ballot system for the election of district officers in the same manner as towns, as provided in RSA 669:13 in which case it shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 669:13 and 669:19-669:24. A village district which has not adopted the non-partisan ballot system but which votes to elect district officers by ballot shall be subject to the provisions of RSA 669:54-669:60 for the unofficial ballot system in towns. No village district may vote to adopt a partisan ballot system.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1987, 276:9, eff. July 24, 1987.

Section 670:8

 670:8 Non-Ballot Voting. – A village district may vote to elect district officers by ballot or other means at the village district election or meeting in the same manner as towns as provided in RSA 669:17.

Source. 1979, 410:1. 1987, 276:9, eff. July 24, 1987.

Post-Election Procedure

Section 670:9

 670:9 Report to Commissioner of Revenue Administration. – After the village district election, the clerk of a village district shall forthwith report the names and post office addresses of all village district officers to the commissioner of revenue administration. If any village district officer has not been elected or appointed at the time of the election, the village district clerk shall inform the commissioner of revenue administration of the name and mailing address of the person chosen to fill the position.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 670:10

 670:10 Tie Votes. – If the 2 candidates having the highest number of votes for a village district office shall have an equal number, the successful candidate shall be chosen in the same manner as is provided for resolving tie votes under RSA 669:36 or 60.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 670:11

 670:11 Recounts. – Recounts of village district elections shall be conducted in the same manner as in town elections as provided in RSA 669:30-669:35 except that the board of recount shall be composed of the village district clerk, moderator and commissioners, each of whom shall perform the duties of the corresponding officer in the town.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 670:12

 670:12 Vacancies. – The commissioners shall make appointments to fill vacancies in the offices of village district clerk, moderator, and treasurer, and their own board. In the case of a vacancy in the office of commissioner with a 2- or 3-year term, the remaining commissioners shall make an appointment to fill said vacancy until the next annual meeting of the district, at which time a commissioner shall be elected to fill the unexpired term.

Source. 1979, 410:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

CHAPTER 671
SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTIONS

General Provisions

Section 671:1

 671:1 Applicability. – The officers of all school districts, including cooperative school districts, shall be elected according to the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:2

 671:2 Election Dates. – School district officers shall be elected either at the town meeting as provided in RSA 671:22-26 or at an annual meeting of the district held between the dates set forth in RSA 197:1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no election for school district officers shall be held in conjunction with the biennial election. The prohibition in this section against holding an election for school district officers in conjunction with the biennial election shall not apply to the election of the board of education members of the Concord union school district as provided in 1961, 355 as amended by 1983, 123, or any successor charter thereto, or to the election of the Laconia board of education members as provided in section 9:01 of the city charter of Laconia as amended by 1975, 357.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1981, 250:4. 1991, 370:8. 2004, 254:10. 2011, 255:2, eff. Sept. 11, 2011.

Section 671:3

 671:3 Term of Office. – Except as otherwise provided, the term of any officer elected under the provisions of this chapter shall begin upon the officer’s election and qualification for office and shall end upon the election and qualification of the officer’s successor.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1997, 176:1, eff. Aug. 11, 1997.

Regular School Districts

Section 671:4

 671:4 Board. – A school district which is not a cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1 may have a school board of 3, 5, 7, or 9 members, as it shall determine by vote at any annual meeting. They shall serve for a term of 3 years. Insofar as possible, an equal number of the members shall be elected at each school district election. Whenever such a district determines to change the number of board members, it shall also determine the number of members to be elected each year. Such change shall not take effect until the school district election in the year next following the one in which the change is voted. The board will increase or decrease in membership so that there will always be an uneven number of members until the desired number is reached. The school board of a district which does not otherwise vote shall have 3 members.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:5

 671:5 Auditors. – At each district election, each district which is not a cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1 shall elect one or more auditors. In a district voting to elect 2 or more auditors, their terms shall be staggered so that one auditor shall be elected each year for a term of office of the same number of years as there are auditors; provided, however, that, in the first year, the auditors shall be chosen for varying terms so that the term of one auditor shall expire in the next succeeding year, the term of the second auditor, the next year, and so on for the number of years as there are number of auditors. When voters of the district direct the school board to request an audit by independent public accountants from outside the district, they shall not be required to choose auditors for the year covered by said audit.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 2010, 262:2, eff. Sept. 4, 2010.

Section 671:6

 671:6 Other Officers. – Except as provided under RSA 671:6-a, at each school district election, each school district which is not a cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1 shall elect a school district clerk, moderator, treasurer, and such optional officers as the voters of the district shall have voted to elect to manage the affairs of the district. The moderator shall take office upon the adjournment of the regular school district meeting held in the year of the moderator’s election and upon the moderator’s qualification for office, whichever is later. The treasurer shall take office upon the close of the fiscal year for the district and upon the treasurer’s qualification for office, whichever is later. An optional officer may not be elected by official ballot until the annual district election first following the establishment of the office. The school district may, by vote, determine to elect a temporary officer or authorize the school board to appoint a temporary officer to serve until the next annual district election.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1981, 285:2. 1997, 176:2, eff. Aug. 11, 1997.

Section 671:6-a

 671:6-a Optional Term. –
I. At any annual school district meeting under an article in the warrant placed there by petition, the voters may vote to determine if they are in favor of having 2-year or 3-year terms for the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer. If the school district has adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the following question to be printed on said ballot: “Are you in favor of changing the terms of the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer from one year to (here insert term option) years, beginning with the terms of the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer to be elected at next year’s regular school district meeting?” Said question shall be printed in the form prescribed by RSA 656:13. If the school district has not adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the same question to be printed upon special ballots which shall be used to determine the vote of the school district. If a majority of those voting on the question vote in favor of 2-year or 3-year terms, at the next annual meeting after the vote of approval, the school district shall elect a school district clerk, moderator and treasurer for 2-year or 3-year terms in accordance with the results of such vote.
II. After the 2-year or 3-year terms for school district clerk, moderator and treasurer have been established, at any annual school district meeting held the year before the end of the 2-year or 3-year term, under an article in the warrant placed there by petition, the voters may vote to determine if they are in favor of changing the 2-year or 3-year terms for the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer. If the school district has adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the following question to be printed on said ballot: “Are you in favor of changing the terms of the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer from (here insert term option) years to (here insert term option) year(s), beginning with the terms of the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer who shall be elected at next year’s regular school district meeting?” The question shall be printed in the form prescribed by RSA 656:13. If the school district has not adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the same question to be printed upon special ballots which shall be used to determine the vote of the school district. If a majority of those voting on the question vote in favor of changing the terms, at the next annual school district meeting, the voters shall elect the clerk, moderator and treasurer in accordance with the result of such vote.
III. The terms of the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer shall all be for one year, for 2 years, or for 3 years. The terms of only one or 2 of such officers shall not be changed independently of the other one or 2 officers.
IV. The power of choosing one year, 2-year, or 3-year terms for the school district clerk, moderator and treasurer shall not extend to any other officers of the school district.

Source. 1981, 285:1. 1997, 176:3, eff. Aug. 11, 1997.

Section 671:7

 671:7 Cooperative School District Planning Committee. – Any school district which votes at any annual or special district meeting to create a cooperative school district planning committee under RSA 195:18 shall elect the members of said committee as provided in RSA 195:18.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1996, 158:16, eff. July 1, 1996.

Cooperative School Districts

Section 671:8

 671:8 Composition of Cooperative School Boards. – The number, composition, method of selection, and terms of members of cooperative school boards shall be as provided in the bylaws or articles of agreement of the cooperative school district, as the case may be, in accordance with RSA 195:19-a.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1996, 158:16, eff. July 1, 1996.

Section 671:9

 671:9 Reapportionment. – Any cooperative school district organized under any of the provisions of RSA 195 or pursuant to any special act may at any regular or special meeting vote to change the number, composition, method of selection, and terms of office of members on the board of the district in accordance with the provisions of RSA 195:19-b.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1996, 158:16, eff. July 1, 1996.

Section 671:10

 671:10 Budget Committee Members. – The voters of any cooperative school district which has voted at a previous meeting to elect a budget committee under RSA 195:12-a shall elect members of the budget committee as provided in RSA 195:12-a.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:11

 671:11 Moderator. – Except as provided under RSA 671:11-a, at every school district election, a cooperative school district shall elect a moderator and such other officers as the voters of the district have voted to elect to manage the district’s affairs. Any optional officers shall be chosen as provided in RSA 671:6.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1999, 75:1, eff. July 27, 1999.

Section 671:11-a

 671:11-a Optional Term for Moderator. –
I. At any annual school district meeting under an article in the warrant placed there by petition, the voters may vote to determine if they are in favor of having 2-year or 3-year terms for the moderator. If the school district has adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the following question to be printed on said ballot: “Are you in favor of changing the term of the moderator from one year to (here insert term option) years, beginning with the term of the moderator to be elected at next year’s regular school district meeting?” Said question shall be printed in the form prescribed by RSA 656:13. If the school district has not adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the same question to be printed upon special ballots which shall be used to determine the vote of the school district. If a majority of those voting on the question vote in favor of 2-year or 3-year terms, at the next annual meeting after the vote of approval, the school district shall elect a moderator for a 2-year or 3-year term in accordance with the results of such vote.
II. After the 2-year or 3-year term for moderator has been established, at any annual school district meeting held the year before the end of the 2-year or 3-year term, under an article in the warrant placed there by petition, the voters may vote to determine if they are in favor of changing the 2-year or 3-year term for the moderator. If the school district has adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the following question to be printed on said ballot: “Are you in favor of changing the term of the moderator from (here insert term option) years to (here insert term option) year(s), beginning with the term of the moderator who shall be elected at next year’s regular school district meeting?” The question shall be printed in the form prescribed by RSA 656:13. If the school district has not adopted an official ballot, the clerk shall cause the same question to be printed upon special ballots which shall be used to determine the vote of the school district. If a majority of those voting on the question vote in favor of changing the term, at the next annual school district meeting, the voters shall elect the moderator in accordance with the result of such vote.
III. The term of the moderator shall be for one year, 2 years, or 3 years.
IV. The power of choosing one-year, 2-year, or 3-year terms for the moderator shall not extend to any other officers of the school district.

Source. 1999, 75:2, eff. July 27, 1999.

Section 671:12

 671:12 First Meeting. – The organizational meeting of a cooperative school district shall be conducted in accordance with RSA 195:18, IX.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1996, 158:17, eff. July 1, 1996.

Section 671:13

 671:13 Area School Planning Committee. – Any school district which votes at any annual or special meeting to create and to elect an area school planning committee under RSA 195-A:3 shall, at the same meeting, elect the members of said committee.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:14

 671:14 Qualifications. – Any person domiciled in the school district who is qualified to vote as provided in RSA 654:1 through 654:6 and who is on the school district checklist shall be entitled to vote at any school district election.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1997, 176:4. 2010, 317:68, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 671:15

 671:15 Checklist. – An updated checklist shall be used at all school district elections and meetings for the same purposes as checklists are used by towns as provided in RSA 669:5. The supervisors of the town checklist, acting as supervisors of the school district checklist, shall correct, certify, and post the checklist for the district as provided in RSA 654:25-654:31.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1981, 571:4. 2003, 27:6, eff. July 1, 2003. 2017, 64:1, eff. Aug. 1, 2017.

Section 671:16

 671:16 Checklists in Other Districts. – [Repealed 2017, 64:2, I, eff. Aug. 1, 2017.]

Section 671:17

 671:17 Special Provisions for Cooperative School Districts. –
I. At the organizational meeting of the cooperative school district, the checklists for each pre-existing district shall be used in accordance with RSA 195:19-c. The school board of any pre-existing district which does not have a checklist shall make a list of the legal voters in the district for use at such meeting as supervisors are required to do in towns as provided in RSA 654:25-654:31. Thereafter, the cooperative school board shall make, correct and post a list of the legal voters of the cooperative school district acting as supervisors are required to do; except that such list shall indicate with respect to each voter the pre-existing district in which the voter is domiciled. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, whenever each of the pre-existing school districts is coextensive with the town in which it is located, the cooperative school district may, at an annual cooperative school district meeting, under an article in the warrant for such meeting, vote that the supervisors of each town, acting as the supervisors of the cooperative school district, shall make, correct and post in each pre-existing district a checklist of the voters in each pre-existing district and shall certify to the same acting as supervisors of the cooperative school district and shall attend the cooperative school district meeting. At each cooperative school district election, the checklists prepared by the supervisors in each pre-existing district in accordance with this section shall be used.
II. An updated checklist shall be used at all cooperative school district elections and meetings for the same purposes as checklists are used by towns as provided in RSA 669:5.
III. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any registered voter on a town or city checklist, domiciled within a cooperative school district, shall be eligible to vote at any cooperative school district election or meeting in the district where the voter is domiciled. The supervisors of the checklists for the various cities and towns within a cooperative school district shall make an appropriate notation on their respective checklists with respect to which school district a registered voter is entitled to vote in.
IV. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any cooperative school district, which uses the checklists of the cities and towns within the district for an election or meeting pursuant to paragraph III, shall not be required to maintain a separate school district checklist or conduct sessions of the supervisors of the checklist.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1981, 571:5. 1991, 220:1. 1996, 158:18. 1997, 176:5, eff. Aug. 11, 1997.

Nominations

Section 671:18

 671:18 Qualifications. – To become a candidate for any school district office, a person must be a registered voter in the district. No person holding the office of member of the school board shall at the same time hold the office of district moderator, treasurer, or auditor. No person employed on a salaried basis by a school administrative unit or by any school district within a school administrative unit shall be a school board member in any district of the school administrative unit. Salaried positions shall include, but are not limited to, the following: teacher, custodian, administrator, secretary, school bus driver (if paid by the district), school lunch worker and teacher’s aide.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:19

 671:19 Filing. – All the provisions of RSA 669:19-669:22 relative to filing for office and withdrawal of candidacy for a non-partisan town election shall apply to school district elections except that in those statutes where there is a reference to a town or a town clerk, it shall be read to refer to a school district or a school district clerk.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Preparation of Ballots

Section 671:20

 671:20 By School District Clerk. – The school district clerk shall prepare ballots for school district elections in the same manner as town clerks for non-partisan town elections, as provided in RSA 669:23 and 669:24, except that the ballot shall be of a different color than any other ballot used at the election.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Absentee Voting

Section 671:21

 671:21 Absentee Voting. –
I. A school district shall provide for absentee voting in the same manner as towns as provided in RSA 669:26-669:29 except that all duties performed therein by the town clerk shall be performed by the school district clerk.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, if any school district votes to elect its district officers by separate ballot at the town election as provided in RSA 671:22, II, then for either the town election or the school district election an application for an absentee ballot shall be sufficient in order to receive an absentee ballot for both the town election and the school district election. If a town adopts the provisions of RSA 671:22, II, all forms relative to applications for absentee ballots, all absentee ballots, and all returns of absentee ballots shall be made only available at and only returnable to, as applicable, the office of each town clerk of each town comprising the school district.
III. Each town clerk shall make facilities in the town clerk’s office available for the school district clerk to perform school district functions in connection with absentee voting. It shall be the duty of the school district clerk to post a notice at the school district clerk’s office informing voters that all absentee voting procedures for school district elections shall be handled only through the town clerk’s office.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1983, 102:1. 1997, 176:6, eff. Aug. 11, 1997.

Conduct of Election: Coordination With Town Election

Section 671:22

 671:22 Election at Town Meeting. –
I. As used in this section, the words, “any school district” shall mean (a) a school district which is coextensive with the town in which it is located, or (b) a cooperative school district composed of preexisting districts which were each coextensive with the towns in which they are located, or (c) a cooperative school district which is composed of a preexisting cooperative district as defined in (b) and other school districts as defined in (a).
II. Any school district as defined in paragraph I may at any annual or special meeting under an article in the warrant for such meeting vote to elect its district officers by separate ballot at the town election in such town, and may rescind such action in like manner. Such action shall not take effect until the calendar year next following the year in which such vote is taken. The newly elected officers shall take office at the close of the town meeting at which they are elected; provided, however, that if the annual school district meeting is held subsequent to this town meeting, they shall take office at the close of the annual school district meeting and that the treasurer shall take office at the close of the fiscal year of the school district.
III. Nothing herein shall preclude other appropriate coordination of school district and town elections consistent with all the applicable requirements of law where school district and town meetings are simultaneously in session and school districts have duly voted to adopt as official for school district purposes the town checklist, polling place, and election machinery.
IV. Nothing in the provisions for election of school district officers at town meetings shall be construed as affecting any city charter, nor is a city authorized to adopt the provisions hereof.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:23

 671:23 Warrant. – Where a school district has voted to elect its district officers at the town election, the school board shall post a special warrant for the election of such officers, as provided in RSA 671:27.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:24

 671:24 Checklist. – [Repealed 2017, 64:2, II, eff. Aug. 1, 2017.]

Section 671:25

 671:25 Duties of Clerk of School District. – The clerk of the school district shall prepare the official ballots for the school district as provided in RSA 671:20 and shall deliver the same to the town moderator before the opening of the polls at the town election. The ballots shall be of a color different from that of any other ballot being used at the town election.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1997, 176:7, eff. Aug. 11, 1997.

Section 671:26

 671:26 Counting Ballots. – The town election officials shall act in like capacity for the school district in conducting the school district election. After the close of the polls, the town election officials shall turn all school district ballots over to the moderator of the school district, who shall then proceed to count the ballots publicly with the assistance of such legal voters of the district as the moderator of the school district shall appoint. Provided, however, that, in the case of cooperative school districts, the town election officials, immediately after the close of the polls, shall count the ballots for school district officers and, within 24 hours, forward to the school district clerk a list of the number of votes received by each candidate for school district office. The list shall be signed by the town clerk and witnessed by the town moderator. Upon receipt of the list, the cooperative school district clerk shall record the results from each town and shall, when the results from all towns within the district have been recorded, determine and announce the names of the winning candidates.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1997, 176:8, eff. Aug. 11, 1997.

Section 671:26-a

 671:26-a Coordinating Certain Town and School District Elections. – To facilitate voting for future annual meetings, to reduce costs, and to best accommodate the voters of the town, the legislative body of a town, which has not adopted the official ballot referendum form of meeting, although the school district has adopted the official ballot referendum form of meeting, may authorize coordination of future town elections with the school district elections. The joint elections shall be held at a time and place determined by, and shall be supervised by, the election officials of the town, as provided in RSA 671:26. The town and the school board shall allocate the costs of the joint elections in the same manner as in previous years, or as mutually agreed upon by the governing body of the town and the school board.

Source. 1997, 330:4, eff. June 23, 1997.

Conduct of Election: Elections at School District Meeting

Section 671:27

 671:27 Posting Warrant. – A warrant for the school district election shall be posted by the school board, in the same manner as the selectmen for town elections as provided in RSA 669:2; provided that, in a cooperative school district, a copy of the warrant shall be posted in at least one public place in each preexisting district, as well as at the place of meeting. If a school board shall unreasonably neglect or refuse to warn an election, a justice of superior court, upon petition of 10 or more voters, or 1/10 of the voters of the district, whichever is less, may issue such warrant and cause it to be posted.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:28

 671:28 Inspectors. – The school board of each school district, at some time prior to the school district election each year, may appoint 4 inspectors of election as additional election officers to act with the clerk, moderator and school board. If the number of voters qualified to vote at an election shall exceed 2,000, the school board may appoint for such election 2 additional inspectors for each additional 2,000 qualified voters or fraction thereof. If the number of voters qualified to vote at any school district election shall exceed 4,000, the school board may appoint such additional inspectors as they may deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the election, so long as the total number of election officials shall not exceed 24. The inspectors shall be qualified voters at said election. They shall assist the school district moderator in counting votes for school district officers and questions.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

671:28-a  School Board Member Pro Tem.

If a school board member is absent from or unable to perform his or her duties for all or any part of the day at any school district election, the school board member is authorized to appoint a school board member pro tem to perform his or her duties.  If one or more school board members are absent or unable to perform their duties and have not appointed school board members pro tem, or if a school board member pro tem is absent or unable to perform his or her duties for all or any part of the day, the moderator is authorized to appoint school board members pro tem to perform their duties.

2018, 178:1.

Section 671:29

 671:29 Additional Polling Places for Cooperative School Districts. – The board of a cooperative school district may authorize the establishment of additional polling places within the building wherein the annual meeting is held. Said additional polling places shall be equipped and laid out in the same manner as the central polling place, and shall be supervised by the election officials of the several towns as provided in RSA 671:26.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:30

 671:30 Non-Partisan Ballot System. – Every school district in the state, except one having a special statute relative to election of its district offices, shall use the non-partisan ballot system for the election of district officers, in the same manner as in towns as provided in RSA 669:19-669:25, except that all references to towns or town clerks shall be read to refer to school districts or school district clerks.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Section 671:31

 671:31 Reports by Clerk. – The clerk of every school district, after the annual meeting, shall forthwith report the names and post office addresses of all school district officers to the commissioner of revenue administration and to the commissioner of education. If any school district officer has not been chosen or appointed at that time, the school district clerk shall promptly make like reports when such officer is chosen or appointed so that the commissioner of revenue administration and the commissioner of education shall at all times be informed of the names and mailing addresses of all school district officers.

Source. 1979, 321:1, eff. Aug. 21, 1979.

Post-Election Procedure

Section 671:32

 671:32 Recount; Tie Vote. –
Tie votes and recounts in school district elections shall be handled in the same manner as in town elections as provided in RSA 40:4-c and 40:4-d and in RSA 669:30-669:36, except as specified herein:
I. The school district clerk shall have all the duties and powers of the town clerk;
II. The board of recount shall be composed of the school district clerk, the school district moderator, and the members of the school board. The school district moderator shall be the chairperson of the board of recount; and
III. The fee for the recount shall be paid to the school district clerk for conducting the recount.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1999, 5:1. 2002, 95:1. 2015, 159:2, eff. Aug. 25, 2015.

Section 671:33

 671:33 Vacancies. –
I. Vacancies among members of cooperative or area school planning committees shall be filled by the moderator for the unexpired term.
II. (a) The school board shall fill vacancies occurring on the school board, except as provided in subparagraph (b), and in all other district offices for which no other method of filling a vacancy is provided. Appointees of the school board shall serve until the next district election when the voters of the district shall elect a replacement for the unexpired term. In the case of a vacancy of the entire membership of the school board, or if the remaining members are unable, by majority vote, to agree upon an appointment, the selectmen of the town or towns involved shall appoint members by majority vote in convention.
(b) In a cooperative school district, the remaining school board members representing the same town or towns as the departed member shall fill a vacancy on the school board, provided that there are at least 2 such members. If there are less than 2 remaining members on the cooperative school board representing the same town or towns as the departed member, or if the remaining members are unable, by majority vote, to agree upon an appointment, the selectmen of the town or towns involved shall fill the vacancy by majority vote in convention. If the selectmen are unable to fill the vacancy then the cooperative school district moderator shall make the appointment. A member appointed to fill a vacancy under this subparagraph shall serve until the next district election when the voters of the district shall elect a replacement for the unexpired term.
III. Vacancies in the office of moderator shall be filled by vote at a school meeting or election, provided that, until a replacement is chosen, the school district clerk shall serve as moderator or shall appoint a moderator pro tempore.
IV. In a cooperative school district, the remaining budget committee members representing the same town or towns as the departed member shall fill a vacancy on the budget committee, provided that there are at least 2 such members. If there are less than 2 remaining members on the budget committee representing the same town or towns as the departed member, or if the remaining members are unable, by majority vote, to agree upon an appointment, the selectmen of the town or towns involved shall fill the vacancy by majority vote in convention. If the selectmen are unable to fill the vacancy then the cooperative school district moderator shall make the appointment. If the vacancy is for the cooperative school board representative to the cooperative school district budget committee, such vacancy shall be filled by the cooperative school board. A member appointed to fill a vacancy under this subparagraph shall serve until the next district election when the voters of the district shall elect a replacement for the unexpired term.

Source. 1979, 321:1. 1997, 176:9. 2005, 49:1. 2012, 239:1. 2013, 114:1, eff. Aug. 24, 2013. 2017, 3:2, eff. May 30, 2017.