Voting Laws

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 21, 2018

12 hours ago

We get an update on reform efforts at the Manchester VA. A Hampton couple is charged with a felony for allegedly voting in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in 2016. N.H. Senate Democrats have outlined the agenda they will pursue if they gain a majority in the Statehouse. And a dead whale washes up on on Jenness Beach in Rye, offering a chance to learn about the mammals, but moving it proves a challenge.

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has charged two Hampton residents for allegedly voting in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts during the 2016 general election. But the couple involved say it was all just an "honest mistake" and they were blindsided by a barrage of media calls after the charges were announced. 

Logan Shannon/NHPR

A hearing that could decide the fate of the voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3 began Aug. 27 in Manchester and continued for nearly two full weeks, concluding Sept. 7.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

State officials are not challenging a federal judge's decision to strike down New Hampshire's "signature mismatch" procedures. Instead, they have instructed pollworkers not to compare a voter's handwriting on their absentee ballot with the handwriting used on their absentee ballot application.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

All this week in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, a judge will hear arguments over whether a controversial voting law known as Senate Bill 3 should be allowed to stay in place for this fall’s elections.

Here’s a refresher on what that law does and why this week’s hearing is important.

Allegra Boverman

With less than a month to go until the state primary election on Sept. 11, voters who register from this point forward have to follow a slightly different process than those who registered earlier in the year.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

A federal judge has struck down a New hampshire law that allows pollworkers to toss out absentee ballots if they don’t believe the signature adequately matches the one used on other voting paperwork.

Invitation via Josh Zakim's Facebook Page

 It's not out of the ordinary to see a New Hampshire politician skip across the state's southern border to raise money in Boston. What is unusual — really, unheard of until this year — is to see that from someone running for Secretary of State.

NHPR

A trio of Republican lawmakers who supported the voting law known as Senate Bill 3 will not be forced to testify as part of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality, according to a ruling issued Monday. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A federal judge in Concord heard arguments Monday morning in a lawsuit alleging that the state has unconstitutionally thrown out hundreds of absentee ballots because the voters’ signatures did not appear to sufficiently match the handwriting used on other election paperwork.  

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Governor Sununu signed a controversial voter residency bill into law Friday. Before that, dozens of protestors visited his office to ask him to veto the measure.

House Bill 1264 adds more restrictions to voting requirements and cleared the legislature earlier this year.

Opponents say the measure's stricter residency provisions -- like having a driver's license or car registration -- would make it more difficult for college students to vote.

 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has signed a bill that eliminates the distinction between "residency" and "domicile" for voting purposes. The move comes a day after the state Supreme Sourt issued a split opinion finding the bill constitutional.

The governor said he sought the court's opinion on the bill to "put the issue to rest once and for all." 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A divided New Hampshire Supreme Court says a bill eliminating the distinction between residency and domicile is constitutional.

The governor sought the court's input on House Bill 1264, which aims to require people who vote here -- like college students -- to abide by other residency requirements, like getting a driver's license or registering their cars.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 1, 2018

Jun 1, 2018

We find out why the A.C.L.U. of N.H. is challenging the voting law, HB1264, that is before the N.H. Supreme Court. After exhaustive investigations, New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission determines no voter took place in recent elections and has an explanation for claims of "busloads" of out-of-state voters.  A border patrol roadblock on I-93 over Memorial Day weekend nets seventeen immigration violations and the A.C.L.U. has questions.  And keep your free-range chicken in your own yard or face a fine.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The issue of voter fraud in New Hampshire — or a lack thereof — was front and center at a meeting of New Hampshire’s Ballot Law Commission in Concord. The big takeaway?  Top state officials haven’t found any evidence that it’s running rampant in New Hampshire’s elections.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 18, 2018

May 17, 2018

The governor says it will be hard not to sign a bill that would tighten voter eligibility if the N.H. Supreme Court says it is indeed constitutional.  Lawmakers fail to reach a compromise on animal cruelty legislation.  And police search a wooded area in Manchester in the case of a decades-old missing woman with possible links to the Bear Brook killings.

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A pair of nearly identical bills to restrict residency requirements for voting coasted through the Republican-controlled Legislature this session.  But now, both are running into roadblocks near the finish line.

House Bill 372 and House Bill 1264 both aim to impose stricter residency standards for voting in New Hampshire by changing the state’s definition of who counts as a “resident.” 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu wants the New Hampshire Supreme Court to review whether proposed voting residency bills are constitutional.

But Representative David Bates, a Republican from Windham who sponsored one of the bills, contends the court is unlikely to intervene. He says the court declined last session to review a different voting bill, citing pending litigation.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says the New Hampshire Supreme Court should review two bills that would end New Hampshire's distinction between full-fledged residents and those who claim the state as their domicile for voting.

Current law allows college students and others who consider the state their domicile to vote without being subject to residency requirements, such as getting a New Hampshire driver's license or registering a vehicle.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 11, 2018

May 10, 2018

The state's new Child Advocate launches an investigation into the Sununu Youth Center following allegations of a pattern of illegal use of restraints on juveniles there.  For the third time this year, the New Hampshire House of Representatives votes against a bill to create education savings accounts. Voting laws and Medicaid expansion are on the governor's desk to be signed into law.  And it's that time of year - bears are out, looking for easy pickings at your bird-feeder...even in Manchester.

WATCH THE SHOW:

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018

Statehouse lawmakers make decisions on a number of contentious issues, including Medicaid Expansion, education freedom accounts, voting eligibility, transgender rights, and marriage age.  The House-passed version of an animal cruelty bill conflicts with the Senate version - compromise is necessary, but is it likely?  And two more candidates enter the crowded race for Congress in the first congressional district.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

One of two bills seeking to tighten New Hampshire’s residency standards for voting eligibility passed the State Senate on Wednesday after an hour-long debate during which Democrats accused Republicans of voter suppression and Republicans accused Democrats of promoting false narratives about what the legislation would actually do.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 27, 2018

Apr 27, 2018

The New Hampshire legislature approves a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, sending the measure to the governor despite his vow to veto it.  A bill re-defining “domicile” for voting purposes is headed for an up or down vote in the Senate.  Debates on Family Medical Leave and school choice may be over...for now.  And four state employees unions may finally have a contract. 

All these stories and more on the Weekly NH News Roundup.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 13, 2018

Apr 13, 2018

We look at the impact Paul Ryan's retirement may have, if any, on congressional races in New Hampshire. Former Democratic State Senator Molly Kelly decides to run for governor.  Debates over voting laws and victims' rights draw crowds at the statehouse.

Courtesy Photo via Cole Riel

A proposal to change New Hampshire’s residency laws as a way to tighten voting eligibility drew hours of testimony, most of it in opposition, before the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee on Thursday.

Nearly three months after President Donald Trump disbanded his controversial voter fraud commission, the public can get a peek at the voter data New Hampshire was prepared to turn over.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 30, 2018

Mar 29, 2018

There's been lots of talk about voter fraud in New Hampshire elections - we take a look at the reality found in the data behind the rhetoric.  Massachusetts drops the Northern Pass bid in favor of a Maine transmission line for a major energy project.  We get reaction from local veterans organizations on the firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. And, hope springs eternal as the the Red Sox open the 2018 baseball season.

NHPR File

There’s been a lot of talk in the past year about the need to pass stricter voting laws and clean up New Hampshire’s elections. But there’s been a lot less talk about any specific cases of voter fraud. NHPR’s Casey McDermott wanted to find out more about what the issue actually looks like.

Vox Efx / Flickr Creative Commons

The ACLU of New Hampshire is asking a federal judge to declare a state law unconstitutional. The state's signature-matching law allows absentee ballots to be rejected if officials believe the signatures on the ballot and envelope don't match.

The ACLU says the law permits hundreds of ballots to be thrown out, even though they are valid.

NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with Gilles Bissonnette, the legal director of ACLU New Hampshire.


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