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Lawmakers Aim To Spell Out Absentee Voting Rights For People In Jail In N.H.

Emily Corwin

Did you know that people who are incarcerated pre-trial, or serving time for a misdemeanor, have a right to vote by absentee ballot in New Hampshire?

Not many do. But some lawmakers are hoping to change that.

Manchester Representative Andrew Bouldin is the lead sponsor on a bill that aims to more clearly spell out the fact that people in jail have the option of voting by absentee ballot.

Bouldin says he's only proposing a change in the absentee paperwork, not any additional requirements on the part of state elections or corrections officials.

"So my bill just looks to add language and a check box to that form that would indicate that they could request an absentee ballot for that reason, and cast their ballot from jail," he says.

Bouldin hopes outside advocacy organizations can instead help spread the word to people who might benefit from exercising their voting rights while incarcerated.

Casey McDermott is a senior news editor at New Hampshire Public Radio. Throughout her time as an NHPR reporter and editor, she has worked with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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