Lawmakers Aim To Spell Out Absentee Voting Rights For People In Jail In N.H. | New Hampshire Public Radio

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

Dec 27, 2019

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

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.