Election Law | New Hampshire Public Radio

Election Law

Three New Hampshire voters and a coalition of groups who advocate for people with disabilities are suing the state over its COVID-19 absentee registration and voting procedure. They allege that the state is denying voters with disabilities the equal opportunity to cast a private, independent absentee ballot without extra assistance.

NHPR Staff

The state Senate voted through two high-profile election law bills Monday: a proposal that makes it easier to vote absentee during the coronavirus pandemic, and a bill that creates an independent redistricting commission.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 12, 2020

Jun 11, 2020

We look at how protests of racial injustice and debates over transparency on police procedures are playing out in New Hampshire. For the second time in history, the New Hampshire House meets somewhere other than the State House. The Executive Council nixes Governor Sununu's nomination for the state Board of Education. And the Secretary of State's Select Committee on 2020 Emergency Election Support outlines recommendations for voting this year.

Zoom Screenshot

In New Hampshire, elections are largely an in-person event, but it's hard to socially distance at a polling place. And many poll workers and voters are trying to figure out how to conduct elections safely during the COVID-19 crisis. 

This story originally published when the state issued its first memo on COVID-19 election rules, on April 10. It was updated April 17 with additional information state election officials provided on the state's absentee voter registration process.

While many New Hampshire towns still count votes by hand, most of the state’s ballots are tallied by machines. A plan to check that those machines are counting votes correctly was the subject of debate before the House Election Law Committee Tuesday.

NHPR

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from the couple charged with the voting violations.)

A couple who split their time between New Hampshire and Massachusetts pled guilty on Monday to charges that they voted in both states during the November 2016 election, but they told NHPR they only did so to avoid prolonging an already onerous court battle with the state. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire is heading into a busy election season, with municipal contests in November, and the first-in-the-nation presidential primary not far behind. This is the first election season since a new law went into effect that redefined the state’s residency standards.

Supporters have said that the law would bring clarity to New Hampshire’s voting rules, but it’s facing a court challenge from the ACLU and the New Hampshire Democratic Party, who say it will discourage otherwise qualified people from voting.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill that would have expanded absentee voting in New Hampshire.

State law now only allows people to vote by absentee ballot in limited circumstances, such as a work or caregiving obligation, or if a voter will be out of town on election day.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: August 2, 2019

Aug 2, 2019

Voting issues are back in the news with Governor Sununu vetoing two Democratic-backed election law bills. Meanwhile a federal judge gives the go-ahead for two Dartmouth College students to sue the state over increased regulations for student voters. 

The recent heat wave with high humidity and temperatures in the 90s may be  the weather of the future for New Hampshire.  And a bobcat burger burglar is nabbed at a Seacoast drive-through restaurant. 

Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed his 39th and 40th bills of the year. These bills aim to undo recent election law changes backed by the GOP.

Related: Click here for our veto tracker, which is detailing bills vetoed by Governor Chris Sununu

One bill, HB 105, aims to repeal the law known as Senate Bill 3.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A bill that would essentially repeal a controversial, Republican-backed election law passed the New Hampshire Senate on Thursday.

 

The bill, which has already passed the New Hampshire House, would roll back a two-year old law that requires new voters to show documentation they live in the state.

 

The law, known as SB 3, passed in 2017 and has since been the subject of lawsuits by Democrats and others who said it created unnecessary hurdles for new voters.

 

Sara Plourde; NHPR

Every ten years, states redefine the boundaries that determine congressional and legislative seats, as well as local offices.  This year, a bill in New Hampshire aims to reduce gerrymandering, the practice of configuring lines to gain partisan advantage.  We look at this proposal, and our current political maps, and conversations around gerrymandering nationally.

josh rogers /nhpr

 

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner is taking aim at two bills backed by Democrats to rollback laws passed by Republicans in recent years.

One would eliminate new steps in the voter registration process.

Another bill aims to make it easier for transient populations, like college students and members of the military, to vote here without running afoul of other state laws.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Officials with the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles and the statewide organization representing town clerks are among those raising concerns about a new proposal that would allow people to start the voter registration process at the DMV.

Annie Ropeik photos

New Hampshire Public Radio covered hundreds of stories in 2018. Some features captured how Granite Staters live and work. The opioid addiction crisis continued to make headlines - and claim lives. And political currents ran strong.

A Florida man is facing charges that he voted illegally in Hooksett during the 2016 general election.

The voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3 will stay in place through the upcoming midterms, after the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Friday overruled a lower court's order that would have put the law on hold.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A hearing to sort out voter registration rules for the upcoming midterms is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester.

xandert / Morguefile

Several “inadvertent data entry mistakes” by the Secretary of State's office are to blame for the 146 incorrect absentee ballots that were sent to voters in five New Hampshire towns, according to a review by the Attorney General’s office.

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

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 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.

NHPR Staff

Top state officials will give an overview of recent efforts to investigate potential voter fraud and other election violations at a meeting of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission in Concord.

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.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

In one of its strongest public statements on the issue yet, the Secretary of State’s office said it doesn’t believe people who are merely domiciled in New Hampshire should be allowed to participate in its elections and the state should establish a single residency standard for voting eligibility.

Allegra Boverman

A massive winter storm is moving along the eastern seaboard on Thursday.

 Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Gov. Chris Sununu about how New Hampshire is preparing for the storm and how to access assistance in a case of an emergency.


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