voting

Allegra Boverman/for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted to allow people to register to vote when they get or renew a driver’s license.

Allegra Boverman | NHPR

Editor's note: This post was updated on Feb. 27 to reflect newly released election data.

After a messy caucus in Iowa last week, the pressure was on for New Hampshire to avoid making any serious mistakes in Tuesday's presidential primary. And for the most part, it seems like New Hampshire succeeded.

Allegra Boverman | NHPR

Thousands of people went to the polls yesterday to vote in New Hampshire's first in the nation primary.

Charles Cooper wasn't one of them.

In the past few months, many of the candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination  have passed through the studios of New Hampshire Public Radio, on the top floor of an office building in Concord.

On their way to the elevator, they had to pass by the Pillsbury Cafe and Pantry, owned by Cooper and his wife Jill.

Allegra Boverman | NHPR

It wasn’t just the election results in New Hampshire that were under the spotlight on Tuesday - it was also the process itself. That’s in large part because of what happened a little more than a week ago in Iowa, where that state’s Democratic caucus collapsed in spectacular fashion.

By all accounts, New Hampshire’s 6,000 local and state election officials - many of them elected by their own communities - helped pull off a relatively smooth Primary Day.

Sean Hurley

18 year-old Elisabeth Roadcap is a senior at Milford High.  On Tuesday -- New Hampshire Primary Day -- she voted for the first time in a national election. NHPR’s Sean Hurley has followed Elisabeth’s effort to find a favorite candidate - and spoke with her three weeks ago, met with her again four days ago, and was with her today as she cast her very first vote.   

Editor's note: We highly recommend listening to this story

  

A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 41% percent of Americans "do not think the country is prepared to protect the U.S. election system from attack," says NPR's Pam Fessler.  How are federal and local officials working to secure our elections? We discuss with Fessler, and  NHPR's Casey McDermott, who covers election security and voting in N.H.  

Original air date: Monday, February 3, 2020.

Allie Gutierrez for NHPR

New Hampshire Public Radio covered thousands of stories in 2019. Some stories offered closure, while others still await a final chapter.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Two college students who are suing the state over its new voter registration rules took the stand on Thursday as part of an ongoing trial over the future of the law behind them. While both students said they found the law confusing, both acknowledged that it did not prevent them from registering to vote.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

If you're a New Hampshire voter who plans to participate in the 2020 presidential primary, you’ll want to double check your party registration this week. This Friday, Oct. 25, is the last day to make any changes to your party registration before the election. 

State offices that oversee elections and motor vehicle laws have declined to explain what implications, if any, New Hampshire’s new residency standards would have on licensing requirements. That’s despite growing confusion over whether the law could require voters to obtain in-state drivers licenses after casting a ballot.   

While the state has not said definitively that people who vote in New Hampshire would have to get a New Hampshire drivers license under the new law, there are ways to measure how many people could be affected if this turns out to be the case.

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.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A New Hampshire man has been accused of voting in that state and in Massachusetts during the November 2016 general election.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is a step closer to having its legislative districts drawn by an independent commission, rather than by lawmakers.

On Thursday, the state Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would create a 15-member public body to draw legislative maps.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Democrats are looking for help from their party's presidential candidates in overturning a law they claim will make it harder for some college students to vote.

At campaign events across the state, White House hopefuls are being pressed to speak out against the 2018 law. It subjects college students who come from other states to residency requirements such as getting a New Hampshire driver's license if they study and vote in the state.

Senate Takes Up Bill To Expand Absentee Voting in N.H.

Apr 24, 2019
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A measure that would expand the availability of absentee voting hit the state Senate Wednesday.

 

Currently voters who want to cast an absentee ballot have to meet certain criteria, like having a disability or an employment obligation.

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.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Democrats in the New Hampshire Senate have voted through a bill to exempt college students and members of the military from having to register their cars in New Hampshire if they vote here. The bill was one of several party line votes on bills governing elections.

The bill would blunt a key provision in a GOP-backed law enacted last year, which required all people voting in state elections to register their cars here and get New Hampshire drivers licenses.

There are nearly 60 election-related bills in the New Hampshire legislature this session, many of which reflect national conversations around election issues.  The Exchange discussed redistricting and voting technology with Casey McDermott, NHPR's reporter covering politics and policy, and Jessica Huseman, election reporter from Politico.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In the first legislative session after the midterm elections, New Hampshire, like other states, has introduced a number of measures to improve voting security, ballot access, and redistricting. What do voting-related bills in New Hampshire and nationwide say about the biggest concerns surrounding our election system?

Lara Bricker for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers considered a bill in Concord Wednesday that would give municipalities more flexibility in the timing of elections. After two years straight of significant snowstorms on town election day, many moderators throughout the state called for a postponement provision, citing transportation concerns.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  A University of New Hampshire student has pleaded guilty to putting false information on a voter registration form. Spencer McKinnon, 21, was sentenced Feb. 28 based on the Class A misdemeanor charge of wrongful voting.

 

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office says McKinnon has also agreed to cooperate in an investigation into alleged voter coercion.

 

NHPR Staff

A controversial New Hampshire voting law set to take effect in July is now facing a legal challenge from the ACLU.

In a complaint filed Wednesday in federal district court, the ACLU claims the law, House Bill 1264, unconstitutionally limits the student vote. (Read the suit here.)

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

 

New Hampshire voters wouldn't have to pick just one candidate in the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary next year if lawmakers pass a bill to create a ranked-choice voting system.

Maine became the first state to conduct a federal general election using ranked-choice voting in November, and now several other states are considering the same. The system allows voters to rank candidates from first to last on their ballots. If no candidate wins a majority, last-place candidates are eliminated and their votes are reallocated.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Democrats who objected to what they viewed as voter suppression legislation are proposing new bills aimed at expanding voter turnout.

The House Election Law Committee held public hearings Tuesday on two constitutional amendments: One would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they will turn 18 by the date of the general election; the other would make absentee ballots available to all voters, not just those who fit certain circumstances.

It’s the last show of the year and thus a time to look back on where we’ve been and the stories we’ve shared. Word of Mouth producers celebrate the work they loved and the stories that stuck with them from producers and reporters around NHPR.

Favorites Mentioned In This Episode

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Newly empowered Democrats are hoping to reverse two recent changes to New Hampshire's election laws before either fully takes effect.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State attorneys fielded 185 calls to their Election Day hotline this week — ranging from traffic complaints to registration questions to problems with voting equipment — but most complaints were resolved without the need for any formal investigation.

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