Bill Gardner

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For the past two weeks, presidential candidates have been handing in the paperwork needed to qualify for the New Hampshire primary ballot. In doing so, they also come face to face with Secretary of State Bill Gardner, whose office oversees the election. He's also the man most responsible for ensuring that New Hampshire has retained its first-in-the-nation status when it comes to the presidential primary calendar.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The presidential candidates who start parading through Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s office this week might do well to pay special attention to the desk that’ll be on display nearby — its original owner is to thank (or blame) for why they’re spending so much time in New Hampshire these days.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

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While the New Hampshire Primary has been humming along at top speed for months, it’s easy to overlook the fact that two basic details have yet to be wrapped up: the actual date of the Primary election, and the official candidate names to appear on the ballot. At least one of those should start looking a bit firmer this week.

File photos

It’s unclear when Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and second-place finisher in the 2004 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, is planning to return to the Granite State. But it's probably safe to assume he won’t be swinging by Bill Gardner’s office anytime soon.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

If recently-declared presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders plans to run in the New Hampshire primary, he’ll have to do so as a registered Democrat.

That’s according to Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who says declaring party affiliation has always been a requirement to get on the ballot for state and federal office.

“They all have a part of the form that the person filling it out must fill in the name of the party the person is a registered member of," he said. "That’s standard here and it has been for some time.”

Gardner Weighs In On Voter ID Law

Oct 4, 2012

New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has weighed in on the state's new voter registration law, saying "it cannot be" that non-residents can somehow claim domicile for voting purposes only.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner chooses expected date, and says NH tradition lives on.

NH law requires its primary be held at least a week before any similar election. When Nevada tried to schedule its caucus in mid-January, NH threatened to hold the primary in December. Under pressure from national republicans and facing a boycott from some candidates, Nevada backed off, giving NH’s secretary of state Bill Gardner the window he sought.

"The tradition of NH presidential primary lives on and it will be held on the second Tuesday, the 10th day of next year 2012.