voting

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

There’s plenty of debate in New Hampshire right now around the question of who should be allowed to vote here. A big part of that lies in figuring out when — and why — a person calls New Hampshire their home. Answering that question, however, isn’t always straightforward.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would hire a full-time attorney to enforce state election laws  unanimously cleared the Senate Thursday. 

Currently the state has one half-time employee charged with investigating potential voter fraud.

Senator Bette Lasky, who sponsored the bill, says this workload is “virtually impossible” for one person to do part-time.

The state senate voted Thursday against a bill that would have allowed people to register online to vote. 

A Senate committee had already voted against the bill- which only seemed to strengthen the conviction of Senator Lou D’Allesandro as he argued for using federal funds to establish an online voter registration system.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he would not support legislation if he believed it would hurt voter turnout. And as he sees it, a new bill that would impose new requirements on voters who register within 30 days of an election does not run the risk of doing that.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

While President Trump and some of his allies perpetuate the (unverified and unsubstantiated) idea that out-of-state voters are being sent across the border en masse to throw New Hampshire elections, we were wondering: What can we actually know about the people who are showing up to register for the first time on Election Day?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

While Representative Norman Silber, a first-term Republican from Gilford, initially hoped to get rid of same-day voter registration, he now says it seems like more trouble than it’s worth at this time.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

At first glance, one of the voting bills introduced by Representative David Bates this week would seem to be just a minor change, removing just four words from an existing statute.

The Windham Republican wants to strike part of the state law defining what it means to be a resident or inhabitant, or what it means to claim residency — specifically, the part that extends that definition to include people who intend to remain in New Hampshire "for the indefinite future." Those definitions, in turn, are used to help decide who’s eligible to vote in New Hampshire.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s shaping up to be a busy week for anyone following potential changes to the state’s election laws. At least 17 such bills are on deck for public hearings before House and Senate committees — a majority of which seek to restrict existing rules around voting.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Lawmakers heard input Tuesday on a bill that, if left unchanged, could drastically expand the power of the Secretary of State’s office.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

When New Hampshire voters walk into the polls Tuesday, they’ll be greeted by a process that has remained largely unchanged for decades: paper ballots, filled out by hand, with voter rolls monitored by pencil-wielding clerks. And the way the state’s top election official sees it, there’s little reason to mess with a good thing.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

    

After suggesting that Democrats were abusing the state’s same-day voter registration rules by “busing” in out-of-state voters, Chris Sununu clarified that he does not believe voters are being literally bused across the New Hampshire border en masse to participate in the elections — but he does favor stronger residency requirements to prevent potential abuses at the polls.

Miichael Brindley

There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of the ground game is in this presidential election. But who are the people knocking on doors trying to get out the vote?

After we heard from GOP canvassers last week, NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spent a recent morning in Goffstown with a volunteer going door to door, trying to get out the vote for Democrats.

Sean Hurley

We recently aired a story about a farm stand in Ashland with a unique amenity – an outhouse that owner Chris Owens had converted into a makeshift voting booth. While the latest polls show an ever tightening Presidential race, NHPR’s Sean Hurley says the results from the outhouse indicate a clear victory for one candidate. 

Chris Owens sits beside an outdoor woodstove at the back of his farm stand.  At his feet, his cat, Sid Vicious and on his lap - a box full of ballots, freshly collected from…his outhouse.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Updated 08/26/2016:

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office issued a statement outlining their position on the legality of guns in schools when used as polling places.

Reporter Jason Moon joined All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the statement.

The statement from the Attorney General's Office in full:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers weighed in Wednesday morning on a number of bills addressing New Hampshire’s election laws. This issue has gained momentum after videos last month claimed to show voter fraud in February's Presidential Primary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner took some criticism in the Senate Thursday over his role in overseeing local elections.

Speaking in favor of a bill that aims to help cities and towns better manage local elections, Sen. David Pierce criticized Gardner - repeatedly.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission is preparing to decide whether Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are eligible for the state's presidential primary ballot.

The group meets Tuesday to take up complaints against the candidates.

The challenge against Cruz, a Texas senator, alleges he's ineligible to run for president because he was born in Canada. Cruz's mother was born in Delaware, giving him U.S. citizenship upon birth.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A Manchester man has turned himself in to police after a warrant was issued accusing him of giving false addresses and voting in two other towns on Election Day in November 2014. The attorney general's office says Derek Castonguay registered to vote in Salem last year while living in Manchester.

xandert / Morguefile

 

A federal judge has upheld a New Hampshire law the Libertarian Party argued could prevent its candidates from getting on the ballot.

Libertarians sued Secretary of State William Gardner last year, challenging new limits on how long parties have to collect signatures to petition their way onto the ballot. State law requires a third party to collect signatures equal to 3 percent of the total votes cast during the prior election. Under the change, parties can't begin gathering signatures until Jan. 1 of the election year.

Vox Efx / Flickr Creative Commons

 

A Concord non-profit is calling for greater voter participation and civic engagement in New Hampshire as it releases a study showing poor performance in both areas.

The group, Open Democracy, is holding a press conference Thursday morning at the Legislative Office Building to discuss the findings of a 9-month research project. The project measured areas such as voter registration and turnout, volunteerism, political donations, lobbying, diversity of representation and the competitiveness of New Hampshire elections.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a 2012 voter registration law, saying language that links voting to getting a driver's license is unconstitutional and could discourage some people from voting.

The court, in a unanimous decision Friday, said because the language is confusing and inaccurate, and because it could cause an otherwise qualified voter not to register to vote in New Hampshire, it imposes an "unreasonable" burden upon the right to vote.

Kyle Flannery/USFWS / Flickr/CC

A bill proposed by fourth graders from Hampton falls was harshly debated and defeated in the legislature last month, leading to some late-night satire but also a conversation about the best way to get students involved in the democratic process. We’ll look at that and also examine bills this year addressing voter requirements.

GUESTS, VOTER REQUIREMENTS:

New Hampshire residents have one more day to register to vote in the September primary elections.

Tuesday is both the last day for new voter registration and the last day those already registered can change their party affiliations. Undeclared voters may vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries.

The primaries will be held Sept. 9. Candidates can start signing up to get on the ballot Wednesday. The filing period ends June 13.

cleOpatra via Flickr CC

Gov. Deval Patrick is preparing to sign a bill that would allow early voting up to 11 days before Election Day, making Massachusetts the 33rd state to allow early voting.

The bill would also allow online voter registration and let 16- and 17-year-olds pre-register to vote.

A final compromise version of the bill has been approved by the Massachusetts House and Senate and shipped to Patrick for his signature.

We look at what our nation’s most important document, the Constitution, says and doesn’t say about elections. There’s some debate over who should write the rules, the federal or state governments, also who exactly can cast a ballot and if voting is a right or a privilege.  We’ll talk with those involved in new civics program called “Constitutionally speaking”. 

Guests

TBA

League of Women Voters of California via Flickr Creative Commons

Next week, voters will take to the polls to elect the next president of the United States.  Watching the process will be a number of observers from all sides of the political process.

Pres. Clinton Criticizes N.H. Voter ID Law

Oct 3, 2012
PennStateLive / Flickr

Former President Bill Clinton is telling college students in the battleground state of New Hampshire that they have the right to vote either where they attend school or at home.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A Strafford County judge says the Secretary of State must change voter registration forms before November’s election. 

The New Hampshire League of Women Voters and four college students sued the state after it released registration forms that seemed to say voters had to meet residency requirements.  But under state law, people who spend most of their time here for a defined period, like college students and military personnel, can vote without becoming residents.  League Election Law Specialist Joan Flood Ashwell says she’s pleased with the ruling.

The No-Votes

Sep 22, 2012

A new survey shows as many as ninety million Americans are likely to sit out this election.  They cite a number of reasons from “I’m too busy” to “my vote doesn’t matter”.  But in a tight election, these voters could have a profound impact on the outcome.  We’ll look closer at this group, why they feel the way they do, and the implications for our democracy.

Guests

David Paleologos - Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, which conducted the Unlikely/Unregistered Voter Poll with USA Today.

No Settlement Reached In Voter Registration Suit

Sep 21, 2012
Chris Jensen / NHPR

The New Hampshire attorney general's office says the state and two advocacy groups have failed to reach a settlement in a case challenging a new law that blocks out-of-state students from voting unless they establish legal residency in the state.

A superior court judge set a deadline of Friday for the state and the New Hampshire chapters of the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union to reach a compromise.

Assistant Attorney General Richard Head says settling constitutional challenges is no easy task. He says the office will await the court's ruling.

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