Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Concerned over election fraud, the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office wants to keep on the books a state law that bans posting ballot photos to social media.

The Caledonian Record reports the office has taken its case to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

A federal judge ruled Aug. 13 that the law passed last year prohibiting residents from photographing their marked ballots and sharing them violated free speech and isn't necessary to stop election fraud, which is what proponents of the law— including the Secretary of State's office —had argued.

U.S. National Archives / Flickr/CC

This month, there’s been a lot of attention to the rules and regulations around casting a ballot, with last week’s fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and a federal appeals court rejecting a Texas voter I.D. law.  We’re discussing how and why most states have tightened up their voting requirements, including New Hampshire.

Public Domain

In 1870, Marilla Ricker, an attorney from Dover, attempted to cast a ballot in an election, but she was turned away. She tried again every year for the next five decades and was either refused or had her ballot destroyed. Ricker died in 1920, shortly after women won the right to vote. 

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A coalition of civil rights groups, local election authorities and lawmakers are urging Gov. Maggie Hassan to veto a bill requiring people to live in New Hampshire for 30 days before they can register to vote.

The New Hampshire House passed the measure last week and the Senate already adopted a similar law. The Secretary of State's Office also supports the waiting period as a way to prevent "drive-by" voting by people who live out of state.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR


The New Hampshire House is backing a bill that would require a person to live in the state for 30 days before they can vote.

Supporters of such legislation say they want to crack down on "drive by" voting to ensure people voting in New Hampshire elections actually live here. But critics say the state shouldn't restrict who can and can't vote. Students or others who move to the state less than 30 days before an election shouldn't be barred from voting, they say.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

A lawyer for the state of New Hampshire says the language of a voter registration law that lower courts have declared confusing and unconstitutional is legally accurate.

In arguments to the NH Supreme Court Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Stephen LaBonte says the 2012 law amending voter registration forms simply clarifies that those who reside here must abide by laws requiring them to obtain drivers' licenses and register their vehicles if they are residents.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is asking the state Supreme Court to weigh in on a bill requiring people registering to vote — including out-of-state students or military personnel — to also register their cars and obtain drivers' licenses in New Hampshire.

The request for an advisory opinion was made in writing Wednesday and made public by the court Thursday.

A New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union lawyer says including the drivers' license requirement in establishing a voter's eligibility amounts to a poll tax that forces people to pay the state to vote.

From Pope Francis and President Obama to the kid down the block, we have, for better or worse, become a world full of selfie-takers.

But as ubiquitous as they are, there are some places where selfies remain controversial — like the voting booth. The legal battle rages over so-called ballot selfies in the state that holds the first presidential primary.

This may be a fight of the digital age, but according to New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, it involves a very old American ideal — the sanctity of the secret ballot.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

House lawmakers are considering a measure that aims to create guidelines for election officials to judge a voters domicile. And the secretary of state’s office supports the bill.

The fight over what should constitute domicile for voting purposes has been going on for years in New Hampshire, and it’s often focused status of college students.

Anyone who’s been paying attention the last few months knows who and what will be appearing on the ballot in a few weeks. (And if you haven’t been paying attention, get off the sidelines already!) 

But how that information gets on the ballots is a process we don’t think much about.

In the run up to the 2004 election, NHPR's Lisa Peakes visited Captial Offset Printing, the company that had printed ballots for the state for decades.

Here's her story from the NHPR archives:

Wendy Longo photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Behind the numbers are the experiences of America's poor, which, more often than not, go unheard. This divide is the problem that N.H. writer and activist Dan Weeks addressed in the project he undertook last year, to travel around some of the poorest areas of the country by bus and see poverty close up, as well as the ways that it intertwines with a lack of political voice. Today we'll talk with him about the series of articles he wrote for The Atlantic on his trip and what he saw.


With all the talk around a Voter ID law, which would tighten requirements for voting, others are looking to loosen the reigns. They are hoping to pass a bill in which New Hampshire would join 35 other states in  allowing for absentee balloting. Supporters say that it would address the concerns of those who find themselves too busy to vote on Election Day or may not have transportation to get to the polls. Opponents however suggest that expanding voting could possibly lead to more voter fraud. We'll look at the possibilities.


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New Hampshire lawmakers have been looking at whether to make changes to the state’s voter identification law. Critics say provisions of the law, set to take effect this fall, would cost the state money and cause delays at the polls.

Long Lines At Polls Not Because Of Voter ID Law

Nov 7, 2012
Manchester Polls
Susan Posner / NHPR

New Hampshire Elections officials say they heard a fair number of complaints about long lines at the polls.  But as they say something other than the new voter ID law is to blame.

Talk of long lines at the polls was common on Election Day.  And for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne, it even affected how Election Night played out. As supporters saw more and more returns favoring Democrat Maggie Hassan, a spokeswoman addressed the crowd.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

Polling stations in Nashua opened at 6 AM this morning. And many stood patiently long before the sun appeared.

With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, at least 150 voters wrapped around the Amherst Street School building before dawn.

Arthur Barrett is the town’s moderator.

He says by around 10 AM, almost 1500 had already cast their ballots.

He compares this turnout to that of 2008:

Chris Jensen for NHPR

In the towns of Dalton and Whitefield in Coos County voting was heavy Tuesday morning.

Dalton Town Moderator Ann Craxton seemed quite pleased with the way things were going.

“The turnout for us has been very heavy. We have 540 registered voters. We have more than 50 that voting absentee and here by 10 o’clock in the morning we’ve already had 80 come through the polls.

Beyond that Craxton says the voters are an eager and happy bunch.

betsythedevine via Flickr Creative Commons

Unprecedented spending by Super PACs has voters feeling deluged by 2012 campaign ads.