Voting Laws

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Governor Sununu signed a controversial voter residency bill into law Friday. Before that, dozens of protestors visited his office to ask him to veto the measure.

House Bill 1264 adds more restrictions to voting requirements and cleared the legislature earlier this year.

Opponents say the measure's stricter residency provisions -- like having a driver's license or car registration -- would make it more difficult for college students to vote.

 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has signed a bill that eliminates the distinction between "residency" and "domicile" for voting purposes. The move comes a day after the state Supreme Sourt issued a split opinion finding the bill constitutional.

The governor said he sought the court's opinion on the bill to "put the issue to rest once and for all." 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 1, 2018

Jun 1, 2018

We find out why the A.C.L.U. of N.H. is challenging the voting law, HB1264, that is before the N.H. Supreme Court. After exhaustive investigations, New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission determines no voter took place in recent elections and has an explanation for claims of "busloads" of out-of-state voters.  A border patrol roadblock on I-93 over Memorial Day weekend nets seventeen immigration violations and the A.C.L.U. has questions.  And keep your free-range chicken in your own yard or face a fine.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A pair of nearly identical bills to restrict residency requirements for voting coasted through the Republican-controlled Legislature this session.  But now, both are running into roadblocks near the finish line.

House Bill 372 and House Bill 1264 both aim to impose stricter residency standards for voting in New Hampshire by changing the state’s definition of who counts as a “resident.” 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu wants the New Hampshire Supreme Court to review whether proposed voting residency bills are constitutional.

But Representative David Bates, a Republican from Windham who sponsored one of the bills, contends the court is unlikely to intervene. He says the court declined last session to review a different voting bill, citing pending litigation.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 11, 2018

May 10, 2018

The state's new Child Advocate launches an investigation into the Sununu Youth Center following allegations of a pattern of illegal use of restraints on juveniles there.  For the third time this year, the New Hampshire House of Representatives votes against a bill to create education savings accounts. Voting laws and Medicaid expansion are on the governor's desk to be signed into law.  And it's that time of year - bears are out, looking for easy pickings at your bird-feeder...even in Manchester.

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Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018

Statehouse lawmakers make decisions on a number of contentious issues, including Medicaid Expansion, education freedom accounts, voting eligibility, transgender rights, and marriage age.  The House-passed version of an animal cruelty bill conflicts with the Senate version - compromise is necessary, but is it likely?  And two more candidates enter the crowded race for Congress in the first congressional district.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

One of two bills seeking to tighten New Hampshire’s residency standards for voting eligibility passed the State Senate on Wednesday after an hour-long debate during which Democrats accused Republicans of voter suppression and Republicans accused Democrats of promoting false narratives about what the legislation would actually do.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 27, 2018

Apr 27, 2018

The New Hampshire legislature approves a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, sending the measure to the governor despite his vow to veto it.  A bill re-defining “domicile” for voting purposes is headed for an up or down vote in the Senate.  Debates on Family Medical Leave and school choice may be over...for now.  And four state employees unions may finally have a contract. 

All these stories and more on the Weekly NH News Roundup.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 13, 2018

Apr 13, 2018

We look at the impact Paul Ryan's retirement may have, if any, on congressional races in New Hampshire. Former Democratic State Senator Molly Kelly decides to run for governor.  Debates over voting laws and victims' rights draw crowds at the statehouse.

Courtesy Photo via Cole Riel

A proposal to change New Hampshire’s residency laws as a way to tighten voting eligibility drew hours of testimony, most of it in opposition, before the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee on Thursday.

Nearly three months after President Donald Trump disbanded his controversial voter fraud commission, the public can get a peek at the voter data New Hampshire was prepared to turn over.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 30, 2018

Mar 29, 2018

There's been lots of talk about voter fraud in New Hampshire elections - we take a look at the reality found in the data behind the rhetoric.  Massachusetts drops the Northern Pass bid in favor of a Maine transmission line for a major energy project.  We get reaction from local veterans organizations on the firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. And, hope springs eternal as the the Red Sox open the 2018 baseball season.

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.

Vox Efx / Flickr Creative Commons

The ACLU of New Hampshire is asking a federal judge to declare a state law unconstitutional. The state's signature-matching law allows absentee ballots to be rejected if officials believe the signatures on the ballot and envelope don't match.

The ACLU says the law permits hundreds of ballots to be thrown out, even though they are valid.

NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with Gilles Bissonnette, the legal director of ACLU New Hampshire.


xandert / Morguefile

At least two Rindge residents have lodged complaints with the state over how their town handled absentee voting ahead of Tuesday’s elections – raising concerns that the process was used to give an unfair advantage to certain candidates.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire won’t be offering online voter registration anytime soon. The House of Representatives killed a bill that would have required the Secretary of State to work with the Division of Motor Vehicles to set up such a system.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

A state superior court judge heard arguments in a case challenging the controversial Senate Bill 3 voting law on Tuesday.

 

The bill requires proof-of-residency documents for voters registering within 30 days of an election. It’s been challenged by the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire for adding what it says are ‘confusing’ and ‘intimidating hurdles’ to voting.

 

White House Livestream

Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he was "surprised" and disappointed to find out that the presidential advisory commission he was tapped to serve on last May had been abruptly dissolved. While the announcement was made Wednesday night, Gardner said he didn’t learn of the news until Thursday morning.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 5, 2018

Jan 4, 2018

The term "bombogenesis" becomes familiar to N.H. residents as they dig out from the first major nor'easter of 2018.  The N.H. Senate approves a bill that would tighten voter eligibility requirements, and the House takes on state-funded scholarships for private school education.


Logan Shannon / NHPR

A bill that redefines the state’s residency standards passed the Senate with Republican support —  despite opposition from Gov. Chris Sununu — and is heading back to the House for further review.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When the New Hampshire Senate returns to the State House Wednesday, it’s expected to take up a Republican bill held over from last session that could tighten voter eligibility requirements by changing the definition of residency.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Questions about who should be allowed to vote in New Hampshire - and how - are likely to be front and center again at the State House this year.

One bill would bring ranked-choice voting to New Hampshire — where people would rank candidates in order of preference, instead of voting for just one at a time.

Another Republican bill would mandate that poll workers provide information on New Hampshire drivers license laws to anyone registering with an out-of-state license.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 22, 2017

Dec 22, 2017

It's our look back at the top news stories and topics of 2017.  From S.B.3 to the Trump Voter Commission, we review the debate over access to voting and concerns about voter fraud in the past year.  We take a look at the physician-led rebellion revealing allegations of poor management at the Manchester V.A. hospital.   And we revisit the election of Joyce Craig as the first female mayor of New Hampshire's largest city, Manchester. 

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Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 15, 2017

Dec 15, 2017

Governor Chris Sununu appears to oppose a GOP-backed bill that would redefine what it means to be a voter in New Hampshire. The ACLU says U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints on I-93 that led to drug charges for 18 American citizens this summer violated the state’s constitution.  And  Wolfeboro's Great Dane breeder is found guilty of animal cruelty.

Watch the show:

A Republican-backed bill tightening definitions for voting eligibility in New Hampshire could run up against resistance from Gov. Chris Sununu, if he maintains the position articulated in a video clip that’s being circulated by a progressive group that advocates for voting rights.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

The Trump administration’s election commission has gone largely silent since its September meeting in Manchester. But one of its members, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, says even he is having trouble finding out basic information about the commission’s work — and he’s now filing a lawsuit seeking more transparency.

If you’re looking for the latest information on how to vote in the local elections happening across New Hampshire today, you’d probably turn to the state elections website for the most reliable information.

But as voters across New Hampshire headed to the polls Tuesday, the state’s website included several broken links and blank pages where details on voter registration were supposed to be.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

As voters head to the polls in municipal elections across the state Tuesday, a lawsuit is still pending against a new voting law known as Senate Bill 3.

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