Voting Laws

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Special elections always present a challenge for campaigns — and even more so in the summer, when vacations and other activities can easily take precedence over politics in the minds of most voters. With this in mind, those involved in the upcoming District 16 State Senate race are pushing absentee voting as a way to remind voters to participate.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

A Republican-backed bill to add tougher scrutiny on voters who don’t have the right kind of paperwork to prove they live in the state sailed through the House of Representatives Thursday and is headed to Gov. Chris Sununu for a signature. 

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been a busy session for anyone with an interest in New Hampshire elections, with dozens of bills filed to tinker with different parts of the state’s voting systems. 

Most of the proposals filed this session didn’t make it out of committee or have otherwise lost steam, for now at least. But on Thursday, three significant pieces of voting legislation will be up for a final vote in the House.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers are set to vote Thursday on a Republican-sponsored bill that would stiffen residency requirements for voters who register in the month before an election. Under the bill, those voters would be required to provide additional documentation to show where they live and that they intend to stay in the state.

Republican Barbara Griffin is chair of the House Election Law Committee, which is recommending the bill’s passage. Speaking to NHPR’s Morning Edition, Griffin says the bill ensures the integrity of the voting process.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he has heard almost nothing from the White House in the two weeks since he agreed to join President Donald Trump's election integrity commission.

Gardner told the Concord Monitor he got a call May 10 letting him know that the commission's creation was going public but he doesn't know when it will start meeting, how much time it will take or what his role includes.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The House Election Law committee voted along party lines Tuesday to recommend an updated version of voting bill SB3, a Republican-sponsored bill to add tougher enforcement for voters registering within 30 days of an election.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the New Hampshire branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is taking issue with a state law that allows election officials to toss voters’ absentee ballots without notifying those voters or giving them a chance to appeal the decision.

Last fall, University of New Hampshire student Rachel Berg was one of the more than 3,000 people in Durham who registered to vote on Election Day. And she came prepared.

“I had to bring a few forms of ID, I don’t remember exactly what,” Berg recalled while sitting in a corner of the UNH student center last week. “License, I think. School ID. And maybe my passport, just to be safe.”

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Members of the House Election Law Committee heard hours of testimony Tuesday on a voting bill that would impose new residency requirements on people registering to vote within 30 days of an election — with impassioned testimony from those on both sides of the debate.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

After clearing the Senate along party lines, a Republican-sponsored bill to add new requirements for voters registering within 30 days of an election is up for a public hearing in the House Tuesday morning.

New Hampshire House lawmakers are set to consider a Republican bill that would add new requirements for proving voter eligibility.

The measure, SB 3, cleared the state Senate last week along party lines.

The bill would require those registering close to an election to provide additional documentation, tightening the definition of domicile for voting purposes.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Republican bill adding new requirements for proving voter eligibility has cleared the state Senate along party lines. The measure would require create more stringent verification requirements for people registering to vote close to an election.

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.

UNH

  As lawmakers in Concord debate changes to the state’s election laws, college students in New Hampshire are raising concerns about how they might be affected.

Of the nearly 6,000 new voters who registered in November using an out-of-state ID, many were concentrated in New Hampshire’s college towns.

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.

Elaine Grant / NHPR

Republican lawmakers have proposed dozens of individual bills to tighten up New Hampshire election laws this year, but one new proposal coming forward this week would on its own enact a number of changes in what’s required for voters to register and how officials are expected to verify those credentials.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Members of the public can weigh in this week on a bill encompassing several election law changes.

Republican Sen. Regina Birdsell is the prime sponsor of legislation that's up for a hearing Tuesday in Concord.

NHPR Staff

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says she's disappointed that Gov. Chris Sununu hasn't been more forceful in rebutting voter fraud allegations in New Hampshire.

President Donald Trump says he lost New Hampshire in November because thousands of people came by bus to vote against him. Shaheen, a Democrat, says Trump is making that up. On Wednesday, she told reporters that it's disappointing that Sununu — a Republican who was elected in November — hasn't been stronger about pushing back.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

While President Trump and some of his allies perpetuated 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

  Party leaders on both sides of the aisle are defending New Hampshire's electoral system in the wake of another unsubstantiated claim by President Donald Trump that there's massive voter fraud happening in the state.

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.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It’s tradition in New Hampshire for the new Governor to meet and greet his constituents following the inauguration. The reception line lets voters come face to face, if only for a moment, with the state’s next chief executive.

Most New Hampshire residents will never meet their governor. But on Inauguration Day, after the swearing in and the speech, the pomp and ceremony, the newly minted governor grants an audience to anyone willing to wait in line.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

From changes in voting registration to changes to party primaries or the Electoral College, New Hampshire lawmakers are preparing a slew of bills aimed at reforming the state’s elections.

In all, at least 40 bills aimed at tinkering with the state’s election laws are in the works for 2017.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

It’s not unusual for local officials across New Hampshire to be asked to turn over emails or other records under the state’s right-to-know law. In Manchester, City Clerk Matt Normand estimates his office receives about 100 such requests each year.

It is unusual, however, for a city to be on the receiving end of a public records request from the state itself.

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