Voting Laws

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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.

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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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A pair of lawsuits challenging the state's new voter registration law, Senate Bill 3, have been consolidated into one case.

The next major step is a structuring conference scheduled for Oct. 30. There, parties involved will sort out what the timeline and discovery process for the rest of the case might look like.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The Secretary of State’s office had to backtrack this week on its instructions about how to handle voters flagged through the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck System. It initially suggested local checklist supervisors could remove people from local rolls without notifying them first.

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

Sep 15, 2017

It's not primary season, but voting issues are top of mind in New Hampshire lately with the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity meeting in Manchester this week.  The voting law known as SB3 faces  its first test in a special election in Belknap County.  And Claremont grapples with race-based tension after a report of an alleged lynching attack on an eight-year-old biracial boy.  

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The Trump administration’s election commission met in New Hampshire on Tuesday, putting a national spotlight on the state’s election processes. Also in the spotlight was the man who’s been in charge of New Hampshire elections for the last four decades.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It's not primary season, but voting is top of mind in New Hampshire these days.

With the passage of the controversial new voting law SB 3 and its first test in the courts and at the polls earlier this week, Granite State voters are split on whether or not the law is necessary, or simply a tactic to suppress students (and others) from casting ballots.

As that story continues to develop, Secretary of State Bill Gardner's participation on President Trump's election commission continues to generate controversy. That group met in New Hampshire this week amid protest from activists and pushback over new, unfounded claims of voter fraud in the state during the 2016 election.

Casey McDermott for NHPR

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity met at Saint Anselm College in Manchester today. This marked the group's second meeting and comes amid criticism over the actual intent of the commission established by President Trump through executive order according to the order.

The commission was never meant to find evidence of voter fraud, but to find anything that enhances or undermines "confidence in the integrity of the voting process."

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

It’s not exactly election season, but there’s been a lot of talk in New Hampshire lately about the voting process.

President Trump's commission on voter integrity met at Saint Anselm College in Manchester on Tuesday, just as a controversial New Hampshire election law got its first test in a special election in the Lakes Region.

The Trump administration’s commission on voting issues is meeting today at St. Anselm College in Manchester. The meeting comes amid a debate over the purpose of this commission.

Republican State Representative Fred Doucette of Salem, co-chair of President Donald Trump's campaign in New Hampshire, is in attendance. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The White House’s Election Integrity Commission met in Manchester Tuesday to discuss voter fraud in New Hampshire.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen released a statement last week condemning President Trump's voting commission and talk of widespread voter fraud in last November’s elections.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge is allowing a controversial new voting to law to go into effect, but is blocking the state from enforcing its penalties. (Read the full decision below.)

Judge Charles Temple issued his decision early Tuesday morning, just as voters are heading to the polls for a special election in Laconia.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party and League of Women Voters, were seeking an immediate injunction to block implementation.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

After three hours of arguments inside a Hillsborough County courtroom in Nashua on Monday afternoon, the fate of the state's controversial new voting law is still up in the air heading into a Laconia legislative special election on Tuesday.

Allegra Boverman/NHPR

Senate Bill 3, the controversial new bill that changes some of the requirements for newly registered voters, gets its first test Tuesday in a special election in Laconia and Belmont. Gov. Chris Sununu says it will protect the integrity of New Hampshire elections.  State Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley says it’s voter suppression.

Here are some basic questions on the new law that is being challenged in court.

What is it?

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

It didn’t take long for Senate Bill 3, the controversial new voting law passed earlier this year, to face legal challenges from opponents who claim it will disenfranchise potential voters. One of the first hearings on the issue will go before a judge in Nashua Monday afternoon.

NHPR Staff

The next statewide elections are more than a year away, but, already, the battle over how New Hampshire voters cast their ballots is well underway.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan called on Secretary of State Bill Gardner to resign from President Trump’s voting commission, after the chair of that same commission wrote a Breitbart column casting doubt on the outcome of last November’s election results in New Hampshire.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A federal oversight agency’s review of how New Hampshire is spending $18 million in federal election money finds that the state, for the most part, follows the rules. But the back-and-forth within the audit illuminates a larger and long-running tension between the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office and the federal elections officials.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan says the office is reevaluating its guidance to cities and towns after “handwritten confidential, non-public information” was found in the public voter checklists of more than 40 New Hampshire communities.

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(This story has been updated with new information.)

The Secretary of State’s office is holding off on sending voter information to the Trump commission, after discovering that some public checklists included confidential information, including details about domestic violence victims that were not supposed to be made public.

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