Election Law Improvements for the 2021 Session

by | Nov 23, 2021 | Legislation, Special Alerts

Election Law Improvements in process in the NH Legislature.
GST on Aug. 23, 2021 proposed a list of Election Law Reforms for 2021 – 2022.

In working with House Election Law Committee members, GST has focused on a shorter list.
Following are the points we’re working like to get into bills to revise current laws:

1. Require New Hampshire ID or proof of having established domicile in New Hampshire to register.
HB1264 established that voters have to be a resident and a domiciliary of New Hampshire.
SB3 (since struck down) was intended to require proof of New Hampshire status in order to register to vote.
With SB3 struck down, no proof is required, an affidavit will suffice, and people can vote without proof.
In effect, our “Same Day Registration” is actually “Same Day Voting without completing registration.”
Registration should require the same types of ID as in SB3, or the proof required for a NH Driver license.
This issue will need to be included in the legislation to replace SB3.

2. Proof of residency/domicile required by close of polls on election day (not after) to vote.
Massachusetts requires that voters provide such proof before the polls close, or they can’t vote.
People without proof can vote a provisional ballot that is not voted if they don’t return with proof.
The pertinent fact is that their vote isn’t counted without providing the required proof of residence.
This issue will need to be included in the legislation to replace SB3 or put into HB535.

3. Require New Hampshire ID (matching the address on the check list) to obtain a ballot.
Those with non NH ID must do new registration.
RSA 659:13 Obtaining a Ballot, requires that voters with out of state license be given a ballot.
GST has marked up RSA 659:13 to correct this problem and sent it to certain Committee members.

4. End identity and residency/domicile affidavits.
HB535 repeals the qualified voter affidavit and sworn statements on election day registration forms.
HB535 has been referred to interim study in Committee 17/3 vote 11/17/21.

Posted by GST Chairman Ray Chadwick

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