HB 227 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 227
This bill eliminates the requirement that an undeclared voter register as a member of a party in order to vote in a primary election.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five
AN ACT relative to undeclared voters at primary elections.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Change of Registration; Undeclared Voter. Amend RSA 654:34, II-III to read as follows:
II. Change of registration of a voter who has been registered as an undeclared voter and voting by an undeclared voter.
(a) Any legal voter who has been registered as an undeclared voter may register as a member of the party of the voter's choice by appearing before the supervisors of the checklist for the voter's town or ward any time they meet, except as prohibited by paragraph IV, and stating to them, under oath or affirmation, if required, that the voter intends to affiliate with and generally supports the candidates of the party with which the voter offers to register, in which case the voter shall be registered as a member of such party.
(b) A voter may also register as a member of a party at any primary by requesting to be registered as a member and voting the ballot of the party of the voter's choice. [
A voter may also register once again as an undeclared voter after voting in a primary as a registered member of a party by returning the card provided for in paragraph V to the person at the polls designated by the town or city clerk to accept the card. All such cards shall be in the possession of the supervisors of the checklist at the close of the polls on election day.] A voter registered as an undeclared voter may also vote at a primary by requesting to vote the ballot of a party and stating that he or she does not wish to register as a member of the party.
III. Notwithstanding any provision of paragraphs I and II to the contrary, no person who has voted in a primary may thereafter on the day of said primary change the person's party registration[
, unless, prior to voting in the primary, the person was registered as an undeclared voter, in which case the person may once again register as an undeclared voter, as provided in subparagraph II(b)].
2 Absentee Voting in Primary Elections. Amend RSA 657:13 to read as follows:
657:13 Provisions for State or Presidential Primary Elections. Upon receipt of a properly executed application for an official absentee ballot, whether the form supplied by the secretary of state or a written statement containing the information required by the appropriate paragraph of RSA 657:4, a town or city clerk shall forthwith ascertain if the person is on the checklist of the town or city and is properly registered as to party designation. If such person is found to be on the checklist and to be properly registered or if such person is found to be on the checklist but is not registered as a member of any party, but the information supplied states he or she is applying for a ballot of a political party, [
the person shall be registered as a member of said party; and, in either case,] the clerk shall send the materials provided for in RSA 657:15. If the person is not on the checklist or is registered as a member of a party different from the one whose ballot he or she is applying for, the clerk shall refuse to certify as provided in RSA 657:16. An application may be transmitted by facsimile to a town or city clerk.
3 Repeal. RSA 654:34, V, relative to undeclared primary voter change of registration card, is repealed.
4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.