HB1165 (2006) Detail

Relative to absentee voting.


HB 1165 – AS INTRODUCED

2006 SESSION

06-2162

03/01

HOUSE BILL 1165

AN ACT relative to absentee voting.

SPONSORS: Rep. Hall, Hills 5

COMMITTEE: Election Law

ANALYSIS

This bill permits any person who does not intend to vote at the polling place to vote by absentee ballot.

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

06-2162

03/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Six

AN ACT relative to absentee voting.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Preparation of Voting Materials; Absentee Voters. Amend RSA 656:33 through RSA 656:37 to read as follows:

656:33 Official [Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability] Absentee Ballots. Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare, in such quantity as the secretary of state may deem necessary, [absence, religious observance, and disability] official absentee ballots in the same form as nearly as practicable as the official ballot to be used at said election. Said absentee ballots shall have the words “absentee ballot” printed on them and shall be similarly endorsed and printed on paper of the same color as that used for official ballots.

656:34 Official Overseas Citizens Federal Election Absentee Ballot. Prior to any federal election, the secretary of state shall prepare, in such quantity as the secretary of state may deem necessary, overseas citizens federal election absentee ballots as nearly as practicable in the same form as the official ballot to be used at said election. Said ballots shall have the words “official overseas citizens federal election absentee ballot” printed on them and shall be similarly endorsed and printed on paper of the same color as that used for official [absence and disability] absentee ballots. Such ballots shall provide for voting absentee only for candidates seeking election to federal offices and for no other candidates.

656:35 Armed Services Absentee Ballot. Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare, in such quantity as the secretary of state may deem necessary, armed services absentee ballots in the same form as the [absence and disability] official absentee ballot to be used at said election.

656:36 Questions on the Ballot. Whenever a question to voters is printed on an official state election ballot, the secretary of state shall ensure that said question is also printed on the [absence and disability] official absentee ballot and on the armed services absentee ballot, except as otherwise provided.

656:37 Constitutional Amendments. Whenever a question to voters related to a proposed constitutional amendment is printed on a special and separate ballot as provided in RSA 663:3, the question shall also be printed on a separate absentee ballot of the same color as the ballot used for constitutional questions by in-person voters, shall be included with each [absence and disability] official or armed services absentee ballot and shall have printed on it the words “absentee ballot.”

2 Absentee Voting; Eligibility. Amend RSA 657:1 to read as follows:

657:1 [Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability] General Absentee Voting. Any person who [is absent] does not intend to vote in person on the day of any state election [from] at the polling place in the city, town, or unincorporated place in which he or she is registered to vote [or who cannot appear in public on any election day because of his observance of a religious commitment or who is unable to vote there in person by reason of physical disability] may vote at such elections as provided in this chapter.

3 Absentee Voting; Application; Forms. Amend RSA 657:4, I-II to read as follows:

I. For the state primary election: [Absence (Excluding Absence Due to Residence Outside the Continental United States), Religious Observance, and Disability:]

To the city or town clerk of __________

I, __________, hereby apply for an official absentee ballot for the __________ party at the state primary election. I am a duly qualified voter, am registered as a member of the __________ party, (or I am now applying for a __________ ballot), and am entitled to vote in ward __________, city or town of __________. Mail absentee ballot to __________.

____________________

Signature

____________________

Street and Number

____________________

City or Town, State and Country

II. For the state general election: [Absence (Excluding Absence Due to Residence Outside the Continental United States), Religious Observance, and Disability:]

To the city or town clerk of __________

I, __________, hereby apply for an official absentee ballot. I am a duly qualified voter and entitled to vote in ward __________, city or town of __________.

Mail absentee ballot to __________.

____________________

Signature

____________________

Street and Number

____________________

City or Town, State and Country

4 Absentee Ballots and Related Materials; Official Absentee Voting. Amend RSA 657:7 to read as follows:

657:7 [Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability] Official Absentee Voting. Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare the following forms in such quantity as he or she deems necessary:

I. [Absence, religious observance, and disability] Official absentee ballots as provided in RSA 656:33.

II. Affidavit envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots on which shall be printed the following:

[(a) Absence from City or Town.] A person voting by absentee ballot [because of absence from the city or town in which he or she is entitled to vote] shall fill out and sign the following certificate:

I do hereby certify under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below that I am a voter in the city or town of ____________, New Hampshire, in ward __________; [that I will be absent on election day from said city or town and will be unable to vote in person;] that I have carefully read (or had read to me because I am blind) the instructions forwarded to me with the ballot herein enclosed, and that I personally marked the ballot within and sealed it in this envelope (or had assistance in marking the ballot and sealing it in this envelope because I am blind).

(Signature) ____________________

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

[(b) Absence Because of Religious Observance or Physical Disability. A person voting by absentee ballot because of religious observance or physical disability shall fill out and sign the following certificate:

I do hereby certify under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below that I am a voter in the city or town of ____________, New Hampshire, in ward ____________; that I will be observing a religious commitment which prevents me from voting in person or that on account of physical disability I am unable to vote in person; that I have carefully read (or had read to me because I am blind) the instructions forwarded to me with the ballot herein enclosed, and that I personally marked the ballot within and sealed it in this envelope (or had assistance in marking the ballot and sealing it in this envelope because I am blind).

(Signature) ____________________

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.]

III. Return envelopes of size sufficient to contain the preceding envelope addressed to the town and city clerks of the state in which absentee voters shall return their ballots. On the envelopes shall be printed “Enclosed is the ballot of an absentee voter” and, at the top thereof, 4 blank spaces with the words “Name, Voting Address, Ward, Town or City” appropriately printed thereon.

IV. Such explanatory matter and instructions for voters as the secretary of state with the approval of the attorney general shall deem appropriate to carry into effect the purposes hereof.

V. Mailing envelopes large enough to contain all the above materials in which the town and city clerks shall mail or deliver them to absentee voters.

5 Procedure for Official Absentee and Overseas Voting. Amend the subdivision heading preceding RSA 657:12 to read as follows:

Procedure for [Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability]

Official Absentee and Overseas Voting

6 Town Elections; Absentee Voting. Amend RSA 669:26 to read as follows:

669:26 Absentee Voting. Every town which has adopted an official ballot system for town elections as provided in RSA 669:12 or 669:13 shall provide for absentee voting. Any [registered voter or] armed services voter who is absent from such a town on the day of a town election, or [who cannot appear in public on election day because of his observance of a religious commitment, or who, by reason of physical disability, is unable] any registered voter who does not intend to vote in person may vote at a town election in accordance with the provisions of this section and RSA 669:27-29.

7 Town Elections; Forms; Absentee Voting. Amend RSA 669:27, III to read as follows:

III. Envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots specified in paragraph I, on which shall be printed the following affidavit:

[Absence.] A person voting by absentee ballot [because of absence from the place in which he or she is entitled to vote] shall fill out and sign the following certificate:

I do hereby certify, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am a voter in the town (city, village district, school district) of __________, New Hampshire[, that I will be absent on election day from said town (city, village district, school district) and will be unable to vote in person]; that I have carefully read the instructions forwarded to me with the ballot herein enclosed, and that I personally marked the within ballot and enclosed and sealed it in this envelope.

(Signature) ____________________

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

[Absence Because of Religious Observance or Physical Disability. A person voting by absentee ballot because of religious observance or physical disability shall fill out and sign the following certificate:

I do hereby certify, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am a voter in the town (city, village district, school district) of __________, New Hampshire, that I will be observing a religious commitment which prevents me from voting in person, or that on account of physical disability I am unable to vote in person; that I have carefully read the instructions forwarded to me with the ballot herein enclosed, and that I personally marked the within ballot and sealed it in this envelope.

(Signature) ____________________

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.]

8 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Links

HB1165 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB1165 Revision: 9444 Date: Jan. 21, 2010, midnight

Docket