HB 1227 – FINAL VERSION
HOUSE BILL 1227
This bill clarifies when a person elected to town office may take the oath and assume the office, based on whether the office was contested and whether a recount or appeal occurs.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 Eight
AN ACT clarifying when persons elected may assume certain offices.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
280:1 Swearing in of Town Officers. RSA 42:3 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
42:3 Swearing in of Officers. Any person elected to an office where no other person was a candidate on the ballot for that office and no write-in candidate received 5 percent or more of the votes cast for that office, may be sworn in after the results are declared from the election and the annual business meeting has ended or at any time thereafter provided the oath is taken by the deadline established by RSA 42:6. If no recount of the office is requested, any person elected to an office that was contested or for which a write-in candidate received 5 percent or more of the votes cast may be sworn in upon the expiration of the period for requesting a recount provided in RSA 669:30.
280:2 Town Elections; Recounts; Declaration of Results. RSA 669:34 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
669:34 Declaration of Results.
I. Upon completion of the recount, the board of recount shall publicly declare the results and certify such declaration to the town clerk.
II. The town clerk shall record the certificate received under paragraph I; and the person so declared to have been elected shall, unless the result is changed upon appeal to the superior court, be the duly elected officer of such town.
III. A person declared elected at the election whose election is affirmed by the recount may take the oath of office and assume office at any time following declaration of the results of the recount, provided the oath is taken by the deadline established by RSA 42:6.
IV. When a different person is declared elected following the recount, if no appeal is taken that person may take the oath of office and assume office on the sixth day following the date of the recount, provided that the oath is taken by the deadline established by RSA 42:6.
V. If a different person is declared elected following the recount, and an appeal is taken, that person may not assume office until the superior court has issued a final ruling on the appeal. The person holding the office prior to the election shall continue to hold the office until a successor is declared elected by the superior court and the person declared elected by the court takes the oath of office.
VI. When an appeal involves a multi-seat office, every declared candidate for that office and any write-in candidate who received 5 percent or more of the votes cast shall be entitled to notice of the appeal and may choose to become a party to the appeal. When ruling on an appeal involving an election where voters elected more than one person to a multi-seat office, the court may remove from office any person who was declared elected at the election and at the recount who has already taken the oath of office and assumed office if the court determines that it is more likely than not that a different person was elected to that seat. The validity of any actions taken by a person who assumes office pursuant to this section and is later removed as a result of an appeal may not be challenged on the basis that the person was subsequently removed as a result of the appeal.
280:3 Appeal from Recount. Amend RSA 669:35 to read as follows:
669:35 Appeal from Recount. Any person aggrieved by a ruling of the board of recount with respect to any ballot may, within 5 days thereafter, appeal to the superior court for the county in which such town is located; and such court shall have jurisdiction in equity to hear and determine the question presented. The person shall also file a copy of the appeal with the town clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day following the date of the recount.
280:4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
Approved: June 27, 2008
Effective Date: August 26, 2008