HB506 (2009) Detail

Authorizing absentee voting by election officers.


HB 506 – AS INTRODUCED

2009 SESSION

09-0718

03/10

HOUSE BILL 506

AN ACT authorizing absentee voting by election officers.

SPONSORS: Rep. Nord, Rock 1; Rep. Mann, Rock 1

COMMITTEE: Election Law

ANALYSIS

This bill authorizes absentee voting by election officers.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

09-0718

03/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine

AN ACT authorizing absentee voting by election officers.

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

1 Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability Absentee Voting. Amend RSA 657:1 to read as follows:

657:1 Absence, Religious Observance, and Disability Absentee Voting. Any person who is absent on the day of any state election from 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 or her 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. A person who is serving as an election officer on election day or a person who is unable to appear at any time during polling hours at his or her polling place because an employment obligation requires the person to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close shall be considered absent for purposes of this chapter.

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

I. Absence (Excluding Absence Due to Residence Outside the Continental United States), Religious Observance, and Disability:

New Hampshire law requires that you vote in person at the polling place for your town or ward unless you:

a. Plan to be absent on the day of the election from the city, town, or unincorporated place in which you are registered to vote.

b. Cannot appear in public on election day because of observance of a religious commitment.

c. Are unable to vote in person due to a disability.

d. Cannot appear at any time during polling hours at your polling place because an employment obligation requires you to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close.

e. Are serving as an election officer on election day.

RSA 657:1. Any person who votes or attempts to vote using an absentee ballot who is not entitled to vote by absentee ballot shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. RSA 657:24.

I am requesting an absentee ballot for the following election:

___ State Primary. I am member of the:

___ Republican Party

___ Democratic Party

or I am now declaring my affiliation with that party and am requesting a ballot for that party's primary.

___ General Election

Applicant's Name __________________________________

(Last) (First) (Middle) (DOB)

Applicant's Voting Domicile (home address):

___________________________________________________

(Street) (City/Town) (zip)

Mail the ballot to me at this address: _____________________________

______________________________

______________________________

I hereby declare that:

___ I am a duly qualified voter who is currently registered to vote in this town/ward.

___ I am absent from the town/city where I am domiciled and will be until after the next election, or I am unable to register in person due to a disability, and request that the forms necessary for absentee voter registration be sent to me with the absentee ballot.

I will be entitled to vote by absentee ballot at the election designated above because:

___ I plan to be absent on the day of the election from the city, town, or unincorporated place where I am domiciled.

___ I am requesting a ballot for the presidential primary election and I may be absent on the day of the election from the city, town, or unincorporated place where I am domiciled, but the date of the election has not been announced. I understand that I may only make such a request 14 days after the filing period for candidates has closed, and that if I will not be absent on the date of the election I am not eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

___ I cannot appear in public on election day because of observance of a religious commitment.

___ I am unable to vote in person due to a disability.

___ I cannot appear at any time during polling hours at my polling place because an employment obligation requires me to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close.

___ I will be serving as an election officer on election day.

This application form must be signed by the applicant. The absentee ballot forms you receive will require you to sign an affidavit confirming that you are entitled to vote by absentee ballot due to one of the reasons stated above. The moderator is required to compare the signature on the affidavit to your signature on this form. The absentee ballot will not be counted if the affidavit and this form do not appear to have been signed by the same person. RSA 659:50.

____________________

Signature of the Applicant

3 Absentee Voter Affidavit; Absence from City or Town. Amend RSA 657:7, II(a) to read as follows:

(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 unable to appear at any time during polling hours at my polling place because I will be working on election day or will be otherwise absent on election day from said city or town and will be unable to vote in person or that I will be serving as an election officer on election day; 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.

4 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 to vote in person may vote at a town election in accordance with the provisions of this section and RSA 669:27-669:29. A person who is serving as an election officer on election day or a person who is unable to appear at any time during polling hours at his or her polling place because an employment obligation requires the person to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close shall be considered absent for purposes of this section and RSA 669:27-669:29.

5 Absentee Voter Affidavit. 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 unable to appear at any time during polling hours at my polling place because I will be working on election day or will be otherwise absent on election day from said town (city, village district, school district) and will be unable to vote in person or that I will be serving as an election officer on election day; 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.

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

Links

HB506 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB506 Revision: 13451 Date: Jan. 22, 2009, midnight

Docket