HB 1569-FN – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1569-FN
This bill changes the definition of “party” for election purposes to include a political organization nominated by nomination papers. Voters signing the nomination papers may request that they be reregistered as members of that party. The certification of a party expires at the next general 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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 Twelve
AN ACT relative to nomination of political organizations.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Terms and Definitions; Party. Amend RSA 652:11 to read as follows:
652:11 Party. “Party” shall mean any political organization which:
I. At the preceding state general election received at least 4 percent of the total number of votes cast for any one of the following: the office of governor or the offices of United States senators; or
II. Is certified by the secretary of state pursuant to RSA 655:40-a.
2 New Paragraph; Change of Registration. Amend RSA 654:34 by inserting after paragraph V the following new paragraph:
VI. Upon certification of a political organization as a party by the secretary of state pursuant to RSA 655:40-a, every voter signing a nomination paper submitted for the party who so requests shall be registered as a member of that party, regardless of whether the voter has been previously registered as a member of another party or as an undeclared voter. Such voter shall not disaffiliate with the party between the date of certification and the date of the state primary election. If the party does not receive sufficient votes at the general election to retain its status as a party, voters registered as a member of the party shall then be reregistered as undeclared voters. The secretary of state shall cause all changes of registration required by this paragraph to be entered in the statewide centralized voter registration database.
3 Declaration of Intent. Amend RSA 655:17-c to read as follows:
655:17-c Declaration of Intent; Political Organization. Declarations of intent for political organizations shall be in the following form and signed by the chairman of the political organization:
I, __________________, chairman of the ________________ organization hereby declare that the ______________ organization intends to file nomination papers by the deadline established under RSA 655:43, I. [
I further declare that the __________ organization intends to file the names of candidates for the following offices with the nomination papers.]
4 Nomination Papers. Amend RSA 655:40 to read as follows:
655:40 General Provisions. As an alternative to nomination by party primary, a candidate may have his or her name placed on the ballot for the state general election by submitting the requisite number of nomination papers. Such papers shall contain the name and domicile of the candidate, the office for which the candidate is nominated, and the political organization or principles the candidate represents. Nomination papers shall be signed by such persons only as are registered to vote at the state general election. No voter shall sign more than one nomination paper for each office to be voted for, and no nomination paper shall contain the names of more candidates than there are offices to be filled. Each voter shall sign and date an individual nomination paper. Nomination papers for a candidate shall be dated in the year of the election.
5 Nomination of Organization. Amend RSA 655:40-a to read as follows:
655:40-a Nomination of Organization. A political organization may [
have its name placed on the ballot for the state general election] be certified as a party by submitting the requisite number of nomination papers, in the form prescribed by the secretary of state, pursuant to RSA 655:42, III. Such papers shall contain the name of the political organization and a statement that allows the signer to indicate whether he or she requests that, if the political organization is certified as a party, the signer’s voter registration be changed so that he or she shall then be registered as a member of that party. Nomination papers shall be signed and dated by such persons only as are registered to vote at the state general election. No voter shall sign more than one nomination paper [ which allows] nominating a political organization [ access to the] during any biennial state general election [ ballot] cycle. No nomination paper shall be submitted under this section that was executed more than one year before the submission or that was executed before the organization’s filing of its declaration of intent under RSA 655:43, III. The certification of a political organization as a party shall be effective from the date of the certification through the date of next following state general election.
6 Filing Deadlines. Amend RSA 655:43, I to read as follows:
I. Nomination papers for a candidate shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday one week before the primary. Nomination papers for a political organization shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Friday 5 weeks before the beginning of the candidate filing period. Nomination papers to be filed shall be grouped by municipality. No nomination papers for a candidate shall be accepted by the secretary of state unless the candidate shall have met the age and domicile qualifications for the office he or she seeks at the time of the general election and meets all the other qualifications at the time of filing; and if a candidate for the office of governor, executive councilor, state senator, or state representative, unless the candidate shall file with the nomination papers an affidavit of qualifications as provided in RSA 655:28 and 655:29; and if a candidate for United States senator or United States representative, unless the candidate shall meet the qualifications for office under RSA 655:3 and 655:4.
7 Filing Deadlines. Amend RSA 655:43, III to read as follows:
III. No political organization [
shall have the names of its candidates placed on the ballot] may be certified as a party unless the chairman of the organization [ files] had filed a declaration of intent, as provided in RSA 655:17-c, [ within the filing deadline for candidates established in RSA 655:14-a] prior to the collection of signed and dated nomination papers.
8 Repeal. RSA 655:40-b, relative to filing names of candidates, is repealed.
9 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 1569-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to nomination of political organizations.
The Department of State states this bill would increase state expenditures by $4,133 in FY 2014 and $32,600 in FY 2015, and increase local expenditures by $97,900 in FY 2015. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states there will be an indeterminable impact on local expenditures in FY 2015. There will be no impact on state, county, and local revenues, or county expenses.
The Department of State states this bill would create a new method for political organizations to obtain party status and qualify for a state run primary election. The Department states it is not clear if under this bill nomination petitions would be validated by the local supervisors or the Department of State, but for the purpose of this fiscal note it has assumed it would be a responsibility of the Department. The Department assumes it will review 15,500 petitions in a non-presidential year. The Department states at the rate of 100 petitions per hour at $10 per hour the cost would be $1,550 (15,500 petitions reviewed at a rate of 100 per hour at a cost of $10 per hour). The Department states there is a requirement in this bill to register all voters who signed a nomination petition in the new party, if it qualifies. The Department states this would require entering the registration data in the voter database and would be a one time cost for a new party. The Department estimates this cost to be a total of $2,583 (15,500 voters entered into the database at a rate of 60 per hour at a rate of $10 per hour). The Department states the review process occur in the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which an election would be held and assumes one political organization will achieve party status as described in this bill in 2014 and none in 2016. The Department further states there would be a cost for printing 100 official and 25 absentee ballots for each town for a total cost of $32,600. In total, the Department estimates this bill will increase state expenditures by $4,133 ($1,550 + $2,583) in FY 2014 and $32,600 in FY 2015.
The Department of State further states there would be a cost to municipalities that use optical scan ballot counting machines for programming costs for the machines to accept an additional ballot. The Department estimates this cost to be a total of $97,900 ($550 programming costs X 178 municipalities) in FY 2015. The Department notes the costs estimated in this paragraph apply to a single political organization achieving party status as described in this bill and a second party qualifying would double the costs.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill changes the definition of “party” for election purposes to include a political organization nominated by nomination papers. The Association states there may be programming costs in FY 2015 for municipalities who use optical scan ballot counting machines, but is unable to predict the fiscal impact.