Revision: May 25, 2012, midnight
SB 236 – VERSION ADOPTED BY BOTH BODIES
SENATE BILL 236
I. Modifies the procedure for nominating a political organization.
II. Changes various dates relating to nomination of candidates, recounts, and hearings by the ballot law commission.
III. Permits a voter who has been registered as an undeclared voter to register as undeclared after voting in a primary by signing an undeclared voter list.
IV. Changes the requirements for the ballots cast form.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 candidates and political organizations, election procedure, and recounts.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Retention Schedule. Amend RSA 33-A:3-a, CXLI(c) to read as follows:
(c)(1) Party change form: until voter is removed from checklist plus 7 years.
(2) List of undeclared voters from the statewide centralized voter registration database: 7 years.
2 Change of Registration. Amend RSA 654:34, II(b) to read as follows:
(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 or signing the list of undeclared voters from the statewide centralized voter registration database provided for in paragraph V. If cards are used, the voter shall return the card to the person at the polls designated by the town or city clerk to accept the card. All such cards and lists shall be in the possession of the supervisors of the checklist at the close of the polls on election day.
3 Change of Registration. Amend RSA 654:34, V to read as follows:
V.(a) At any primary, the supervisors of the checklist shall make available within the polling place a card or list of undeclared voters from the statewide centralized voter registration database to enable a voter who was registered as an undeclared voter but who changed registration on the day of the primary in order to vote as a registered member of a party to change registration so that the voter is registered once again as an undeclared voter. The card or list shall be in substantially the following form:
I hereby request that my political party registration be changed as follows:
From: Democrat [ ] or Republican [ ]
To: Undeclared [ ]
Signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.
(b) The supervisors of the checklist, upon receipt of such a card or list, shall keep it in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a and at [
their next] the public session of supervisors of the checklist on election day shall change the party of the voter as indicated on the card or list.
4 Declaration of Intent; Political Organization. Amend RSA 655:17-c to read as follows:
655:17-c Declaration of Intent; Political Organization.
I. 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.]
II. At the time of filing the declaration of intent, the chairman of the political organization shall submit a list of the offices for which it intends to file candidates and the names of the candidates for those offices. In addition, each candidate shall file a declaration of candidacy. The declaration of candidacy shall be in the form provided by RSA 655:17 with the understanding that, where the form says primary election, it shall be construed to mean general election. If the political organization does not obtain enough nomination papers to have its name placed on the ballot, any declarations of candidacy filed for that political organization shall be void.
5 Vacancy for Office on Party Ticket. Amend RSA 655:37 to read as follows:
655:37 Vacancy for Office on Party Ticket. If, after the holding of a state primary election, a vacancy exists for any office on a party ticket, such vacancy may be filled as provided in this section. The appropriate party committee shall notify the secretary of state in writing of a person they designate to fill the vacancy. The person so designated shall, no later than the first [
Friday] Tuesday following the primary election, file with the secretary of state a declaration of candidacy as provided in RSA 655:17 with the understanding that, where the form says primary election, it shall be construed to mean general election. If the candidate is designated for the office of governor, executive councilor, state senator, or state representative, he or she shall also file, no later than [ 5:00 p.m. on] the first [ Friday] Tuesday following the primary, the appropriate affidavit as provided in RSA 655:29. Any candidate who has not filed all the forms required by this section within the required period of time shall not have his or her name printed on the state general election ballot for that office.
6 General Content of Return. Amend RSA 659:73, VI to read as follows:
VI. The moderator shall record and sign a ballots cast form prepared by the secretary of state within 48 hours of the closing of the polls, or other time ordered by the secretary of state, and shall submit the form to the secretary of state, with a copy to the clerk. The ballots cast form shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) The number of [
voters who voted in person on election day checked off on the checklist as having voted] ballots cast.
(b) The number of absentee [
voters checked off on the checklist as having voted] ballots cast.
7 Write-In Nomination. Amend RSA 659:88, I(b) to read as follows:
(b) A person whose name was not printed anywhere on the official state primary election ballot, and who receives the nomination of a party by write-in vote in a primary election and wishes to accept the nomination, shall file a declaration of candidacy with the secretary of state no later than [
3:00 p.m. on] the first [ Friday] Monday after the primary. The declaration of candidacy shall be filed with the understanding that, where the form says “primary election,” it shall be construed to mean “general election.” Such person shall not, however, be required to pay the administrative assessment under RSA 655:19-c.
8 Rejection of Nomination by Write-In Vote. RSA 659:90 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
659:90 Rejection of Nomination by Write-In Vote. Persons nominated by write-in vote who wish to reject the nomination shall reject their nominations as follows. A person notified in writing of his or her nomination by the secretary of state as required by RSA 659:89 shall advise the secretary of state in writing if he or she wishes to reject the nomination. If such rejection of nomination is not received by the secretary of state by the first Tuesday following the date of the primary, the person shall be deemed to have accepted the nomination, and his or her name shall appear on the official ballot as a candidate for the office. If for any reason the person cannot be contacted by the deadline for the printing of the ballots, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the official state general election ballot.
9 Nomination for Incompatible Offices. Amend RSA 659:91 to read as follows:
659:91 Nominations for Incompatible Offices. Any person who is nominated by the same political party for incompatible offices shall notify the secretary of state in person, in writing, by facsimile transmission, or by e-mailing a signed statement as an attachment no later than [
3:00 p.m. on the Thursday] the Friday following the date of the primary of which nomination he or she will accept. Thereupon the secretary of state shall declare a vacancy to exist in the nomination which such person declined. The vacancy shall be filled as provided in RSA 655:37 except that all the necessary declarations of candidacy and affidavits shall be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on the [ Friday] first Tuesday following the date of the primary.
10 Time and Notice of Recount. Amend RSA 660:4 to read as follows:
660:4 Time and Notice. Upon satisfactory application for a recount as provided in RSA 660:1, the secretary of state shall begin the process of recounting the ballots on a date selected by the secretary of state, which shall be no later than the Wednesday following the deadline for requesting a recount. A recount shall take place at any suitable state facility in the city of Concord as may be designated by the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall give a reasonable notice thereof to the applicant and to each of the opposing candidates. The secretary of state shall also prepare and distribute to the applicant and to each of the opposing candidates the rules and procedures governing the recount at the same time notice of the time and place for holding the recount is given to the applicant and to each opposing candidate.
11 Primary Recount Applications. Amend RSA 660:7, I to read as follows:
I. Any person for whom a vote was cast for any nomination of any party at a state primary may apply for a recount, provided that the difference between the votes cast for the applying candidate and a candidate of that party declared nominated is less than 10 votes or less than 1.5 percent of the total ballots cast in the primary for that party in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted. The application shall be made in writing to the secretary of state and shall be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on the [
day] Friday after the primary election. [ The request may be made by hand delivery, by facsimile transmission, or as an attachment to an e-mail. The fee shall be paid prior to the beginning of the recount. Recounts shall begin 2 days after the primary election and shall be conducted so as to complete all recounts involving towns or wards which have pending requests for absentee ballots for the general election from UOCAVA voters no later than 8:00 a.m. on the Saturday following the primary. Other recounts shall begin during the week following the primary.] Each candidate requesting a recount shall pay the secretary of state fees as provided in RSA 660:2.
12 Ballot Law Commission; Hearing Date. Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 665:5, I to read as follows:
I. If necessary, the ballot law commission shall meet [
at 9:00 a.m. on the Saturday following the regularly-scheduled state primary election and, if necessary, on] on the third Thursday of September in each general election year and the third Friday following the presidential primary election in order to hear and decide:
13 Repeal. RSA 655:40-b, relative to filing names of candidates, is repealed.
14 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.