HB217 (2017) Detail

Relative to placing names on the ballot.










AN ACT relative to placing names on the ballot.


SPONSORS: Rep. Cahill, Rock. 17; Rep. Bartlett, Merr. 19; Rep. Roberts, Hills. 4; Rep. Theberge, Coos 3; Rep. Josephson, Graf. 11


COMMITTEE: Election Law






This bill prohibits a candidate from receiving the nomination of more than one party.  This bill also repeals the provision permitting parties to fill vacancies existing on the party ticket following the state primary 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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen


AN ACT relative to placing names on the ballot.


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


1  Electronic Ballot Counting Devices.  Amend RSA 656:42, VIII(e)(4) to read as follows:

(4)  The town or city clerk shall mark the test ballots in such a way as to demonstrate a vote for each candidate on at least one test ballot, as well as votes for less than and more than the number of candidates that may be voted for an office, write-ins, [multiple votes for a candidate who appears in more than one party column for the same office on a general election ballot,] and ballots on which there are no votes.  The clerk shall mark as many as possible of the combinations of choices that a voter may indicate on the ballot.

2  Incompatible Offices; Vacancy.  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 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 first Tuesday following the date of the primary.]

3  Candidate of One Party.  Amend RSA 659:91-a to read as follows:

659:91-a  Candidate of One Party.

I.  Any person who runs as a candidate on any party's state primary election ballot [and who is not chosen as the candidate for that party for the elective office for which the person was a candidate] shall not under any circumstances run as the nominee of a different party in the state general election.  No person may accept the nomination of more than one party for any office.

II.  [Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 655:37,] If any candidate is disqualified from accepting the nomination of another party by means of write-in votes because the candidate is disqualified under the provisions of paragraph I, then the nomination shall be given to the candidate who received the highest number of write-in votes and who was not disqualified under the provisions of paragraph I, so long as he or she receives 10 write-in votes, or write-in votes equaling 10 percent or more of the total votes cast for that party on the state primary election ballot, whichever is the smaller.

4  Vacancies Among Party Officers.  Amend RSA 661:9, II(c) to read as follows:

(c)  The provisions of RSA 655:32 [and RSA 655:37] relating to nominations by appropriate party committees for vacancies in an office on a primary [or general] election ballot[, respectively,] shall apply to vacancies to be filled under this paragraph.

5  Ballot Law Commission.  Amend RSA 665:6, II to read as follows:

II.  When nomination papers as provided in RSA 655:40-43 or the filling of vacancies in nominations occurring after the primary as provided in RSA [655:37-39] 655:38-39 are in apparent conformity with law, they shall be valid unless written objection to their conformity with the law shall be filed with the secretary of state within the time limit provided in RSA 655:44 in the case of nominations by nomination papers or within 3 days of the date on which the appointment to fill a vacancy is filed with the secretary of state in the case of filling vacancies in nominations.  If written objections are filed, the secretary of state shall forthwith notify the ballot law commission of the filing.  The ballot law commission shall then meet as provided in RSA 665:5 in order to hear and decide all the objections.  The decision of the ballot law commission in such case shall be final as to questions both of law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review such decision.

6  Repeal.  RSA 655:37, relative to vacancy for office on party ticket, is repealed.

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


HB217 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 18, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 7, 2017 House Exec Session
Feb. 15, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB217 Revision: 968 Date: Jan. 30, 2017, 12:02 p.m.


Date Status
Jan. 4, 2017 Introduced 01/04/2017 and referred to Election Law HJ 2 P. 20
Jan. 18, 2017 Public Hearing: 01/18/2017 11:30 AM LOB 308
Feb. 7, 2017 Executive Session: 02/07/2017 01:00 PM LOB 308
Feb. 15, 2017 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 02/15/2017 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 11 P. 8
Feb. 15, 2017 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/15/2017 HJ 7 P. 9