HB 588-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 588-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Testerman, Merr. 2; Rep. Seidel, Hills. 28
COMMITTEE: Election Law
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
III. The secretary of state is authorized to accept, budget, and, subject to the limitations of this paragraph, expend monies in the election fund received from any party for the purposes of conducting elections, voter and election official education, the purchase or lease of equipment that complies with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, [or with RSA 659:13, V,] reimbursing the department of safety for the actual cost of voter identification cards, election law enforcement, and improvements to related information technology, including acquisition and operation of an automated election management system. The secretary of state shall not expend any monies in the election fund unless the balance in the fund following such expenditures shall be at least 12 times the estimated annual cost of maintaining the programs established to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252.
654:31-a Right to Know Exemption. The information contained on the checklist of a town or city, specifically, the name, domicile address, mailing address, town or city, and party affiliation, if any, of registered voters, except as otherwise provided by statute, is public information subject to RSA 91-A. All other information on the voter registration form, absentee registration affidavit, qualified voter and domicile affidavits, [affidavit of religious exemption,] and application for absentee ballot shall be treated as confidential information and the records containing this information shall be exempt from the public disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A, except as provided by statutes other than RSA 91-A. Notwithstanding the foregoing, qualified voter and domicile affidavits are public records subject to RSA 91-A for the sole purpose of challenging an individual registering to vote or voting, challenging ballots to be recounted, to the extent that such ballot challenges are specifically authorized by law, or determining the accuracy of any qualified voter or domicile affidavit. Election officials and law enforcement personnel in furtherance of their official duties may access and may disclose information from the voter registration form, qualified voter and domicile affidavits, [affidavits of religious exemption,] absentee registration affidavits, and applications for absentee ballots, if necessary to resolve a challenge to an individual registering to vote or voting, or if necessary to investigate or prosecute election law violations or any crime. Law enforcement access and use of such records for the investigation or prosecution of crimes unrelated to election law violations shall be limited to the records of the specific individuals who are the subject of the investigation or prosecution.
3 Obtaining a Ballot; Voter Without Identification RSA 659:13, I(c) is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
(c) If the voter does not have a valid photo identification, the ballot clerk shall inform the voter that he or she may vote by provisional ballot in accordance with RSA 659:13-b and present a valid photo identification to the city or town clerk by noon on the Friday following the election.
659:13-b Provisional Ballot.
I. If a voter has not presented a valid voter identification under RSA 659:13 and is otherwise qualified to vote, the voter may cast a provisional ballot. The ballot clerk shall indicate on the checklist that the voter has voted by provisional ballot. The provisional ballot shall be the same as the ballot used at the polling place, but shall be sealed by the voter after he or she has marked the ballot in a provisional ballot envelope. The envelope shall contain an affidavit to be executed by the voter containing the same information as the affidavit of a challenged voter and shall sufficiently identify the voter to allow verification of the ballot once the voter has confirmed his or her identity.
II. The moderator shall retain possession of the provisional ballots in their sealed envelopes until the closing of the polls, at which time the moderator shall cause the provisional ballots to be delivered to the city or town clerk.
III. No later than noon on the Friday following the election, a voter who has cast a provisional ballot may appear in person before the city or town clerk and present a valid photo identification meeting the requirements of RSA 659:13, II. Upon satisfaction of the identity of the voter, the clerk shall mark the checklist and provisional ballot envelope to that effect. At noon on the Friday following the election, the clerk shall forward all provisional ballots for which verification of identity has been provided to the moderator.
IV. The moderator, upon receipt of the verified provisional ballots, shall open the envelopes and count the votes. The moderator shall prepare an amended election return, which shall be prepared and forwarded in the same manner as any other election return. Provisional ballots shall be sealed and preserved in the same manner as other ballots.
(a) When registering to vote; when obtaining an official ballot; when casting a vote by official ballot; or when applying for a photo identification card for voting purposes, purposely or knowingly makes a false material statement regarding his or her qualifications as a voter to an election officer or submits a voter registration form, an election day registration affidavit, a qualified voter affidavit, a domicile affidavit, a challenged voter affidavit, [an affidavit of religious exemption,] an identification card voucher, or an absentee registration affidavit containing false material information regarding his or her qualifications as a voter;
I. RSA 33-A:3-a, CLVI, relative to retaining affidavits of religious exemption.
II. RSA 659:13, III-V, relative to voters without photo identification.
HB 588-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill allows a voter who does not present a valid photo identification to vote by provisional ballot and present a photo identification to the municipal clerk by noon on the Friday following the election. The Department of State indicates that Section 302 of the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) places certain requirements on those states that use provisional balloting. One significant requirement would be the creation of a website that would allow voters to view the status of their provisional ballot. Additionally, the process of receiving and counting provisional ballots would extend the time frame by which election results are known. This may require the hiring of additional part-time election staff to make sure deadlines are met relative to recounts, the preparation of general election ballots, and summoning state legislators to Organization Day. The Department is unable to estimate the costs of these considerations at this time.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states that the bill would require the clerk and moderator to devote additional time to post-election duties. It is possible this would result in a slight increase in municipal expenditures, but the Association states it has no way of estimating the increase. There should be no effect on municipal revenues.
Department of State and New Hampshire Municipal Association
|Feb. 7, 2017||House||Hearing|
|Feb. 7, 2017||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 15, 2017||House||Floor Vote|
Feb. 15, 2017: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/15/2017 HJ 7 P. 10
Feb. 15, 2017: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 02/15/2017 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 11 P. 9
Feb. 7, 2017: Executive Session: 02/07/2017 01:00 PM LOB 308
Feb. 7, 2017: Public Hearing: 02/07/2017 11:00 AM LOB 308
Jan. 5, 2017: Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Election Law HJ 3 P. 20