SB248 (2017) Detail

(Second New Title) establishing a committee to study the rescheduling of elections and relative to absentee voter signatures.


CHAPTER 216

SB 248 - FINAL VERSION

 

03/30/2017   1086s

1Jun2017... 1854h

06/08/2017   2359EBA

 

2017 SESSION

17-1002

10/04

 

SENATE BILL 248

 

AN ACT establishing a committee to study the rescheduling of elections and relative to absentee voter signatures.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Rep. Shurtleff, Merr. 11; Rep. J. Belanger, Hills. 27

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law and Internal Affairs

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a committee to study the rescheduling of elections.  This bill also clarifies the signature verification requirements for absentee voters.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/30/2017   1086s

1Jun2017... 1854h

06/08/2017   2359EBA 17-1002

10/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT establishing a committee to study the rescheduling of elections and relative to absentee voter signatures.

 

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

 

216:1  Committee Established.  There is established a committee to study the rescheduling of elections.

216:2  Membership and Compensation.

I.  The members of the committee shall be as follows:

(a)  Two members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(b)  Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

II.  Members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.

216:3  Duties.  The committee shall study the rescheduling of elections.  The study shall consider:

I.  Under what circumstances the state, a town or city, or a school district should reschedule an election.

II.  What process would be required in rescheduling an election.

III.  Who should be authorized to reschedule an election.

IV.  The best way to mitigate potential adverse consequences upon bond issue caused by any election issue related to the March 14, 2017 storm.

216:4  Chairperson; Quorum.  The members of the study committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named senate member.  The first meeting of the committee shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  Three members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.

216:5  Report.  The committee shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2017.

216:6  Absentee Voting; Forms.  Amend RSA 657:4, I to read as follows:

I.  Prior to any state election, the secretary of state shall prepare the appropriate application forms for absentee ballots worded in substantially the following form.  The secretary of state shall insert the names of all parties qualified as set forth in RSA 652:11 in the list of parties on the application form.  The secretary of state shall prepare the application forms in such quantity as he or she deems necessary:

Absence (Excluding Absence Due to Residence Outside the United States),

Religious Observance, and Disability:

I hereby declare that (check one):

___ 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 because (check one):

___ 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 of an employment obligation. For the purposes of this application, the term "employment'' shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.

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 official absentee ballot for the following election (check one):

___ Presidential Primary to be held on __________

(MM/DD/YYYY)

(The date may appear as blank when the date is not known.)

___ State Primary to be held on __________

(MM/DD/YYYY)

___ General Election

For primary elections, I am a member of or I am now declaring my affiliation with the (check one):

___ Republican Party

___ Democratic Party

and am requesting a ballot for that party's primary.

Please print:

Applicant's Name:

__________________________________________________

(Last) (First) (Middle) (Sr., Jr., II., III)

Applicant's Voting Domicile (home address):

__________________________________________________

(Street Number) (Street Name) (Apt/Unit) (City/Town) (Ward) (Zip Code)

Mail the ballot to me at this address (if different than the home address):

______________________________

(Street Number) (Street Name) (Apt/Unit) (City/Town) (Ward) (Zip Code)

Applicant's Phone Number (optional): ______________

Applicant's Email Address (optional): _______________

Applicant's Signature: __________

[The applicant must sign this form to receive an absentee ballot.]

Date Signed: __________

(MM/DD/YYYY)

The applicant must sign this form to receive an absentee ballot.  The signature on this form must match the signature on the affidavit envelope in which the absentee ballot is returned, or the ballot may be rejected.  Any person who assists a voter with a disability in executing this form shall make a statement acknowledging the assistance on the application form to assist the moderator when comparing signatures on election day.

216:7  Absentee Voting; Affidavit Envelopes.  Amend RSA 657:7, II(b) to read as follows:

(b)  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 city or town of ____________, New Hampshire, in ward ____________; 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 (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) ____________________  

The signature on this affidavit must match the signature on the application for an absentee ballot or the ballot may be rejected.  A person assisting a blind voter or voter with a disability who needs assistance executing this affidavit shall make and sign a statement on this envelope acknowledging the assistance in order to assist the moderator when comparing signatures on election day.

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.

216:8  Absentee Voting; Procedure by Voter.  Amend RSA 657:17 to read as follows:

657:17  Procedure by Voter.  After marking the ballot, the voter or the person assisting a blind voter or voter with a disability who is unable to mark his or her ballot shall enclose and seal the same in an inner envelope.  The voter shall execute the affidavit on the envelope.  A person assisting a blind voter or voter with a disability who needs assistance executing the affidavit shall sign a statement on the affidavit envelope acknowledging the assistance.  The voter or the person assisting the blind voter or voter with a disability who needs assistance shall enclose and seal the inner envelope with the affidavit in an outer envelope.  The voter shall then endorse on the outer envelope his or her name, address, and voting place and shall mail the envelope, affixing postage, or personally deliver it or have it delivered by the voter's spouse, parent, sibling, or child to the city or town clerk from whom it was sent.  The city or town clerk, or ward clerk on election day at the polls, shall not accept an absentee ballot from a family member unless the family member completes a form provided by the secretary of state, which shall be maintained by the city or town clerk, and the family member presents a government-issued photo identification or has his or her identity verified by the city or town clerk.  Absentee ballots delivered through the mail or by the voter's spouse, parent, sibling, or child shall be received by the town, city, or ward clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the election.

216:9  Processing Absentee Ballots.  Amend RSA 659:50, III to read as follows:

III.  The signature on the affidavit appears to be executed by the same person who signed the application, unless the voter received assistance because the voter is blind or has a disability; and

216:10  Effective Date.

I.  Section 6 of this act shall take effect July 11, 2017, at 12:01 a.m.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

Approved: July 10, 2017

Effective Date:

I. Section 6 effective July 11, 2017 at 12:01 a.m.

II. Remainder effective July 10, 2017

Links

SB248 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
March 21, 2017 Senate Hearing
March 30, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
May 16, 2017 House Hearing
May 23, 2017 House Hearing
May 23, 2017 House Exec Session
June 1, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB248 Revision: 1759 Date: July 11, 2017, 2:59 p.m.
SB248 Revision: 1760 Date: June 22, 2017, 8:17 a.m.
SB248 Revision: 1761 Date: June 2, 2017, 11:55 a.m.
SB248 Revision: 1762 Date: April 3, 2017, 9:24 a.m.
SB248 Revision: 1763 Date: March 16, 2017, 3:23 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
March 9, 2017 Introduced 03/09/2017 and Referred to Election Law and Internal Affairs; SJ 9
March 21, 2017 Hearing: 03/21/2017, Room 102, LOB, 11:40 am; SC 15
March 30, 2017 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-1086s, 03/30/2017; SC 16
March 30, 2017 Committee Amendment # 2017-1086s, AA, VV; 03/30/2017; SJ 12
March 30, 2017 Sen. Woodburn Floor Amendment # 2017-1221s, RC 9Y-14N, AF; 03/30/2017; SJ 12
March 30, 2017 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2017-1086s, RC 21Y-2N, MA; OT3rdg; 03/30/2017; SJ 12
March 23, 2017 Introduced 03/23/2017 and referred to Election Law HJ 11 P. 28
May 16, 2017 Public Hearing: 05/16/2017 10:00 AM LOB 308
May 23, 2017 Public Hearing on non-germane Amendment # 2017-1854h: 05/23/2017 09:30 AM LOB 308
May 23, 2017 Executive Session: 05/23/2017 09:50 AM LOB 308
June 1, 2017 Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-1854h (NT) for 06/01/2017 (Vote 18-1; RC) HC 26 P. 14
Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass
June 1, 2017 Amendment # 2017-1854h: AA VV 06/01/2017 HJ 17 P. 118
June 1, 2017 Ought to Pass with Amendment 1854h: MA VV 06/01/2017 HJ 17 P. 120
June 8, 2017 Sen. Birdsell Moved to Concur with the House Amendment, RC 13Y-10N, MA; 06/08/2017; SJ 19
June 8, 2017 Enrolled Bill Amendment # 2017-2359e: AA VV 06/08/2017 HJ 18 P. 10
June 8, 2017 Enrolled Bill Amendment # 2017-2359e Adopted, VV, (In recess of 06/08/2017); SJ 20
June 22, 2017 Enrolled 06/22/2017 HJ 19 P. 25
June 22, 2017 Enrolled (In recess 06/22/2017); SJ 20
July 10, 2017 Signed by the Governor on 07/10/2017; Chapter 0216
July 11, 2017 I. Section 6 Effective 07/11/2017 at 12:01 am
July 10, 2017 II. Remainder Effective 07/10/2017