HB 1423-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1423-FN
AN ACT relative to election assistance for cities and towns.
SPONSORS: Rep. W. Pearson, Ches. 16
COMMITTEE: Election Law
This bill requires the secretary of state to assist cities and towns in conducting local elections and establishes a municipal grant program to fund innovative election procedures and voter registration expansion.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 Eighteen
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, funding the municipal grant program under paragraph VIII, 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.
VIII. The secretary of state shall develop and administer a municipal grant program to enable cities and towns to receive funds received by the state pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, for purposes of implementing innovative election procedures and expanding voter registration.
652:23 Chief Election Officer.
I. The secretary of state shall be the chief election officer for the state.
II. The secretary of state shall provide information regarding voter registration procedures and absentee ballot procedures for all voters, including absent uniformed services voters, absent voters temporarily residing outside the United States, and federal ballot only voters domiciled outside the United States. Instructional and informational materials published by the secretary of state for clerks to provide such voters shall include information on how to communicate electronically with election officials.
III. The secretary of state shall maintain an Internet website that includes complete, current, and accurate election procedures to educate voters of their rights and responsibilities while voting.
IV. The secretary of state shall confer with local election officials to prepare and then publish voter registration requirements in languages other than English in order to ensure equal access for all qualified voters.
V. The secretary of state shall assist cities and towns in the conduct of local elections. Such assistance shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) Providing cities and towns with accessible voting systems, as defined in RSA 652:16-d.
(b) Providing signs or posters that explain election laws and procedures for local elections.
(c) Providing additional assistance upon the request of local officials.
I. Prior to each such election, the clerk shall prepare in such quantities as he or she may deem necessary the following forms:
[I.] (a) Official absentee voting ballots, with the words "absentee ballot'' printed on them, similar in form to the official ballot to be used at said election, and similarly endorsed and printed on paper of the same color as that used for official ballots[;].
[II.] (b) Blank forms of application for absentee ballots worded similar in form to those required by RSA 657:4.
[III.] II. Prior to each such election, the secretary of state shall prepare, in such quantities as he or she may deem necessary, envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots specified in paragraph I, on which shall be printed an affidavit similar in form to that required by RSA 657:7 or 657:8, as applicable.
HB 1423-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ X ] Other - Election Fund
This bill requires the Secretary of State to develop and administer a municipal grant program to enable cities and towns to receive funds received by the state pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252 (HAVA), for purposes of implementing innovative election procedures and expanding voter registration. The bill requires the Secretary of State to maintain an Internet website with current election procedures; confer with local election officials to prepare and publish voter registration requirements in languages other than English; and assist cities and towns in the conduct of local elections, including providing accessible voting systems, signs and posters, and additional assistance upon request. The legislation also requires the Secretary of State to prepare envelopes for absentee ballots prior to town elections.
The Secretary of State indicates the grant program would be paid from the Election Fund consisting of monies given to the state to comply with HAVA. Expenditures are indeterminable but presumed to be significant due to lack of specific guidance on program scope or content. A new municipal services division may be necessary at a cost yet to be determined.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states that the bill does not require municipalities to undertake any new programs, but provides that the grant program will be used for such programs. Which new programs may be undertaken is unknown. The effect on municipal revenues and expenditures is indeterminable but expenditures will presumably be offset by revenues from the grant program.
Department of State and New Hampshire Municipal Association
|Jan. 11, 2018||House||Hearing|
|Jan. 30, 2018||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 7, 2018||House||Floor Vote|
|Jan. 3, 2018||Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Election Law HJ 1 P. 10|
|Jan. 11, 2018||Public Hearing: 01/11/2018 10:00 AM LOB 308|
|Jan. 30, 2018||Executive Session: 01/30/2018 01:00 PM LOB 308|
|Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 14-5; RC)|
|Feb. 7, 2018||Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 02/07/2018 (Vote 14-5; RC) HC 5 P. 21|
|Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass|
|Feb. 8, 2018||Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/08/2018 HJ 3 P. 28|