HB616 (2018) Detail

Relative to persons executing election affidavits.


HB 616-FN-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0008

03/01

 

HOUSE BILL 616-FN-LOCAL

 

AN ACT relative to persons executing election affidavits.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Bates, Rock. 7

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires persons executing election affidavits to provide proof of qualifications within 10 days.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0008

03/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to persons executing election affidavits.

 

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

 

1  Voter Registration Form.  Amend RSA 654:7, IV(b)-(c) to read as follows:

(b)  The secretary of state shall prescribe the form of the voter registration form to be used for voter registrations, transfers, or updates other than those at the polling place on the date of a state general election, which shall be in substantially the following form:

___  NEW REGISTRATION I am not registered to vote in New Hampshire

___  TRANSFER I am registered to vote in New Hampshire and have moved my voting domicile to a new town or ward in New Hampshire

___  NAME CHANGE/ADDRESS UPDATE I am registered to vote in this town/ward and have changed my name/address

Date  _________________

VOTER REGISTRATION FORM

(Please print or type)

1.  Name  __________________________________________________________________

Last (suffix) First Full Middle Name

2.  Domicile Address  ________________________________________________________

Street Ward Number

______________________________________________________________________________

Town or City Zip Code

3.  Mailing Address if different than in 2  _______________________________________

Street

______________________________________________________________________________

Town or City Zip Code

4.  Place and Date of Birth  ____________________________________________________

Town or City State

Date_________________

5.  Are you a citizen of the United States?  Yes  _____ No  _____

If a naturalized citizen, give name of court where and date when naturalized ______________________________________________________________________________

6.  Place last registered to vote  ________________________________________________

Street Ward Number

7.  Name under which previously registered, if different from above

______________________________________________________________________________

8.  Party Affiliation (if any)  ___________________________________________________

9.  Driver’s License Number  __________________________State  __________________

If you do not have a valid driver’s license, provide the last four digits of your social security number ____________

My name is ____________________.  I am today registering to vote in the city/town of ____________________, New Hampshire.  If a city, ward number __________.

I  understand that to vote in this ward/town, I must be at least 18 years of age, I must be a United States citizen, and I must be  domiciled in this ward/town.  

I understand that a person can claim only one state and one city/town as his or her domicile at a time.  A domicile is that place, to which upon temporary absence, a person has the intention of returning.  By registering or voting today, I am acknowledging that I am not s domiciled or voting in any other state or any other city/town.

In declaring New Hampshire as my domicile, I realize that I am not qualified to vote in the state or federal elections in another state.

If I have any questions as to whether I am entitled to vote in this city/town, I am aware that a supervisor of the checklist is available to address my questions or concerns.

I acknowledge that I have read and understand the above qualifications for voting and do hereby swear, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am qualified to vote in the above-stated city/town, and, if registering on election day, that I have not voted and will not vote at any other polling place this election.

____________________   ___________________________________________________

Date Signature of Applicant

I will, within 10 days, return in person with acceptable documentation other than affidavits to prove my identity and qualifications as a voter to the supervisors of the checklist or the town or ward clerk.  Alternatively, I may cause true copies of the required documentation to be notarized and delivered to the supervisors of the checklist within 10 days.  I understand that if I fail to provide the required documentation, my status as a voter will be changed to inactive and my name will be forwarded to the attorney general for investigation.

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.

(c)  The secretary of state shall prescribe the form of the voter registration form to be used only for voter registrations, transfers, or updates at the polling place on the date of a state general election, which shall be in substantially the following form:

    ___ NEW REGISTRATION I am not registered to vote in New Hampshire

    ___ TRANSFER I am registered to vote in New Hampshire and have moved my voting domicile to a new town or ward in New Hampshire

    ___ NAME CHANGE/ADDRESS UPDATE I am registered to vote in this town/ward and have changed my name/address

Date _________________

VOTER REGISTRATION FORM

FOR USE AT THE POLLING PLACE

ON THE DATE OF THE STATE GENERAL ELECTION

(Please print or type)

1.  Name _________________________________________________________________________

Last (suffix) First Full Middle Name

2.  Domicile Address _______________________________________________________________

Street Ward Number

__________________________________________________________________________________

Town or City Zip Code

3.  Mailing Address if different than in 2 ____________________________________________

Street

__________________________________________________________________________________

Town or City Zip Code

4.  Place and Date of Birth _________________________________________________________

Town or City State

Date_________________

5.  Are you a citizen of the United States?  Yes _____ No _____

If a naturalized citizen, give name of court where and date when naturalized __________________________________________________________________________________

6.  Place last registered to vote _____________________________________________________

Street Ward Number

7.  Name under which previously registered, if different from above

________________________________________________________________________________

8.  Party Affiliation (if any) ______________________________________________________

9.  Drivers License Number __________________________State ______________________

If you do not have a valid drivers license, provide the last four digits of your social security number ______________

My name is ____________________.  I am today registering to vote in the city/town of ____________________, New Hampshire.  If a city, ward number __________.

I understand that to vote in this ward/town, I must be at least 18 years of age, I must be a United States citizen, and I must be domiciled in this ward/town.

I understand that a person can claim only one state and one city/town as his or her domicile at a time.  A domicile is that place, to which upon temporary absence, a person has the intention of returning.  By registering or voting today, I am acknowledging that I am not domiciled or voting in any other state or any other city/town.

In declaring New Hampshire as my domicile, I realize that I am not qualified to vote in the state or federal elections in another state.

If I have any questions as to whether I am entitled to vote in this city/town, I am aware that a supervisor of the checklist is available to address my questions or concerns.

I acknowledge that I have read and understand the above qualifications for voting and do hereby swear, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am qualified to vote in the above-stated city/town, and, if registering on election day, that I have not voted and will not vote at any other polling place this election.

____________________   ___________________________________________________

Date Signature of Applicant

If this form is used in place of proof of identity, age, citizenship, or domicile, I hereby swear that such information is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.  I will, within 10 days, return in person with acceptable documentation other than affidavits to prove my identity and qualifications as a voter to the supervisors of the checklist or the town or ward clerk.  Alternatively, I may cause true copies of the required documentation to be notarized and delivered to the supervisors of the checklist within 10 days.  I understand that if I fail to provide the required documentation, my status as a voter will be changed to inactive and my name will be forwarded to the attorney general for investigation.

This form was executed for purposes of proving (applicant shall circle yes or no and initial each item):

Identity yes/no _____

(initials)

Citizenship yes/no _____

(initials)

Age yes/no _____

(initials)

Domicile yes/no _____

(initials)

______________________________________ ____________________________

Applicant Election Official

________________________________

Notary Public/Justice of the Peace/Official Authorized by RSA 659:30.

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.

2  Approval of Voter Registration.  Amend RSA 654:12, V(a) to read as follows:

V.(a)(1)  The election official approving the application for registration as voter of a person who does not present an approved form of photo identification as proof of identity when registering, shall mark the voter registration form to indicate that no photo identification was presented [and shall inform the person that, if he or she is a first-time election day registrant in New Hampshire, he or she will receive a letter of identity verification].  The person entering the voter information into the centralized voter registration database shall determine if the person is listed in the system as having been previously registered in the town or ward reported by the applicant on the voter registration form.  If the person is a new registrant who has not been previously registered anywhere in New Hampshire or if the centralized voter registration database does not confirm a previous registration claimed on the voter registration form, the election official shall cause the record created in the centralized voter registration database to indicate that the person is a new applicant in New Hampshire and that no photo identification was presented.  When municipalities enter information on people who register on election day into the centralized voter registration database, to the extent practical applicants who are registering for the first time in New Hampshire and who also register without presenting an approved photo identification shall be entered first.  The person entering the voter information of election day residents into the centralized voter registration database shall cause the records to indicate if the voter executed a domicile affidavit or a sworn statement on the general election day voter registration form.

(2)  Any person who signs a qualified voter affidavit, a domicile affidavit, or a challenged voter affidavit to vote without providing a photo identification shall, within 10 days, return in person with documentation in a form listed in paragraph I or II to prove his or her identity and qualifications as a voter to the supervisors of the checklist or the town or ward clerk.  Alternatively, the person may cause true copies of the required documentation to be notarized and delivered to the supervisors of the checklist within 10 days.  If the person is unable to provide the required documentation within 10 days, the person shall notify the supervisors of the checklist in writing of the reason and he or she shall have an additional 30 days to produce the required documentation.

(3)  The supervisors of the checklist shall maintain a list of every voter who signed an affidavit to register or vote at an election.  They shall mark the list to indicate when a voter provides documentation required by subparagraph (b)(2).  If any voter fails to provide the required documentation in accordance with subparagraph (b)(2), the supervisors of the checklist shall remove the voter's name from the checklist and his or her name shall be forwarded to the attorney general for investigation.  The attorney general shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether fraudulent registration or voting occurred.

3  Challenged Voter Affidavit.  Amend RSA 659:27, II to read as follows:

II.  Upon receipt of a written challenge, the moderator shall determine if the challenge to the ballot is well grounded.  If the moderator determines that the challenge is well grounded, the moderator shall not receive the vote of the person so challenged until the person signs and gives to the moderator an affidavit in the following form:

Date: ____________________

I, ____________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) under penalties of voter fraud, that I am the identical person whom I represent myself to be, that I am a duly qualified voter of this town (or ward), and have a legal domicile therein.  My telephone number (requested but optional) is _______________, and my email address (requested but optional) is _______________.   I will, within 10 days , return in person with acceptable documentation other than affidavits to prove my identity and any qualification in dispute to the supervisors of the checklist or the town or ward clerk.  Alternatively, I may cause true copies of the required documentation to be notarized and delivered to the supervisors of the checklist within 10 days.  I understand that if I fail to provide the required documentation, my name will be removed from the voter checklist and will be forwarded to the attorney general for investigation.

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(Signature of voter)

On the date shown above, before me, ____________________ (print name of notary public, justice of the peace, election officer), appeared ____________________ (print name of person whose signature is being notarized), and he or she subscribed his or her name to the foregoing affidavit and swore that the facts contained in this affidavit are true to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.

____________________

Notary Public/Justice of the Peace/Official Authorized by RSA 659:30.

If the moderator determines that the challenge is not well grounded, the moderator shall permit the voter to proceed to vote.

4  Repeal.  The following are repealed:

I.  RSA 654:12, V(b)-(e), relative to letters of identity verification and referrals to attorney general.

II.  RSA 659:13, IV(a)-(b), relative to letters of identity verification.

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

 

LBAO

17-0008

1/23/17

 

HB 616-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to persons executing election affidavits.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill requires persons who register or vote on the day of an election, and cannot provide valid photo identification, but do submit election affidavits, to provide proof of qualifications within 10 days to the supervisors of the checklist.   It would repeal the requirement of the Secretary of State to mail verification letters to voters that completed an affidavit in order to vote or obtain a ballot.  The Secretary of State estimates the elimination of the verification mailing requirement would save the State approximately $20,000 in the year of a State election and $8,000 in the off year.  

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the supervisors of the checklist would be required to maintain a list of all voters who signed an affidavit and mark the list when a voter provides the required documentation.  If any voter fails to provide the documentation, the supervisors would be required to change the voter’s status to inactive and forward his or her name to the Attorney General for investigation.  Some additional work by supervisors of the checklist after an election would be required, which could result in some minimal increases in municipal expenditures.  The amount of any increase is dependent on the municipality and the number of voters, which is indeterminable.

 

The Department of Justice has one part-time attorney devoted to election law enforcement.  The Department is unable to complete the identity verification investigations required under the current statute.  The Department cannot determine whether the proposed procedure would increase or decrease the number of referrals the Department receives.  In its proposed budget for FY 18-19, the Department has requested an unclassified elections investigator position (BB step 3), which would allow the Department to conduct investigations such as the ones currently required and would be required in this proposed bill.  The cost of salary and benefits for that position is $101,000 for FY 2018, $102,000 for FY 2019, $107,000 for FY 2020, and $113,000 for FY 2021.

 

The bill also contains a penalty that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

 

Judicial Branch

FY 2018

FY 2019

Class A Misdemeanor

$71

$72

Average Civil Action

$117

$119

Routine Civil Case

$470

$477

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$275/Case

$275/Case*

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

 

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

 

* The Council’s budget request for the FY 2018-19 biennium includes an increase to $300 per case for contract attorney misdemeanor cases.

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

The Judicial Council assumes that the voter fraud provisions would not be altered, and that an individual would only face criminal charges for providing false information while registering to vote or voting.   While it is unlikely this legislation would result in an increase in the number of voter fraud cases, despite the increased number of investigations, any such cases would likely be extremely time consuming.  If assigned counsel received a case, the Judicial Council would likely see a slight increase in expenditures for this line, based on numerous constitutional arguments that could be raised.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Departments of State and Justice, New Hampshire Municipal Association, Judicial Branch,  New Hampshire Association of Counties, and Judicial Council

 

Links

HB616 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 14, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 22, 2017 House Exec Session
Feb. 28, 2017 House Exec Session
Oct. 19, 2017 House Exec Session
Jan. 3, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB616 Revision: 2521 Date: Jan. 25, 2017, 2:24 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 5, 2017 Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Election Law HJ 3 P. 22
Feb. 14, 2017 Public Hearing: 02/14/2017 10:00 AM LOB 308
Feb. 22, 2017 ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 02/22/2017 10:00 AM LOB 308
Feb. 28, 2017 ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 02/28/2017 10:00 AM LOB 308
Retained in Committee
Oct. 10, 2017 Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session: 10/10/2017 10:00 AM LOB 308
Oct. 19, 2017 Executive Session: 10/19/2017 10:00 AM LOB 308
Jan. 3, 2018 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 01/03/2018 (Vote 20-0; CC)
Jan. 3, 2018 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 33