SB45 (2020) Detail

Relative to electioneering at polling places.


CHAPTER 36

SB 45 - FINAL VERSION

 

8Jan2020... 2723h

2020 SESSION

19-0872

11/04

 

SENATE BILL 45

 

AN ACT relative to electioneering at polling places.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Gray, Dist 6

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law and Municipal Affairs

 

─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill defines electioneering and clarifies restrictions on electioneering at the polling place.  This bill also grants authority to the moderator to impose restrictions on parking and travel at the polling place when necessary to maintain safety of pedestrians and vehicle travel and to ensure parking is available for voters.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

8Jan2020... 2723h 19-0872

11/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to electioneering at polling places.

 

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

 

36:1  New Section; Elections; General Provisions; Terms and Definitions.  Amend RSA 652 by inserting after section 16-g the following new section:

652:16-h  Electioneering.  Electioneering means visibly displaying or audibly disseminating information that a reasonable person would believe explicitly advocates for or against any candidate, political party, or measure being voted.  Electioneering includes, but is not limited to:

I.  Wearing clothing or paraphernalia that displays a candidate's name, likeness, or logo, a ballot measure's number, title, subject, or logo, a political party's name or logo, or any communication that a reasonable person would believe explicitly advocates for or against any candidate, political party, or measure, provided that a person eligible to vote or register to vote in the voting district who is unable to remove or cover clothing that explicitly advocates for or against any candidate, political party, or measure, may wear such clothing in the polling place while actively engaged in the process of registering to vote or while actively engaged in the process of voting.

II.  Distributing or posting a card, handbill, poster, placard, picture, pin, sticker, circular, or any other form of communication that a reasonable person would believe explicitly advocates for or against any candidate, political party, or measure.

36:2  Election Procedure; Prohibited Acts; Electioneering at the Polling Place.  Amend RSA 659:43 to read as follows:

659:43  [Distributing Campaign Materials at Polling Place] Electioneering at the Polling Place.

[I.  No person shall distribute, wear, or post at a polling place any campaign material in the form of a poster, card, handbill, placard, picture, pin, sticker, circular, or article of clothing which is intended to influence the action of the voter within the building where the election is being held.

II.  No person who is a candidate for office or who is representing or working for a candidate shall distribute any campaign materials or perform any electioneering activities or any activity which affects the safety, welfare and rights of voters within a corridor 10 feet wide and extending a distance from the entrance door of the building as determined by the moderator where the election is being held.]

I.  Electioneering shall be prohibited within the polling place building, provided that nothing in this section shall apply to the posting of sample ballots by election officials, pursuant to RSA 658:26, which have not been marked as voting for any candidate or measure.  

II.  The moderator shall establish one or more no-electioneering corridors, no less than 10 feet wide, that extend from all entrances of the polling place a reasonable distance along the sidewalks or to the parking lots that serve the polling place.  The moderator shall establish the corridor in a manner that permits a voter arriving or leaving the polling place to enter or exit without interruption or interference from individuals outside the corridor, and that permits a voter to step to the edge of the corridor and speak with those electioneering if he or she chooses.

III.  The moderator shall designate a preferred area for electioneering, which to the extent practical shall be within sight and conversation-level sound of the primary entrance to the polling place and shall abide by any regulations or ordinances approved by the municipality's governing body pursuant to RSA 31:41-c or RSA 47:17, XIV-a.

IV.  Electioneering may occur outside the no-electioneering corridor and outside the designated preferred electioneering area.

V.  Electioneering signs shall not be affixed to the polling place building or grounds.

VI.  Electioneering signs shall not be left unattended.

VII.  The distribution or posting of electioneering communications, including but not limited to posters, cards, handbills, placards, pictures, pins, stickers, circulars, or articles of clothing, is prohibited within any no-electioneering corridor established outside the polling place by the moderator.

[III.] VIII.  Whoever violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

[IV.] IX.(a)  Whoever violates any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.

(b)  The court, upon petition of the attorney general, may levy upon any person who violates the provisions of RSA 659:43 a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation.  All penalties assessed under this paragraph shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

(c)  The attorney general shall have authority to notify suspected violators of this section of the state's intention to seek a civil penalty, to negotiate, and to settle with such suspected violators without court action, provided any civil penalty paid as settlement shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.

36:3  Election Procedure; Prohibited Acts; Electioneering by Election Officers.  Amend the section heading in RSA 659:44 to read as follows:

659:44  Electioneering [at the Polling Place] by Election Officers.

36:4  New Paragraph; Abandoned Vehicles; Reasons for Removal and Impoundment; Election Day.  Amend RSA 262:32 by inserting after paragraph VII the following new paragraph:

VIII.  A vehicle is parked or has been left unattended on election day for longer than 3 hours in an area designated for voters who are temporarily present for the purpose of voting.

36:5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.

 

Approved: July 28, 2020

Effective Date: January 01, 2020

Links

SB45 at GenCourtMobile
SB45 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 30, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 27, 2019 Senate Floor Vote
April 10, 2019 House Hearing
April 25, 2019 House Exec Session
Oct. 31, 2019 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB45 Revision: 8567 Date: July 29, 2020, 1:51 p.m.
SB45 Revision: 8489 Date: June 29, 2020, 5:39 p.m.
SB45 Revision: 7876 Date: Jan. 8, 2020, 1:39 p.m.
SB45 Revision: 7601 Date: Jan. 17, 2019, 3:06 p.m.

Docket


July 28, 2020: Signed by the Governor on 07/28/2020; Chapter 0036; Effective 01/01/2020


June 29, 2020: Enrolled (In recess 06/29/2020); SJ 9


: Enrolled 06/30/2020 HJ 10 P. 74


June 29, 2020: Sen. Levesque Moved to Concur with the House Amendment, MA, VV; 06/29/2020; SJ 9


Jan. 8, 2020: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-2723h: MA VV 01/08/2020 HJ 1 P. 39


Jan. 8, 2020: Amendment # 2019-2723h: AA VV 01/08/2020 HJ 1 P. 39


: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-2723h (Vote 19-1; CC) HC 50 P. 7


Oct. 31, 2019: Executive Session: 10/31/2019 11:00 am LOB 308


Oct. 3, 2019: Subcommittee Work Session: 10/03/2019 10:00 am LOB 305


Sept. 10, 2019: Subcommittee Work Session: 09/10/2019 02:00 pm LOB 308


: Retained in Committee


April 25, 2019: Executive Session: 04/25/2019 11:00 am LOB 308


April 10, 2019: Public Hearing: 04/10/2019 01:00 pm LOB 308


March 20, 2019: Introduced 03/20/2019 and referred to Election Law HJ 11 P. 73


March 27, 2019: Ought to Pass: MA, VV; OT3rdg; 03/27/2019; SJ 10


March 27, 2019: Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 03/27/2019; Vote 5-0; CC SC 15


Jan. 30, 2019: Hearing: 01/30/2019, Room 102, LOB, 09:45 am; SC 8


Jan. 3, 2019: Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Election Law and Municipal Affairs; SJ 4