HB554 (2021) Detail

Relative to temporary absence from domicile for voting purposes.










AN ACT relative to temporary absence from domicile for voting purposes.


SPONSORS: Rep. B. Griffin, Hills. 6


COMMITTEE: Election Law






This bill clarifies when a voter gains or loses domicile for voting purposes.


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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One


AN ACT relative to temporary absence from domicile for voting purposes.


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


1  Elections; Voter.  Amend RSA 654:1, I and I-a to read as follows:

I. Every inhabitant of the state, having a single established domicile for voting purposes, being a citizen of the United States, of the age provided for in Article 11 of Part First of the Constitution of New Hampshire, shall have a right at any meeting or election, to vote in the town, ward, or unincorporated place in which he or she is domiciled. An inhabitant's domicile for voting purposes is that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and [manifests] has manifested an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social, and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government. A person has the right to change domicile at any time, however a mere intention to change domicile in the future does not, of itself, terminate an established domicile before the person actually moves.

I-a.  A student of any institution of learning may lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes in the New Hampshire town or city in which he or she [lives] maintains a physical presence while attending such institution of learning if such student's claim of domicile otherwise meets the requirements of RSA 654:1, I.

2  Voters; Eligibility; Temporary Absence or Presence.  Amend RSA 654:2, I and II(a) to read as follows:

I. A person's domicile in any town or ward for voting purposes as defined by RSA 654:1, I [acquired by any person in any town] shall not be [interrupted or] lost [by a] as a result of the person's temporary absence therefrom with the manifest intention of returning thereto as his or her domicile. Domicile for the purpose of voting as defined in RSA 654:1, once existing, continues to exist until another such domicile is gained except when the physical location of the domicile is no longer related to the person either by virtue of lease or deed or physical presence. [Domicile for purposes of voting is a question of fact and intention coupled with a verifiable act or acts carrying out that intent.] A voter can have only one domicile for voting purposes. A person's absence is not temporary, and the person shall be deemed to have gained another domicile, if the person has moved out of the town or ward in which he or she is registered to vote, does not have an abode in such town or ward, and is eligible to register to vote at the place where the person is then living.  No person shall be deemed to have lost a domicile by reason of his or her presence or absence while the voter or his or her spouse is employed in the service of the United States; nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of the United States or of the high seas; nor while a teacher in or student of any seminary of learning; nor while confined in any public prison or other penal institution; nor while a patient or confined for any reason in any nursing, convalescent home or hospital, old folks or old age home, or like institution or private facility.

II.(a) A person present in New Hampshire for temporary purposes shall not gain a domicile for voting purposes. A person who maintains a voting domicile where he or she came from, to which he or she intends to return to as his or her voting domicile after a temporary presence in New Hampshire, does not gain a domicile in New Hampshire regardless of the duration of his or her presence in New Hampshire. A person who maintains a domicile address in another state and is eligible to retain that domicile for voting purposes is not eligible to gain domicile in New Hampshire.

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


HB554 at GenCourtMobile
HB554 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
March 8, 2021 House Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

HB554 Revision: 31894 Date: Jan. 12, 2021, 1:05 p.m.


March 8, 2021: Public Hearing: 03/08/2021 10:15 am Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/91394352757

Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Election Law HJ 2 P. 53