SB83 (2021) Detail

Adopting omnibus legislation relative to elections.


SB 83 - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/18/2021   0717s

2021 SESSION

21-0174

11/05

 

SENATE BILL 83

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to elections.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Gray, Dist 6

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law and Municipal Affairs

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill adopts legislation:

 

I.  Clarifying the circumstances under which certain persons are disqualified from performing certain duties of an election official.

 

II.  Relative to the establishment of an election information portal.

 

III.  Relative to recount fees.

 

IV.  Relative to itemized statements filed by political committees and candidates.

 

V.  Providing for optional town meeting procedures.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/18/2021   0717s 21-0174

11/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to elections.

 

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

 

1  Sponsorship.  This act consists of the following proposed legislation:

Part I:  LSR 21-0174, relative to the disqualification of certain persons from performing duties as an election official, sponsored by Sen. Gray, Prime/Dist. 6.

Part II:  LSR 21-0175, relative to the establishment of an election information portal, sponsored by Sen. Gray, Prime/Dist. 6.

Part III:  LSR 21-0226, relative to recount fees, sponsored by Sen. Gray, Prime/Dist. 6.

Part IV:  LSR 21-0521, relative to itemized statements filed by political committees and candidates, sponsored by Sen. Gray, Prime/Dist. 6.

Part V:  LSR 21-0853, providing for optional town meeting procedures and allowing preprocessing of absentee ballots, sponsored by Sen. Kahn, Prime/Dist. 10; Sen. Prentiss, Dist. 5; Sen. Rosenwald, Dist. 13; Sen. Perkins Kwoka, Dist. 21; Sen. Soucy, Dist. 18; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist. 16; Sen. Watters, Dist. 4; Rep. Parshall, Ches. 10; Rep. Fenton, Ches. 8.

2  Legislation Enacted.  The general court hereby enacts the following legislation:

 

PART I

Relative to the Disqualification of Certain Persons from Performing Duties as an Election Official.

1  Pre-Election Procedure; Disqualification of Certain Persons.  Amend RSA 658:24 to read as follows:

658:24  Disqualification of Certain Persons.  Any person, other than a moderator, clerk, selectman, inspector of election, or supervisor of the checklist, whose name appears on a ballot for an elective position, other than a position of an election official, shall be disqualified from performing duties as an election official in that election.  A moderator, clerk, selectman, inspector of election, or supervisor of the checklist whose name appears on a ballot for an elective position, other than the position of an election official, shall be disqualified from the handling of marked ballots and the counting of votes pursuant to RSA 659:58.

2  Election Procedure; Counting of Votes; Disqualification of Officials.  Amend RSA 659:58 to read as follows:

659:58  Disqualification of Officials.  Any election official[, other than the moderator,] who is also a candidate for office, other than a position of an election official, shall not be allowed to remain in the area designated for the handling of marked ballots and for the counting of votes within the guardrail during the counting of votes for an office for which he is a candidate.  Such official shall disqualify himself from election duties relating to the tabulation of votes; and the moderator shall appoint an assistant who shall take the same oath as, serve in the same capacity as, and have all the powers of the election official who is disqualified until such official may properly return.  The moderator may assign any election official disqualified pursuant to this section to other duties not related to the tabulation of votes.

3  Effective Date.  Part I of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

PART II

Relative to the Establishment of an Election Information Portal.

1  Purpose.  It is the intent of the legislature to modernize the application processes for new voter registration, requesting absentee ballots, and requesting changes to name, domicile, and party affiliation in the statewide voter database.

2  New Subdivision; Election Information Portal.  Amend RSA 652 by inserting after section 27 the following new subdivision:

Election Information Portal

652:28  Election Information Portal.

I.  The secretary of state is hereby authorized to develop, in consultation with the department of information technology, the department of safety, division of motor vehicles, and city and town clerks and supervisors of the checklist, an online election information portal which citizens may use to:

(a)  Complete a new voter application.

(b)  Request an absentee ballot.

(c)  Request changes to the statewide centralized voter registration database, such as name, domicile address, mailing address, and party affiliation.

II.  Voters electing to use the portal shall provide the same information and pursuant to the same time frames as outlined in statutes related to voter registration and maintenance of the statewide centralized voter registration database, including RSA 654:7, RSA 654:8, RSA 654:16 through RSA 654:19, and RSA 654:34, except that the information may be provided in a format the secretary of state deems suitable for electronic submission.  Any information submitted to the portal shall be handled in a manner consistent with relevant voter and election laws, including RSA 654, and shall be retrievable and printable at any time including during the processing of the information.  In addition, nonpublic data related to individual voter data shall remain confidential.

III.  The secretary of state shall not implement any election information portal established pursuant to this section, such that the public can access or otherwise utilize such portal, until January 1, 2022.

3  Effective Date.  Part II of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

PART III

Relative to Recount Fees.

1  State General Election Recounts; Fees.  Amend RSA 660:2 to read as follows:

I.  If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be less than or equal to one quarter of one percent (0.25%) of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, [the following fees shall apply:] no fee is due.

II.  If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be greater than one quarter of one percent but less than or equal to one percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the following fees shall apply:

(a)  Candidate for president, United States senator or governor, [$500] $1,000.

(b)  Candidate for United States representative, [$250] $500.

(c)  Candidate for executive councilor, [$100] $200.

(d)  Candidate for state senator or county officer, [$50] $100.

(e)  Candidate for state representative, [$10] $20.

[II.] III.  If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be [between] greater than one percent and less than or equal to 2 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the following fees shall apply:

(a)  Candidate for president, United States senator or governor, [$1,000] $2,000.

(b)  Candidate for United States representative, [$500] $1,000.

(c)  Candidate for executive councilor, [$200] $400.

(d)  Candidate for state senator or county officer, [$100] $200.

(e)  Candidate for state representative, [$20] $40.

[III.] IV.  If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be [between] greater than 2 percent and less than or equal to 3 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the following fees shall apply:

(a)  Candidate for president, United States senator or governor, [$2,000] $4,000.

(b)  Candidate for United States representative, [$1,000] $2,000.

(c)  Candidate for executive councilor, [$400] $800.

(d)  Candidate for state senator or county officer, [$200] $400.

(e)  Candidate for state representative, [$40] $80.

[IV.] V.  If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be greater than 3 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the candidate shall pay the fees as provided in RSA 660:2, [III] IV and shall agree in writing with the secretary of state to pay any additional costs of the recount.  The secretary of state may require that the applying candidate pay the estimated additional costs of the recount prior to commencing the recount.

2  State General Election Recounts; Reference Changed.  Amend RSA 660:6, III to read as follows:

III.  If any person who has applied for a recount loses the recount by a margin of less than one percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the district for the office recounted, the secretary of state shall return to the person within 10 days of the recount any fees that were paid in excess of those required by RSA 660:2, [I.] II.

3  Effective Date.  Part III of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

PART IV

Relative to Itemized Statements Filed by Political Committees and Candidates.

1  Political Expenditures and Contributions; Reports of Receipts and Expenditures.  RSA 664:9-a and RSA 664:9-b are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

664:9-a  Reports of Receipts and Expenditures Filed Electronically.  A political committee of a candidate or a candidate may file such candidate's report of receipts and expenditures, pursuant to RSA 664:6, RSA 664:7, and RSA 664:7-b, electronically online by using the New Hampshire Campaign Finance System, which may also be used to register, file reports, and search information filed by candidates, political committees, and candidate committees.

664:9-b  Reports of Receipts and Expenditures Filed by Other Methods.  A political committee of a candidate or a candidate may file such candidate's required reports as an email attachment, a facsimile, or a paper copy, provided that:

I.  The font size of the document as printed is not less than an 8 point font.

II.  Email attachments are to be in portable document format archive (PDFA) or other acceptable format as determined by the secretary of state.

III.  The report is mailed, delivered, or sent to the secretary of state on or before the date and time that the report is due.

2  New Section; Reports; Legibility Required.  Amend RSA 664 by inserting after section 9-b the following new section:

664:9-c  Reports; Legibility Required.  A political committee of a candidate or a candidate who files a report pursuant to RSA 664:9-b shall be responsible for ensuring the report is legible.  The political committee of a candidate or a candidate shall file an amended copy of such candidate's report within one week after being notified by the secretary of state or attorney general's office that such report is non-compliant.

3  Effective Date.  Part IV of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

PART V

Providing for Optional Town Meeting Procedures.

1  Expenditures Prior to Meeting.  Amend RSA 32:13, II to read as follows:

II. This subdivision shall not be construed to affect the authority of the local governing body[, in towns with a March annual meeting and a January through December fiscal year,] to make expenditures between [January 1] the beginning of the fiscal year and the date a budget is adopted which are reasonable in light of prior [year's] years' appropriations and expenditures for the same purposes during the same time period.

2  Effective Date.  Part V of this act shall take effect September 1, 2021.

Links

SB83 at GenCourtMobile
SB83 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 8, 2021 Senate Hearing
March 18, 2021 Senate Floor Vote
April 22, 2021 House Hearing
April 23, 2021 House Hearing
May 5, 2021 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

SB83 Revision: 32201 Date: March 18, 2021, 4:18 p.m.
SB83 Revision: 32033 Date: Jan. 26, 2021, 12:40 p.m.

Docket


May 5, 2021: Full Committee Work Session: 05/05/2021 10:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/98783397971 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


April 23, 2021: Public Hearing: 04/23/2021 10:30 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/96682102830 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


April 22, 2021: ==CANCELLED== Public Hearing: 04/22/2021 10:30 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/99446784139 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Feb. 25, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 02/25/2021 and referred to Election Law HJ 4 P. 50


March 18, 2021: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2021-0717s, RC 24Y-0N, MA; OT3rdg; 03/18/2021; SJ 8


March 18, 2021: Committee Amendment # 2021-0717s, RC 24Y-0N, AA; 03/18/2021; SJ 8


March 18, 2021: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2021-0717s, 03/18/2021; SC 15


Feb. 8, 2021: Remote Hearing: 02/08/2021, 09:30 am; Links to join the hearing can be found in the Senate Calendar; SC 10


Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced 01/06/2021 and Referred to Election Law and Municipal Affairs; SJ 3