HB1446 (2024) Detail

Relative to eliminating the cost for electronic copies of the checklist.


HB 1446-FN-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2024 SESSION

24-2601

08/10

 

HOUSE BILL 1446-FN-LOCAL

 

AN ACT relative to eliminating the cost for electronic copies of the checklist.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Burnham, Straf. 2; Rep. Wood, Merr. 13; Rep. Wherry, Hills. 13; Rep. Porcelli, Rock. 19; Rep. K. Perez, Rock. 16

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill eliminates the cost for an electronic copy of the checklist that is emailed to the requestor but enables the town or city clerk and the secretary of state to charge a fee for electronic copies given on an external storage device.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

24-2601

08/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four

 

AN ACT relative to eliminating the cost for electronic copies of the checklist.

 

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

 

1  Elections; Availability of Checklist and Voter Information; Cost of Copies.  Amend RSA 654:31, II - IV to read as follows:

II. In towns and cities, the public checklist as corrected by the supervisors shall be open for the examination of any person at all times before the opening of a meeting or election at which the list is to be used. The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk shall furnish a physical copy or an electronic copy of the most recent public checklist of their town or city to any person requesting such copy. If a person requests an electronic copy, the supervisors of the checklist, or the city or town clerk, shall notify the person requesting the copy of the electronic format options available from which the person requesting may choose.  Options shall include an electronic copy, to be sent via email, of at least one sortable format such as a spreadsheet.  A fee of $5 may be charged if the town or city supplies an external drive storage device or a computer disk with the electronic copy on it.  The town or city may elect to refuse to accept personal devices for security purposes.  No fee shall be charged for an electronic copy sent by email.  The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk may only provide checklist information for their town or city. The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk shall charge a fee of $25 for each paper copy of the public checklist for a town or ward. For public checklists containing more than 2,500 names, the supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk shall charge a fee of $25, plus $0.50 per thousand names or portion thereof in excess of 2,500, plus any shipping costs. The supervisors of the checklist or city or town clerk may provide public checklist information on paper, [computer disk, computer tape, electronic transfer,] or in electronic formats, or any other form.

III.  Any person may view the data that would be available on the public checklist, as corrected by the supervisors of the checklist, on the statewide centralized voter registration database maintained by the secretary of state at the state records and archives center during normal business hours, but the person viewing data at the state records and archives center may not print, duplicate, transmit, or alter the data.

IV. The secretary of state shall, upon request, provide to a political party, as defined in RSA 664:2, IV, or to a political committee, as defined in RSA 664:2, III, a list of the name, domicile address, mailing address, town or city, voter history, and party affiliation, if any, of every registered voter in the state. The secretary of state shall, upon request, provide to a candidate for county, state, or federal office a list of the name, domicile address, mailing address, town or city, voter history, and party affiliation, if any, of every registered voter in the state or in the candidate's district. In this section, " voter history " means whether the person voted and, for primary elections, in which party's primary the person voted, in each state election and municipal election for the preceding 2 years. [The] For paper copies, the secretary of state shall charge a fee of $25 plus $0.50 per thousand names or portion thereof in excess of 2,500 plus shipping charges for each copy of the list provided under this section. In addition, for paper copies, the secretary of state shall charge and collect on behalf of and remit to the supervisors of the checklist of each city and town the amount that such supervisors would have charged had the public checklist of their city or town been purchased from them. For electronic copies that are sent via email, no fee shall be charged.  For electronic copies provided on an external storage device such as a flash drive or a disk, a fee of $5 may be charged.  The secretary of state shall not accept personal devices for security purposes.  The secretary of state may provide lists as prescribed in this section on paper, computer disk, computer tape, electronic transfer, or any other form.

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

 

LBA

24-2601

11/27/23

 

HB 1446-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to eliminating the cost for electronic copies of the checklist.

 

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

 

 

Estimated State Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

Revenue

$0

($181,540)

($181,540)

($181,540)

Revenue Fund(s)

General Fund

Helping America Vote Act (HAVA) Fund

Expenditures

$0

($171,000)

($171,000)

($171,000)

Funding Source(s)

General Fund

Helping America Vote Act (HAVA) Fund

Appropriations

$0

$0

$0

$0

Funding Source(s)

None

Does this bill provide sufficient funding to cover estimated expenditures? [X] N/A

Does this bill authorize new positions to implement this bill? [X] N/A

 

Estimated Political Subdivision Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

County Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

County Expenditures

$0

$0

$0

$0

Local Revenue

$0

($171,000)+

($171,000)+

($171,000)+

Local Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill removes the $25 fee being charged for any electronic copy of the checklist that is emailed to the requestor but enables the town or city clerk and the Secretary of State to charge a $5.00 fee for electronic copies given on an external storage device.

 

The Department of State indicates in 2023, the Secretary of State received $181,540 in fees by selling electronic copies of voter checklist information.  Out of this sum, $10,519 was allocated to the Election Fund (HAVA), and $171,021 was given back to municipalities to cover expenses linked to maintaining the statewide voter registration system.  These collections would cease going forward.  Additionally, the Secretary of State doesn't know how much money towns make from selling their own voter checklists.  That loss of revenue will be increase from no longer receiving money back from the State's sale of the municipalities checklist.

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the number of checklist copies requested depends on how many candidates are running and whether they choose to get a copy or not.  It's likely that some candidates may want to save money on their campaigns and organize voter data, so they'd probably ask for electronic copies.  Because of this, it's hard to estimate the impact on revenues.

 

Assuming towns follow the current law when providing electronic checklist copies on a device, they typically charge the actual cost of the device along with the allowed fee.  Flash drives can be bought for different prices, some above and some below $5.  If towns can't get these devices for $5 or less, it will mean more costs for them compared to what they spend now and they could see an increase in expenditures coupled with the loss of revenue from no longer being able to change a fee for electronic copies.   

 

It is assumed this fiscal impact will not occur until FY 2025.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of State and New Hampshire Municipal Association

 

Links


Date Body Type
Jan. 30, 2024 House Hearing
Jan. 30, 2024 House Hearing
Feb. 1, 2024 House Exec Session
Feb. 1, 2024 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1446 Revision: 39975 Date: Dec. 6, 2023, 2:23 p.m.

Docket


Feb. 15, 2024: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/15/2024 HJ 5


Feb. 6, 2024: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate 02/01/2024 (Vote 18-0; CC) HC 6 P. 4


Feb. 2, 2024: Executive Session: 02/01/2024 03:30 pm LOB 304


Jan. 26, 2024: Public Hearing: 01/30/2024 10:00 am LOB 305


Jan. 18, 2024: Public Hearing: 01/30/2024 10:00 am LOB 306-308


Dec. 7, 2023: Introduced 01/03/2024 and referred to Election Law HJ 1