NH House & Senate Election Law Legislation Action Page

 

For members of the public wishing to follow legislation on election and democracy issues, Open Democracy Action provides this tool to learn more, follow developments and take action.  

The NH House & Senate allow for Granite State voters to remotely register support or opposition to pending legislation.  While this is NOT a substitute to calling or writing your state rep or senator, it is fast and easy to do and may give the committee a general impression of support for a bill, and the totals become part of the permanent record.

This page will change on Fridays during the legislative season, January through June.   Scroll down to see what happened the previous week.  

If you have questions about this process, please contact Brian Beihl, Deputy Director, Open Democracy Action

Good news!  House Election Law has begun calling for the count of remote sign-ins at the end of every hearing.    Many of them have been 50-1, 80-1 or even higher margins.  Well done, people!   AND, the House has implemented a link where you can see WHO and HOW MANY people signed in on bills, and if they submitted written testimony, you can read it!   Wow, some innovation out of the General Court for a change! 

NH House Sign in Instructions   Click to enlarge the picture

NH Senate Sign-In Instructions

Click to enlarge the picture

 

Week of January 27 - February 4, 2022

NH Senate Election Law & Municipal Affairs, Jan. 31, 2022, 1 pm - 4 pm ***Representatives Hall*** 2nd Floor, State House        
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in   Click to see details   Comments / Results
1:00 PM CACR36 residency for the purpose of voting. Providing that only residents of the state may vote in elections. This proposed NH Constitutional amendment adds these two sentences: "All elections are to be free, and every person who is a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the state of New Hampshire, and 18 years of age and upwards shall have an equal right to vote in any election.  Every person shall be considered a citizen of the state of New Hampshire for the purposes of voting in town, ward, or unincorporated place where that person is domiciled and has primary residency."   Sounds innocuous enough, but the definition of "primary residency" may be another effort to keep college students legally domiciled in NH from voting. 
1:20 PM SB255 establishing redistricting criteria. Currently there is limited constitutional or statute criteria for redistricting, which allows legislators to gerrymander for partisan advantage.   This bill defines -- only for the NH House and Senate districts, "communities of interest" as  similarities of interests, including but not limited to racial, ethnic, economic, social, cultural, geographic, or historic identities.  Communities of interest shall not include common relationships with political parties or political candidates," and prohibits "unduly favoring or disfavoring any political party, incumbent, or candidate for office."  ODA supports this bill, but urges the Senate to include the Executive Council in this statute.
1:45 PM HB50 apportioning state representative districts. The majority's proposal passed the House with few changes.  We oppose this bill because it gerrymanders some districts for partisan gain, but more importantly denies 56 towns their NH Constitution-guaranteed dedicated House seats, when the Map-a-Thon proved that number could be substantially lower.  
1:45 PM HB52 apportioning congressional districts. This is the House's approved bill, which rigs CD1 & CD2 to both be uncompetitive.  CD2 gets packed with Democratic-leaning towns, while CD1 is packed with Republican-leaning towns, breaking a 140-year tradition.  The Princeton Gerrymandering Project, the ACLU and NH's Map-a-Thon project all have determined that the map is uncompetitive and gerrymandered.  ODA strongly opposes this bill.  Amendments are expected to this bill, but have not yet been posted.
         

 

NH Senate Election Law & Municipal Affairs, Jan. 26, 1-4 pm, State House, Rm 100  Awaiting Calendar from Senate      
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in   Click to see details   Comments / Results
         
         
         
         
         

 

House Election Law, February 2, 2022, 9:30 - 2 pm ***Representatives Hall*** 2nd Floor, State House        
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in   Click to see details   Comments / Results
9:30 AM HB1484 requiring a forensic audit of the 2020 election results. Requires the speaker of the house to appoint a third party team to recount the Nov 3, 2020 general election. Establishes a fund administered by the secretary of state to pay for audit.
10:30 AM HB1473 authorizing a forensic audit of the November 3, 2020 election results in Merrimack county for president, governor, and United States senate races. Authorizes the formation of a team comprised of 1 person from the towns to be audited, 1 member of the NH House, 1 member of the NH Senate, and 1 third party technical lead to review votes on ballots and ballot machines for the November 3, 2020 Merrimack county president, governor, and United States senate races. Towns pay the cost to transport and secure ballots/ballot machines to a secure re-counting location, deferred in part by funds administered by the secretary of state.

 

House Election Law, February 3, 2022, 9:30 - 10:30 AM, LOB 306-308        
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in   Click to see details   Comments / Results
10:00 AM HB1174 relative to election challengers. Allows election challengers to be within 6 feet of any table where ballots
are hand counted, and to maintain a line of sight on any electronic ballot counting device.

 

House Education, February 2, 2022, 9:00 - 4:30 PM, LOB 205-207        
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in   Click to see details   Comments / Results
9:00 AM HB1594 relative to assistance to certain students with disabilities in registering to vote. Requires planners of individualized education programs (IEPs) or accommodations to include voter registration in the goals of these plans for students 17 and older, unless voter registration services are otherwise already provided and accessible at the school.

Week of January 21 - Jan 28, 2022

NH Senate Election Law & Municipal Affairs, Jan. 24, 1-4 pm, State House, Rm 100

 

  T = Written/In-Person Testimony Needed    
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in   Click to see details   Comments / Results
2:00 PM SB425 relative to the establishment of an election information portal. Priority Bill:  This is the return of Sen. Gray's online voter portal (not to be confused with an online registration system).  This portal would allow the voter to directly input information & documents into a system the NH SOS administers, and transmits it to town or city clerks  for final approval.   Voters could input registration info, change voter registration, request an absentee ballot, and change mailing or domicile addresses.   ODA supports modernizing elections, and this would be a step into the 20th (not quite the 21st) century for the state.
2:20 PM

SB427

T

modifying the absentee voter registration process, absentee ballot application, and absentee ballot voting process. Priority Bill:  This current absentee ballot application "disability" language currently limited to four allowable excuses.  SB 427 allows a voter to request an absentee ballot with "no excuse," allowing any qualified voter to use it.

 

NH Senate Election Law & Municipal Affairs, Jan. 26, 1-4 pm, State House, Rm 100

 

  T = Written/In-Person Testimony Needed    
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in   Click to see details   Comments / Results
Neutral 1:45 PM HB54 apportioning county commissioner districts.

This is the state's voting district map of county commissioner seats.  Neither ODA nor the Map-a-Thon Project has taken a position on these maps.

Download the map in PDF

Neutral 1:45 PM HB55 apportioning delegates to state party conventions. This map apportions political party delegates who will attend state conventions of the parties.   There was some question in the House Special Committee as to why this was even a function of the state legislature.  Neither ODA nor the Map-a-Thon Project has taken a position on this map.

 

NH House

No House Election Law this week.

NH House Judiciary Committee - Jan. 27, 9 - 5 pm, LOB Rm. 206-208
       
Click on the Thumbs Up/Down to Sign in        
11:00 AM

HB1014

T

allowing public meetings to be conducted virtually. This bill addresses what many advocacy organizations have been asking for since the 2020 emergency orders expired.   HB 1014 would allow both interactive online participation by the public, it would also allow legislators to be able to participate and vote remotely.   ODA supports this bill because it allows greater participation by the public.   If you would benefit from participating remotely, please submit testimony on this bill.
         

 

 


Week of January 17 - 23, 2022

NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE

House Election Law, January 19, 2022, LOB, Rm 306-308 T = Written/In-Person Testimony Needed
Sign in is now CLOSED for bills below
  Click to see details   Comments / Results
9:45 AM

HB1252

Hearing

Support: 54 | Oppose: 2 | Neutral: 0

relative to political contributions made by certain business entities.

This amend RSA 664:4 to ban political contributions by any person or business entity that has received any grant from the state of New Hampshire in the last 2 years.

10:00 AM

HB1326

Hearing

Support: 69 | Oppose: 3 | Neutral: 0

relative to permissible campaign contributions by business organizations and labor unions.

ODA's "Corporate Ban" bill, which keeps business entities from using money our the corporation's treasury as campaign contributions.   Instead, they must use segregated funds for such activities, such as individual contributions by employees held in one fund.

10:30 AM

HB1394

Hearing

Support: 63 | Oppose: 2 | Neutral: 0

relative to the reporting of certain campaign contributions and relative to political contributions made by limited liability companies.

Amends RSA 664 to insert LLCs into the requirements that "any political committee, political advocacy organization, or candidate that makes a contribution to any other committee, organization, or candidate of over $1,000 that is comprised of funds received from donations, contributions, dues, or gifts from a different entity shall include the total amount and source of such funds in any report required to be submitted pursuant to this chapter."  LLCs are a source of Dark Money because it is difficult to trace back ownership of the LLC.

10:45 AM

HB1423

Hearing

T

Support: 95 | Oppose: 8 | Neutral: 0

relative to campaign contributions and expenditures, and making an appropriation therefor.

Priority Bill:  One of Granny D's signature reforms, ODA's Honest Elections public funding of elections bill will not only reduce the influence of special interests, it will help candidates without big money funding to compete.    It distributes four $25 Voter Dollars certificates to registered voters to donate to the gubernatorial or Executive Council candidates of their choice.   Written testimony encouraged by Tuesday night for distribution Wednesday, January 19.

11:00 AM

HB1542

Hearing

Support: 13 | Oppose: 140 | Neutral: 1

relative to documentation required to prove a voter's eligibility to vote. This Big Lie bill attempts to make voters who do not have/own a state identification to fill out a "provisional" ballot, which would NOT BE COUNTED unless the voter returns the same day.   This could disenfranchise the poor, the elderly, young voters, disabled and other voters for who do not have or can't afford a state ID at a cost of $50.  
1:30 PM

HB1442

Hearing

Support: 126 | Oppose: 6 | Neutral: 0

relative to access to election and voter information.  This bill allows, and sets costs for, the distribution of voter checklist information in multiple languages.  Reportedly, the bill will be amended to include voter registration information in multiple languages for cities where compliance with the Voting Rights Act thresholds are met.

 

House Election Law, Jan.  20, 2022, State House, Rm 100

T = Written/In-Person Testimony Needed

 
Sign in is now CLOSED for bills below   Click to see details   Comments / Results
9:30 AM

HB1567

Hearing

Support: 16 | Oppose: 92 | Neutral: 0
relative to the removal of election officials from office. A Big Lie bill which allows voters to bring a suit against election officials for to the conduct of elections for failure to perform such official's election duties.   ODA sees this as a dangerous bill which is designed to intimidate election officials from running a fair and nonpartisan election.
10:00 AM

HB1485

Hearing

Support: 15 | Oppose: 41 | Neutral: 0

relative to direct recall elections. This allows any town official serving a three-year term to be subject to a recall election if a voter can obtain enough signatures to reach 10% of the previous town or city election turnout.   ODA opposes this bill because the bar is dangerously low and makes it easy to frivolously recall an official, and is expensive to cities and towns to run additional elections.

 

NH Senate

 NH Senate Election Law & Municipal Affairs, Jan. 20, 1-4 pm, State House, Rm 100

T = Written/In-Person Testimony Needed

Sign in is now CLOSED for bills below  

 

   
2:30 PM

SB418

Hearing

relative to verification of voter affidavits. This is a Big Lie bill intended to do an end-run around New Hampshire's Qualified Voter Affidavit system, which NH chose to do to accept Help America Vote Act (HAVA) fund.  It creates a system of provisional ballots of a different identifying color which will be deducted from the count if the voter fails to return with adequate documentation proving identity and domicile.  This bill adversely affects students and the poor, resulting in disenfranchisement. ODA strongly opposes this bill.

Week of January 10 - 16, 2022

NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE

House Election Law, January 13, 2022, LOB, Rm 306-308

T = Written/In-Person Testimony Needed
Sign in Now Closed
  Click to see details   Comments / Results
9:30 AM

CACR17

Hearing

relating to ballot measures. Providing that upon petition by voters, a question may be placed on the ballot of a statewide election. NH currently has no ballot initiative provision, and the argument has been that with so many reps, it wasn't necessary.  But issues like redistricting, where the voice of the people has been ignored, make an argument for a constitutional amendment allowing a ballot initiative.  This constitutional amendment would allow for a separate ballot initiative when signatures of 5% of registered voters have been collected.
10:00 AM

HB1482

Hearing

relative to ranked-choice voting. Establishes a system of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for state general elections in New Hampshire.
10:30 AM

HB1264

Hearing

establishing ranked-choice voting for state party primary elections and municipal elections. Establishes Ranked Choice Voting for state primary elections and municipal elections.  
11:00 AM

CACR22

Hearing

relating to elections. Providing that all elections in New Hampshire shall be by ranked-choice voting. A constitutional amendment which establishes that all elections in New Hampshire should be conducted through Ranked Choice Voting.
1:00 PM

CACR15

Hearing

relating to elections. Providing that the age to vote in the primary election be reduced to 17 for those who will be 18 by the general election. Amends Article 11 of the NH Constitution to allow citizens who will be 18 by the general election to be able to register and vote in the state primary at age 17.
1:30 PM

CACR19

Hearing

relating to paper ballots. Providing that all elections shall be conducted through paper ballots. This proposed constitutional amendment which would require all NH elections to be conducted on paper ballots.  It does not specify how those ballots should be counted, but would disallow modern voting electronic voting machines such as touch screen systems. 
2:00 PM

HB1064

Hearing

requiring the use of hand-marked, durable paper ballots in elections. Like CACR 19, this Big Lie bill would require the use of paper ballots, but additionally specifies that no electronic ballot counting devices can be used, and all ballots must be hand counted, even in large towns and cities  where tens of thousands of ballots would have to be hand counted.  Such a bill would cost municipalities in extra labor, and hand counting has proved to be overall less accurate.
2:30 PM

HB1157

Hearing

relative to electronic ballot counting devices. Yet another Big Lie bill, this one prohibiting the connection of any electronic ballot counting device from being connected to the internet.   Thus security and maintenance updates for the machines would need to be done in person.   NH's current AccuVote machines are so old that they don't have the ability to connect, but it would have an impact on future equipment. 
  3:00 PM

HB1247

Hearing

relative to folded ballots. The problem and subsequent audit in 2020 and 2021 in Windham was likely caused by folded ballots being misread by the AccuVote readers.   This bill disallows folded ballots from being read by machine and requires them to be hand counted.

 

NH SENATE

NH Senate Election Law & Municipal Affairs, Jan. 12, 1-4 pm, State House, Rm 100 

T = Written/In-Person Testimony Needed

Sign in Now Closed   Click to see details   Comments / Results
1:20 PM

SB242

Hearing

relative to the disqualification of certain persons from performing the duties of an election official. A failed 2021 bill attempted to disallow moderators from counting or handling ballots if that person was on the ballot him or herself.    This 2022 bill expands the scope to any official, but excluding election officials.  For instance, you could be running for selectboard or another position, and you would be disqualified from handling ballots.  If running just for moderator or supervisor, the statute would not apply.  ODA feels that this rule would severely hamper elections in smaller towns.
  1:40 PM

SB328

Hearing

relative to the date of the state primary election.  
2:00 PM

SB364

Hearing

relative to the use of electronic poll books. This a bill which follows 2021's attempt to approve electronic poll books, which aid election workers in checking voters in and in processing absentee ballots.  It will reduce lines, reduce labor, and should improve accuracy of data entry.
  2:20 PM

SB366

Hearing

requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election. This bill aims to do a spot check of 1-3% or 3 or 4 AccuVote ballot reading machines to identify any problems which might occur with the machines.
         

 


Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Brian Beihl
    published this page in Take Action 2022-01-14 16:44:36 -0500