SB 83  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

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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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 and allowing preprocessing of absentee ballots.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

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, I-III 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 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.  If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be between one percent and 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.  If the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be between 2 percent and 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.

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

PART IV

Relative