AN ACT relative to challenges to voters.

SPONSORS: Rep. Ingbretson, Graf 5; Rep. Mirski, Graf 10

COMMITTEE: Election Law


This bill removes the requirement that a person asserting a voter challenge submit an affidavit stating the basis of the challenge. The bill also permits voter challenges to be submitted on election day at the voter registration table.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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

AN ACT relative to challenges to voters.

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

1 Challenge of Voter; Affidavit. Amend RSA 659:27 to read as follows:

659:27 Challenge of Voter; Affidavit.

I. A voter offering to vote at any state election may be challenged by any other voter registered in the town or ward in which the election is held, an election official, a challenger appointed by a political committee pursuant to RSA 666:4, or a challenger appointed by the attorney general pursuant to RSA 666:5.

II. Upon receipt of a [written] challenge, the moderator shall determine if the challenge to the ballot is well grounded. If the moderator determines that the challenge is well grounded, the moderator shall not receive the vote of the person so challenged until the person signs and gives to the moderator an affidavit in the following form: I, ______________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) under penalties of voter fraud, that I am the identical person whom I represent myself to be, that I am a duly qualified voter of this town (or ward), and have a legal domicile therein. If the moderator determines that the challenge is not well grounded, the moderator shall permit the voter to proceed to vote.

[III. No voter or appointed challenger shall challenge a person’s qualifications to be a voter at the election day voter registration table.]

2 Challenges. Amend RSA 659:51, I to read as follows:

I. All absentee ballots are subject to challenge after the moderator publicly announces the name of the absentee voter, except for voters provided for in RSA 7:46, but not after the ballot is removed from the envelope. [No challenge to an absentee ballot may be asserted except in conformity with the requirements of RSA 659:27-a.] A person who makes a challenge shall state the reason for the challenge.

3 Repeal. RSA 659:27-a, relative to affidavit required from the person asserting a challenge, is repealed.

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