HB 1166  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2022 SESSION

22-2228

11/05

 

HOUSE BILL 1166

 

AN ACT requiring certain voters to declare a party affiliation prior to a state primary election and requiring candidates to be members of political parties for a certain amount of time prior to an election in which such candidates seek office.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Love, Rock. 6; Rep. Potucek, Rock. 6; Rep. Yakubovich, Merr. 24; Rep. Thomas, Rock. 5

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires any undeclared voter who wishes to vote in a state party primary to declare a party affiliation at least 120 days prior to such primary.  The bill also requires that any person seeking a nomination by primary be a member of the political party for which such candidate seeks a nomination for at least 6 months prior to the primary election.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

22-2228

11/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Two

 

AN ACT requiring certain voters to declare a party affiliation prior to a state primary election and requiring candidates to be members of political parties for a certain amount of time prior to an election in which such candidates seek office.

 

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

 

1  Voters and Checklists; Change of Registration.  Amend RSA 654:34, II-V to read as follows:

II. [Change of registration of a voter who has been registered as an undeclared voter.

(a)] Any legal voter who has been registered as an undeclared voter may register as a member of the party of the voter's choice by appearing before the supervisors of the checklist for the voter's town or ward any time they meet, except as prohibited by paragraph [IV] III, and stating to them, under oath or affirmation, if required, that the voter intends to affiliate with and generally supports the candidates of the party with which the voter offers to register, in which case the voter shall be registered as a member of such party.

[(b) A voter may also register as a member of a party at any primary by requesting to be registered as a member and voting the ballot of the party of the voter's choice. A voter may also register once again as an undeclared voter after voting in a primary as a registered member of a party by returning the card or signing the list of undeclared voters from the statewide centralized voter registration database provided for in paragraph V. If cards are used, the voter shall return the card to the person at the polls designated by the town or city clerk to accept the card. All such cards and lists shall be in the possession of the supervisors of the checklist at the close of the polls on election day.

III. Notwithstanding any provision of paragraphs I and II to the contrary, no person who has voted in a primary may thereafter on the day of said primary change the person's party registration, unless, prior to voting in the primary, the person was registered as an undeclared voter, in which case the person may once again register as an undeclared voter, as provided in subparagraph II(b).

IV.] III. No person, who is already registered to vote[, whether his party membership has been previously registered or not] but not affiliated with any party, shall affiliate with a party [or disaffiliate from a party between the first Wednesday in June and the day before] within 120 days of the state primary election.  No person who is already registered to vote and who is affiliated with a party shall disaffiliate with a party or affiliate with a party between the first Wednesday in June and the day before the state primary election.

[V.(a) At any primary, the supervisors of the checklist shall make available within the polling place a card or list of undeclared voters from the statewide centralized voter registration database to enable a voter who was registered as an undeclared voter but who changed registration on the day of the primary in order to vote as a registered member of a party to change registration so that the voter is registered once again as an undeclared voter. The card or list shall be in substantially the following form:

 Name_____________________________

 (Print)

 Address__________________________

 _________________________________

 _________________________________

 I hereby request that my political party registration be changed as follows:

 From: Democrat [ ], or Republican [ ], or (name of any party determined by the secretary of state to have achieved official status under RSA 652:11) [ ]

 To: Undeclared [ ]

 Signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.

 ______________________________________________

 Date______________

(b) The supervisors of the checklist, upon receipt of such a card or list, shall keep it in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a and at the public session of supervisors of the checklist on election day shall change the party of the voter as indicated on the card or list. ]

2  Voters and Checklists; Registration.  Amend RSA 654:34-a, VII to read as follows:

VII. The town or city clerk shall present to the next meeting of the supervisors of the checklist, in accordance with the checklist guidelines as provided by RSA 654:25, the name of any person who made application to him or her for a change of party affiliation and the name of the party with which the person desires to be affiliated or that he or she desires to be affiliated with no party. The supervisors of the checklist shall cause the party affiliation of the applicant to be changed on the checklist. Any change submitted which is prohibited by the provisions of RSA 654:34, [IV] III shall be kept by the supervisors until acted upon; and the change shall be made as soon as permitted by law. Forms shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a.

3  Elections; Nominations; Filing.  Amend RSA 655:14 to read as follows:

655:14 Filing: General Provisions.  The name of any person shall not be printed upon the ballot of any party for a primary unless he or she [is] has been a registered member of that party for at least 6 months, he or she shall have met the age and domicile qualifications for the office he or she seeks at the time of the general election, he or she meets all the other qualifications at the time of filing, and he or she shall file with the appropriate official between the first Wednesday in June and the Friday of the following week a declaration of candidacy as provided in RSA 655:17.

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