TITLE LXIII
ELECTIONS

CHAPTER 653
ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND DELEGATES

State and County Officers to be Elected

Section 653:1

    653:1 Elected for 2-Year Term. –
At every state general election, the following officers shall be elected for 2-year terms except as otherwise provided:
I. The governor by the voters of the state;
II. One executive councilor by the voters in each executive councilor district;
III. One state senator by the voters in each senatorial district;
IV. The number of state representatives to which a district is entitled by the voters in such state representative district;
V. One sheriff, one county attorney, one county treasurer, one register of deeds, and one register of probate by the voters in each county;
VI. County commissioners as follows:
(a) Grafton and Hillsborough counties-one county commissioner by those voters in each county commissioner district in each county;
(b) Carroll county-one county commissioner from each county commissioner district by all the voters of the county; provided that, at the 1994 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall each be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners whose terms are expiring shall be elected by all the voters of the county; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1994 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(c) Strafford county-3 county commissioners by all the voters of the county;
(d) Cheshire county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1980 state general election, no commissioner from district 1 shall be elected, the commissioner from district 2 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioner from district 3 shall be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in which a commissioner's term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1980 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 3.
(e) Sullivan county-one county commissioner from each county commissioner district by all the voters of the county; provided that, at the 1990 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall each be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners whose terms are expiring shall be elected by all the voters of the county; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1990 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(f) Belknap county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1992 state general election, no commissioner from district 1 shall be elected, the commissioner from district 2 shall be elected to a 4-year term, and the commissioner from district 3 shall be elected to a 2-year term. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in which a commissioner's term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1992 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 3.
(g) Rockingham county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1992 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall be elected to 2-year terms. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in which a commissioner's term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1992 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(h) Merrimack county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district in the county; provided that, at the 1996 state general election, the commissioner from district 1 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 2 and 3 shall be elected to 2-year terms. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in the county in which a commissioner's term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1996 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 2.
(i) Coos county-one county commissioner by the voters in each county commissioner district; provided that, at the 1996 state general election, the commissioner from district 3 shall be elected to a 4-year term and the commissioners from districts 1 and 2 shall be elected to 2-year terms. At each subsequent state general election, 2 commissioners shall be chosen in the county by the voters of the districts in the county in which a commissioner's term is expiring; and, of the commissioners so chosen, one shall serve a 4-year term and one shall serve a 2-year term and both shall hold their offices until their successors are chosen and qualified. Following the 1996 state general election, the 4-year term shall be rotated in sequence starting with district 1.

Source. 1979, 436:1; 451:1. 1990, 56:1, 2. 1991, 219:2. 1992, 9:1, 2. 1993, 308:1. 1995, 47:1, 2. 1996, 138:1, 2. 2003, 289:22, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Federal Officers to be Elected

Section 653:2

    653:2 Electors of the President and Vice-President. – At the state general election in 1980 and at the state general election every fourth year thereafter, the voters of the state shall elect the number of electors of the president and vice-president of the United States to which the state is entitled.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:3


[The amendment to RSA 653:3 by 1995, 108:2 is omitted in light of the United States supreme court decision invalidating state-imposed congressional term limits. See U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (1995) 514 U.S. 779.]
    653:3 United States Senators. – At the state general election in 1980 and at the state general election every sixth year thereafter and at the state general election in 1984 and at the state general election every sixth year thereafter, the voters of the state shall elect one United States senator.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:4


[The amendment to RSA 653:4 by 1995, 108:3 is omitted in light of the United States supreme court decision invalidating state-imposed congressional term limits. See U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (1995) 514 U.S. 779.]
    653:4 United States Representatives. – At every state general election, the voters of each congressional district shall elect one United States representative.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Election of Delegates to Party Conventions

Section 653:5

    653:5 Delegates to National Party Conventions. – At every presidential primary election, the voters of the state shall vote their preference for party candidates for president and thereby choose the delegates to each presidential nominating convention to which the state is entitled.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:6

    653:6 Delegates to State Party Conventions. – At every state primary election, the voters in each state representative district shall elect delegates to each state party convention in accordance with the districts laid out in RSA 662:6. In order to be elected as a delegate to a state party convention, a person shall be a registered voter of the same party in the district from which the person is to be elected, and shall receive either a minimum of 10 votes or 10 percent of the votes cast in the district from which the person is to be elected, whichever is less. A person who is entitled to serve as a delegate because he or she has been nominated for office as provided in RSA 667:21 shall not be entitled to serve as an elected delegate under this section, and the next highest eligible vote-getter shall be elected.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1992, 68:1. 1995, 47:3. 2005, 5:1, eff. July 2, 2005.

Election Dates

Section 653:7

    653:7 State General Election. – The state general election shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:8

    653:8 State Primary Election. – The state primary election shall be held on the second Tuesday in September of every even-numbered year.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.

Section 653:9

    653:9 Presidential Primary Election. – The presidential primary election shall be held on the second Tuesday in March or on a date selected by the secretary of state which is 7 days or more immediately preceding the date on which any other state shall hold a similar election, whichever is earlier, of each year when a president of the United States is to be elected or the year previous. Said primary shall be held in connection with the regular March town meeting or election or, if held on any other day, at a special election called by the secretary of state for that purpose. The purpose of this section is to protect the tradition of the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1995, 289:1. 1999, 161:2. 2007, 212:4. 2010, 121:1, eff. Aug. 8, 2010.

Section 653:10

    653:10 Assumption of Office. – Federal officers-elect shall assume office on the date set by the U.S. Constitution. State officers-elect shall assume office on the date set by the New Hampshire Constitution. County officers-elect shall assume office on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January of the year following the state general election at which they were elected.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1983, 426:1, eff. Aug. 23, 1983.