HB 176 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 176
AN ACT relative to eligibility to vote.
SPONSORS: Rep. Sorg, Graf 3
COMMITTEE: Election Law
This bill changes the definition of domicile as it applies to eligibility to vote and to hold certain offices.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven
AN ACT relative to eligibility to vote.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Voter; Office Holder; Temporary Absence. RSA 654:1 and 654:2 are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
654:1 Voter; Office Holder.
I. Every inhabitant of the state 18 years of age and upwards who is a citizen of the United States shall have a right to vote at any meeting and in any election in the town, city, ward, or unincorporated place where he or she has his or her domicile.
II. An inhabitant’s domicile for voting purposes shall be the most recent place where he or she as an adult or where his or her parents or legal guardians with whom he or she resided as a minor established a physical presence manifesting an intention to maintain that place as his, her, or their principal and continuous place of physical presence for domestic, social, and civic purposes.
III. No person who prior to matriculation at any institution of learning in this state, and no person employed in the service of the United States who prior to being stationed in this state, had been domiciled in another place shall lose or change that domicile by reason of his or her presence in this state, but shall be presumed to have departed from such other place for a temporary purpose with the intention of returning.
IV. Any elected or appointed official for whom a qualification for his or her office is eligibility to be a voter in the place represented or served shall be deemed to have resigned that office immediately upon changing his or her domicile. Any vacancy so created shall be filled as prescribed by law.
654:2 Temporary Absence. A domicile for voting purposes once established in any town, city, ward, or unincorporated place of this state shall not be interrupted or lost by a temporary absence therefrom. No person shall be deemed to have lost or changed his or her domicile by reason of his or her absence from such town, city, ward, or unincorporated place while employed in the service of the United States, while engaged in the navigation of the waters of the United States or of the high seas, while a student at any institution of learning, while confined in any public prison or other penal institution; or while a patient at or confined for any reason in any nursing or convalescent home, hospital, or like public or private facility.
2 New Section; Voters Attending Institutions of Learning. Amend RSA 654 by inserting after section 2-a the following new section:
654:2-b Voters Attending Institutions of Learning.
I. The domicile for voting purposes of a person attending an institution of learning shall be the state, or the town, city, ward, or unincorporated place in New Hampshire, in which such person had his or her domicile immediately prior to matriculation, even though such person may no longer reside in said state, town, city, ward, or unincorporated place, and even though his or her intent to return thereto is uncertain. The domicile for voting purposes of a person attending an institution of learning shall not be the place where the institution is located unless the person was domiciled in that place prior to matriculation.
II. A person attending an institution of learning whose domicile is in a town, city, ward, or unincorporated place in New Hampshire shall be eligible to vote in any meeting and in any election in said town, city, ward, or unincorporated place, and may exercise that right by absentee ballot provided that:
(a) The person complies with all other applicable requirements and qualifications of the state of New Hampshire, including, but not limited to, the requirements that he or she take the steps necessary (i) to have his or her name placed on the voter checklist no later than 10 days before an election; and (ii) to ensure that his or her ballot is received by the town or city clerk from whom it was sent by not later than 5:00 p.m. on election day;
(b) The person is neither registered nor eligible to vote in any other state, political subdivision of a state, or territory or possession of the United States; and
(c) The person is not a citizen of another state.
III. In completing a voter registration form as specified in RSA 654:7, a person attending an institution of learning shall list the address of his or her domicile in the address section, and the name and address of the institution in the mailing address section.
IV. A person attending an institution of learning may use the mail to comply with all applicable requirements and qualifications for voting in this state.
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.