TITLE LXIII
ELECTIONS

CHAPTER 659
ELECTION PROCEDURE

Processing Absentee Ballots

Section 659:49


See Emergency Order #83 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2021-83-Emerg. (2021, 2083:1.)), issued pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-04 (2020, 1004:1.)) as extended by Executive Orders 2020-05 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-05 (2020, 1005:1.)); 2020-08 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-08 (2020, 1008:1.)); 2020-09 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-09 (2020, 1009:1.)); 2020-010 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-010 (2020, 1010:1.)); 2020-014 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-014 (2020, 1014:1.)); 2020-015 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-015 (2020, 1015:1.)); 2020-016 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-016 (2020, 1016:1.)); 2020-017 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-017 (2020, 1017:1.)); 2020-018 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-018 (2020, 1018:1.)); 2020-020 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-020 (2020, 1020:1.)); 2020-021 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-021 (2020, 1021:1.)); 2020-022 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-022 (2020, 1022:1.)); 2020-023 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-023 (2020, 1023:1.)); 2020-024 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-024 (2020, 1024:1.)); 2020-025 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2020-025 (2020, 1025:1.)); 2021-01 (NH LEGIS E.O. 2021-01 (2021, 1001:1.)), and related to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, for potential impact on the terms of this section.
    659:49 Processing Absentee Ballots. –
I. Processing of previously received absentee ballots shall begin at 1:00 p.m. unless a different time, that is no earlier than 2 hours after the opening of the polls, is posted and announced in accordance with paragraph II. The processing of the absentee ballots shall not unnecessarily interfere with normal voting procedures, nor shall the polls be closed at any time for the processing of such ballots during normal polling hours. Absentee ballots which are received after the start time for processing absentee ballots and prior to 5:00 p.m. on the day of the election shall be processed as soon after receipt as possible. Under no circumstances shall absentee ballots be counted prior to the closing of the polls.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, upon the written challenges of 10 or more voters who are present at the polls no later than 1:00 p.m., the moderator shall postpone the processing of all absentee ballots until after the polls close and prior to the counting of all ballots cast in the election. The moderator, or his or her designee, shall post the time at which the processing of absentee ballots shall begin at the polling place and one other public location at least 24 hours before the polls open. In addition, when the polls open the moderator shall announce the time at which the processing of absentee ballots shall begin.

Source. 1979, 436:1. 1985, 122:1. 1995, 48:3. 1997, 103:1. 1998, 246:5. 2014, 319:15, eff. Aug. 1, 2014. 2020, 14:7, eff. July 17, 2020; 14:11, eff. Jan. 1, 2021.