How to Register, How to Vote Absentee, Information about Elections, How to Contact Elected Officials.
For the September 8 and November 3 2020 elections in New Hampshire, anyone concerned about the spread of illness may vote absentee. Mail-in voter registration for new voters or those who have moved is also allowed for health reasons. For these elections, "physical disability" as a reason to vote or register absentee includes fears about Covid 19.
On election day, polls will be open with social distancing and other sanitation practices in place for those who want to register and vote in person. More details to come.
Voting absentee 2020 On April 10, 2020, the Secretary of State and Attorney General of NH issued the following directive regarding voting absentee in this time of heightened health issues:
"With respect to any upcoming municipal elections, we offer the following guidance as to who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot in light of the current public health crisis. As explained below, in light of the current public health state of emergency, Emergency Orders #16 and #26, and current public health guidance on social distancing and avoiding being in public in groups of 10 or more, all voters have a reasonable ground to conclude that a "physical disability" exists within the meaning of RSA 657:1. Therefore,all voters may request an absentee ballot on that basis."
To read the entire memorandum, click here.
If you believe you or someone else was denied the right to register or to vote, do not wait. Call the Attorney General's office immediately! (toll-free hotline is 1-866-868-3703).
You may also call the Secretary of State's office if you have questions in advance of an election: 603-271-3242
As of Feb. 11, 2020, the Sec of State reports that almost 41,000 voters registered on the day of the Presidential Primary. Now the numbers of registered voters in the state are:
Undeclared + 387,648
Republican + 306,542
Democrat + 324,593
On election day, polls will be open with social distancing and other sanitation practices in place for those who want to register and vote in person. More details to come.
On April 10, 2020, the Secretary of State and Attorney General of NH issued the following directive regarding voting absentee in this time of heightened health issues:
"With respect to any upcoming municipal elections, we offer the following guidance as to who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot in light of the current public health crisis. As explained below, in light of the current public health state of emergency, Emergency Orders #16 and #26, and current public health guidance on social distancing and avoiding being in public in groups of 10 or more, all voters have a reasonable ground to conclude that a "physical disability" exists within the meaning of RSA 657:1. Therefore, all voters may request an absentee ballot on that basis."
To read the entire memorandum, click here.
When the elections get closer, you will be able to download an absentee ballot application from the Sec of State's Elections website. Check the "disability" box in part II as your reason for voting absentee. Click here for absentee ballot application links.
1. Allowing mail-in requests for a change of political party, which has a June 2 deadline for the September primary elections.
2. Waiving the requirement for people filing for office to do so in person. Filing may be done by mail. Filing dates are June 3 - June 13.
If this applies to you, be sure to read the entire executive order for details: https://www.governor.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt336/files/documents/emergency-order-43.pdf
As of May 15, we are waiting for more guidance about registration by mail from the Secretary of State's office. When we have those details, we will update the fliers below.
Note for 2020: Please read all our fliers and brochures below in light of the April announcement that ANYONE MAY VOTE ABSENTEE if he or she determines that going to the polling place in person puts oneself or others at risk. Check the "disability" box on the application form.
Similar but more detailed brochure explaining voter registration and voting procedures in 2020. Click here for the brochure pdf.
Anyone wishing to use these fliers or brochures for outreach to potential voters is free to do so without further permission. However, we suggest you wait until the Secretary of State issues guidance about registration.
In New Hampshire, people who were convicted of felonies and have been released from incarceration have their voting rights restored. If they have not voted in a number of years or live somewhere new, they will have to register again. Click here for a brochure explaining the voting rights of people with felonies in their past.
Are you registered to vote? Do you need to change your address? Have you changed your name?
WHO CAN REGISTER:
New Hampshire residents who will be 18 years of age or older on election day, and a United States citizen, may register to vote. 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the date of the next scheduled election may register to vote.
New Hampshire doesn't have a length of residency requirement for voting. Even if you moved here recently, you may vote if this is the place where you are living now, not just vacationing or visiting. You may claim only one place as the place you live for voting purposes.
WHO NEEDS TO REGISTER:
If you are already registered in the town or the ward of the city where you live now, you don't need to register again. If you moved to a new town or ward, or if you never registered in your town before, you need to register in order to vote. If possible, register in advance at your town or city clerk's office, up to 6-13 days before an election (this 6-13 days period when no registrations are accepted will vary depending on specific elections--check with town/city clerk's office). NH law allows voters to register on election day. Be aware this will take extra time at the polls. Be sure to bring requested documents to speed up the process.
If you wish to run for public office, you must be a registered voter in that party before the filing period opens.
HOW TO REGISTER Four choices:
1. Apply at your town or city clerk's office. You will be required to fill out a voter registration form and will be asked to show proof of identity, age, citizenship and where you live.
2. Register with your community's Supervisors of the Checklist. By law they are required to meet once, between 6 and 13 days prior to each election (will vary by elections). Check the local newspaper or call your clerk's office for the place, date and time of such meeting. You will be required to fill out a voter registration form and will be asked to show proof of identity, age, citizenship and where you live.
3. You may register to vote at the polling place on election day at all elections (similar documents will be requested.)
4. If you meet the qualification of disability, which includes illness or danger of contagion, you may register by mail. More guidance will be coming from the Secretary of State on those procedures. Right now nearly all town clerks offices are closed (April 2020). We will update information here as we receive it.
DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO REGISTER:
When you register, you will fill out a form giving your name, age, place of birth, local residence, previous voting address if you were registered to vote somewhere else, and a driver's license identification number or the last four digits of your social security number if you have one. You will be asked to read and sign a statement saying you understand voting fraud is a crime.
You will also be asked for documents to prove your identity, age, citizenship, and where you live in the voting district. A driver's license with your current address can be offered for identity, age, and where you live. A birth certificate (if you have not since changed your name) or naturalization papers or US Passport can prove citizenship.
If you don't have documents for identity, age, citizenship, and where you live, you can sign a paper attesting to the truth of the information you have given.
The Attorney General and the NH Secretary of State issued this multi-page document trying to explain voter registration requirements in terms of residency. Dec. 2019. http://sos.nh.gov/EstabDomicileResidence.aspx
You may register with a specific party, or you may leave party affiliation blank on the registration form.
YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE
If you are qualified to be a voter in your voting district, you cannot be denied the right to vote. You should bring the best available documents with you. If you register on Election Day you cannot be turned away or required to leave the polling place to get any documents.
Once you have registered to vote, you will be directed to the Ballot Clerk to receive your ballot. The next time you vote, you can go straight to the Ballot Clerk and announce your name.
For further registration information, including that related to absentee registration and ballots, college students, overseas citizens and armed services, please see the Secretary of State, Elections Division web page
The preceding information is mostly based on information from the Attorney General's office and the Elections page of the Secretary of State's website, http://sos.nh.gov/electfaq.aspx, and state law.
You may give this flier to a young person you care about and encourage him/her to register and vote.
"The voices that are heard the loudest are the voices of those who vote."
College students who lived in NH before they started college and are already residents of NH may register in their home communities or in the town where they live while going to college.
College students whose families live outside NH and who have driver's licenses/auto registrations from out of state should not be discouraged from voting. This Nov. 7, 2019 letter from the NH Attorney General's office affirms your right to vote in the town where you live while going to college. Read the letter here.
Unfortunately the above letter is somewhat contradicted by advice issued by the Secretary of State, Atty General, and Dept of Motor Vehicles on Dec. 19, 2019. This article from NHPR summarizes the current situation and includes a link to the advice on the Sec of State's website. Read more
If you have further questions, you may phone the NH Secretary of State to find out how the new residency law affects you if you register to vote in your college town. Sec. of State's phone during normal business hours is 603-271-3242.
Update: This Oct. 24, 2019 article in the Concord Monitor explains the court proceedings regarding the above requirement for college students, medical interns, and others living in the state for a limited time. Click here to read the article.
College students who prefer to vote in their home states or home communities may do so using absentee ballots if they will not be home on election day. To get an absentee ballot for state and federal elections by mail, fill out and mail or fax the official absentee ballot application well in advance to your town or city clerk's office. You are not required to have a photo ID to vote absentee.
The fliers below are accurate for 2020, even though most are still labeled 2016-2017. The requirements for ID have not changed.
Download the pdf about the voter ID requirements. The League gives permission for groups and individuals to copy and distribute this important information.
Similar but more detailed information in a brochure format, explaining voter registration for 2020. Click here for the brochure pdf.
NH law restores the voting rights of those convicted of felonies upon their release from prison. Click here for the brochure.
Note that the fliers and brochures below reflect the law in place effective April 2020, except that they have not been updated to explain that "disability" can be interpreted as "illness or fear of catching a serious illness in public" as a reason for voting absentee. Foreign language fliers are dated 2016, but apply now.
Spanish-language version Registrarse para Votar en NH
Portuguese-language version Registre para Votar
French-language version Ce Qu'il Faut Savoir pour Voter dans le New Hampshire--en français
Nepali-language version Voter Registration Information in Nepali मतदानका लागि दर्ता गर्नुहोस् + तपाईंको मतको महत्व छ
To find out which district you are in for the Congressional representatives as well as state Senate, state House, and Executive Council, go to http://sos.nh.gov/VoteDist.aspx
Not sure where you should go to vote? Not sure of the hours to vote? You can click on "By Street Address" then type in your street address and choose Odd or Even for the house number on this secure site of the NH Secretary of State's website and find out the address for your polling place: http://app.sos.nh.gov/Public/PollingPlaceSearch.aspx
The state primary (for county, state and federal officials other than President) will be held September 8, 2020. The general election will be November 3, 2020.
Elections in major cities for city offices and school board are held in November (Franklin election is in October). City primaries, if needed, are generally held in September or October. Some cities hold elections every other year, others every year.
Elections for town and school board offices are held in many towns on the second Tuesday in March. Some towns hold elections on the second Tuesday in May instead. Some SB2 towns hold the ballot session on the second Tuesday in April. Deliberative sessions in SB2 towns and school districts are held before the voting day(call your town clerk to confirm dates). Town meeting may be held on the same day as elections or a subsequent date. See more below under Town Meetings.
If you are registered with a party and you wish to vote or run in another party's primary in the future, you must change your party affiliation before the filing date for the primary. (Before June 3, 2020) Supervisors of the checklist will meet (probably at your town office) for a few hours to process these requests, about 6 to 13 days before the election. Phone your town or city clerk for hours and place. Anyone wishing to run for office in the primary and who is not already a registered voter must register before the filing date.
If you have questions about your voting rights, you may contact the Secretary of State, 603-271-3242, the Attorney General, 603-271-3658, or the League, 603-225-5344.
Download the 2020 "Know Your Elected Officials" brochures prepared by local League units:
Nashua download the pdf
Kearsarge/Sunapee area: download the pdf.
Mt. Washington Valley area: Information corrected November 2019. download the pdf.
Peterborough plus surrounding towns: download the pdf.
Nashua municipal elected officials: job descriptions. Click here
Elected officials' roles and qualifications in NH. Click here to download a short summary of state and county positions Some items use Nashua as an example, but the general descriptions apply to all county and state offices.
What is NH's Executive Council? Why is it so important? Click here to download the flier. For contact info of the current office holders, visit the Executive Council's website: https://www.nh.gov/council/
To find names and contact information for your State Representatives or Senator, use the search engine at the New Hampshire General Court's web page. To examine current state legislation or research the voting records of state legislators, see the New Hampshire General Court's web page.
To contact Governor Chris Sununu, use the webform or phone number at this site: http://www.governor.nh.gov/contact/index.htm
To send an email message to President Donald Trump, use the webform on this website: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact#page
Click on these links to find names and contact information for your United States Representative or United States Senators. This information was updated Feb. 2017. You can also sign up for weekly email newsletters from your Representative and Senators via their websites.
If you wish to contact your US Representative or Senator, be aware that paper mail is likely to be delayed significantly for security reasons. You may phone DC or NH offices, or you may send email via the Contact webform on each official's website.
View the Library of Congress' web page for comprehensive information on current and past federal legislation.
*Representative Christopher Pappas (District 1) https://pappas.house.gov/
A Manchester office will open in the near future.
Washington Office: Phone Toll-free 1-888-216-5373
Dover Office: 660 Central Ave., Dover, NH 03820 (603) 285-4300
*Representative Annie Kuster (District 2) <http://www.kuster.house.gov/>
Washington office: Phone: (202) 225-5206 Fax: (202) 225-2946
Concord NH: 18 N. Main St., Concord 03301 phone:(603)226-1002 FAX: (603) 226-1010
Nashua NH: 70 E. Pearl St., Nashua 03060 phone:(603) 595-2006 FAX: (603) 595-2016
*Senator Maggie Hassan <https://www.hassan.senate.gov/content/contact-senator>
Washington office: Phone: (202) 224-3324 Fax: (202) 228-0581
Manchester office: 1200 Elm Street, Suite 2, Manchester, NH 03101 Phone: (603) 622-2204
*Senator Jeanne Shaheen <http://www.shaheen.senate.gov/>
Washington office: Phone: (202) 224-2841
Manchester NH: 2 Wall Street, Suite 220, Manchester, NH 03101 phone:(603) 647-7500
Dover NH: 340 Central Avenue, Suite 205, Dover, NH 03820 Phone: (603) 750-3004
_______ VOTING RECORDS ON ROLL-CALL VOTES
For roll call votes and individual NH state senator / state representative voting records, click here
You can search a specific session to look up roll call votes during that session, and to check the records of specific members.
For the U.S. Congress to find out who voted on a particular bill click here
If you want to look up a particular U.S. Congressperson / Senator's voting record click here.
For information on the rules regarding town meetings, read this excellent article from the NH Municipal Association It explains how town meeting works, the powers of voters and of the moderator, how to get items on the warrant, etc.
Yesterday a New Hampshire Superior Court judge ruled with voters in the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire's lawsuit over New Hampshire's voter registration domicile documentation bill, Senate Bill 3. Judge David A. Anderson ruled that SB 3 procedures for voter registration are unconstitutional because they unreasonably burden voters and violate equal protection under the New Hampshire Constitution.
"As the League of Women Voters NH looks forward to the September 8 state primary and the November 3, 2020 general election, we are pleased that we do not have the added burden of explaining the cumbersome proof of domicile documents requirement to potential voters," said Liz Tentarelli, president of the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire.
Senate Bill 3 required that everyone seeking to register to vote present documentary evidence of a "verifiable act or acts carrying out" their intent to be domiciled in New Hampshire. The result was a complicated voter registration form that required voters without documentation with them agree to return with suitable documents later or face criminal penalties and fines.
The domicile documentation case has been in the courts three times since SB 3 was signed into law in 2017. The first preliminary injunction hearing in September of 2017 stayed the penalties. The next preliminary injunction ruling in October 2018 to stay implementation was favorable to the League but was then overturned by the state supreme court just in time for the November election. However, the law was stayed effective immediately after that election and has not been in effect since then. In December 2019 a trial that lasted nine days resulted in this week's favorable ruling.
With the domicile documentation requirement voided, voters will not experience that burden when they register to vote. However, the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire also look to the Secretary of State and the Governor and Attorney General to consider the needs of voters who will be registering for the first time in their towns. Some kind of online system of voter registration will be needed if town clerks' offices are still closed in late August through October, a system that will not require in-person queuing on election day with its attendant health risks.
"We thank Secretary of State William Gardner for his statement on April 8 that no voters will have to risk their health and safety by going to vote," president Liz Tentarelli offered. "The League assumes the current reasons to vote absentee will be expanded to include illness or vulnerability to illness in this heightened state of caution."
On October 26, 2018, the NH Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Secretary of State that changing the registration procedures so close to the November election could "...result in voter confusion and consequent incentive to remain away from the polls." Thus the requirement to prove domicile as defined under SB3 remains in effect for the Nov. 6 election, in spite of the superior court ruling below. No penalty, however, will be imposed on someone for failure to return with domicile paperwork. People registering on election day who don't have proof of where they live WILL BE GIVEN A BALLOT and a list of documents they might produce within a few weeks of the election to prove where they live.
On October 22, 2018, the Hillsborough Court North enjoined SB3 voter registrations procedures. This means the state will revert to pre-SB3 requirements and forms. Lacking proof of where you live when you register will NOT keep you from registering! Read the (lengthy) court ruling here--relevant part begins on p. 20.
Sept. 12, 2017 Ruling in SB3 preliminary injunction suit. Judge Temple in Hillsborough District Court this morning issued a ruling that the procedures for voter registration under SB3 may be used for the special election today in the Laconia area, but that any penalty for failing to return papers shall not be imposed. He also directed the Secretary of State to educate the voters about the new registration procedures (something that has not happened, via website or a public information campaign).
On the matter of whether the League of Women Voters NH has standing in the case as it moves forward, details to be explained later. Stay tuned to news. The actual trial of the case has been scheduled for the last two weeks of August 2018. Until then, SB3 without penalties remains in effect for municipal and special elections.
New in 2016: 17-year-olds may register to vote if they will be 18 by the time of the next scheduled election. Someone who is currently 17 may go to the town or city clerk's office to register before the election, provided he/she will turn 18 on or before the actual election date. The same 6-13 days "black-out period" between acceptance of registration forms by the town/city clerk and the actual election apply to all who wish to register. (This is to allow printing of the updated registered voters lists--begging your town/city clerk to accept your registration a couple of days before an election won't work.)
May 15, 2015 The NH Supreme Court today issued its ruling about the voter registration form, supporting the earlier court's decision that ruled it is unconstitutional to have language in the voter registration form requiring registration of a car in NH if one claims NH as voting domicile. This makes the League very happy. The decision can be read here
July 25, 2014: The injunction against the voter registration form (proposed by the legislature in 2012) that would have required a voter to also register a car and get a NH drivers license has just been made permanent. The League was a plaintive in the original suit, along with 4 students, to stop this blatant attempt to disenfranchise student voters, temporary military residents, and others. Read the details
Sept. 16, 2015 The legislation vetoed by Governor Maggie Hassan that would have required 30-days residence to vote will not become law. An attempt to override the Governor's veto failed. There is no time requirement for living in a particular place in NH in order to vote.