NH Voter Registration Deadlines vary. 28 to 21 days before Nov 3, 2020.
- Stage 3 -- No excuse required to vote by mail
Online registration available
Jeanne Shaheen won
Dan Feltes lost
Chris Pappas won
• New Hampshire: A New Hampshire state court has largely rejected a lawsuit seeking to have election officials count mail ballots postmarked by Election Day, prepay postage, provide drop boxes, and allow third-party ballot collection.
• New Hampshire: The American Federation of Teachers has filed a lawsuit in state court asking that New Hampshire election officials be required to count absentee ballots so long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received "within a reasonable period of time after Election Day." Currently, ballots must be received by 5 PM local time on Election Day to be valid, which is two hours before polls close in most of the state.
The plaintiffs are also asking that several other voting laws be eased, including various requirements for witnesses and documentation related to registering to vote by mail. In addition, they want the state to prepay return postage for absentee ballots.
New Hampshire: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has signed a law passed by New Hampshire's Democratic-run legislature that will allow voters to use a single application to receive absentee ballots for both the Sept. 8 state primary and Nov. 3 general election.
New Hampshire: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill that Democrats in the legislature passed largely along party lines to permanently allow mail voting without an excuse, even though Sununu temporarily let voters to do so for this year's elections due to the pandemic. The bill also would have adopted online voter registration starting in 2021. Sununu's veto marks the second time he has blocked no-excuse absentee voting after rejecting a similar bill last year. Democrats lack the two-thirds supermajorities needed to override his veto.
• New Hampshire: New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald and Secretary of State Bill Gardner have released new guidance that effectively waives the state's requirement that voters present an excuse in order to vote absentee this year. The memorandum advises election officials: "Any voter may request an absentee ballot for the September 2020 Primary and November 2020 General Elections based on concerns regarding COVID-19." While a number of states have relaxed their excuse requirements for upcoming primaries, New Hampshire is the first to do so for the November general election.
• New Hampshire: On Thursday, a New Hampshire state court struck down a voting restriction Republicans passed in 2017 that imposed new voter residency requirements and made it more difficult for young voters in particular to cast their ballots.
The law in question required voters who registered to vote within 30 days of an election to show additional documentation that they live day-to-day at the residence they claim as their “domicile" and intend to do so long-term. Republicans passed this measure to make voting more difficult for various demographics that lean toward Democrats, such as college students and young adults, who are more likely to move frequently.
Voters who lacked suitable documentation could only cast provisional ballots, which would only count if they could provide documents proving their residency met the law's requirements at a later date. If they didn't, the law empowered state election officials to visit their homes and refer them to the secretary of state’s office for potential investigation, which may have intimidated voters.
Superior Court Judge David Anderson ruled that the law violated the state constitution's guarantee of the right to vote and that backers failed to prove that it was needed to stop alleged voter fraud. Importantly, Anderson noted that although the plaintiffs couldn't conclusively prove that the law had physically prevented any individual from voting, it was nevertheless unconstitutional because it was intimidating and confusing enough that "it discourages [potential voters] from showing up in the first place."
Republicans say they expect to appeal the ruling to New Hampshire's Supreme Court. The court normally has five members, but it's been left in a 2-2 tie between Democratic and Republican appointees with one seat vacant since last year. However, the justices unanimously refused to temporarily block the law shortly before Election Day in 2018 (a legal provision allows the random selection of a retired judge to temporarily fill the current vacancy).
A separate law that the GOP passed in 2018 specifically targeted out-of-state college students with a poll tax by requiring them to obtain official residency in the state, which requires paying for things like a state driver's license and car registration. A federal lawsuit over that piece of legislation is set to go to trial in late May. The case was sent to the state Supreme Court last month so that it could clarify the facts of what the law actually changes before the litigation could proceed further in federal court.