TITLE III
TOWNS, CITIES, VILLAGE DISTRICTS, AND UNINCORPORATED PLACES

CHAPTER 40
GOVERNMENT OF TOWN MEETING

Optional Form of Meeting-Official Ballot Referenda

Section 40:14

    40:14 Method of Adopting Official Ballot Referendum Form of Meeting. –
I. This subdivision may be adopted by any local political subdivision as defined in RSA 40:12. A 3/5 majority of those voting on the question shall be required to adopt this subdivision. Only votes in the affirmative or negative shall be included in the calculation of the 3/5 majority.
II. Adoption of this subdivision shall be deemed to constitute a vote to conduct the election of town officers by official ballot under RSA 669:14.
III. The local political subdivision shall place the question on the warrant of the annual meeting under the procedures set out in RSA 39:3 or RSA 197:6. Voting on the question shall be by ballot, but the question shall not be placed on the official ballot used to elect officers. Polls shall remain open and ballots shall be accepted by the moderator for a period of not less than one hour following the completion of discussion on the question.
IV. A public hearing shall be held by the local governing body on the question at least 15 days, but not more than 30 days, before the question is to be voted on. In multi-town districts, a public hearing shall be held in each town embraced by the district, none of which shall be held on the same day. Notice of the hearing shall be posted in at least 2 public places in the town and at least 2 public places in each town of multi-town districts, and published in a newspaper of general circulation at least 7 days prior to the date of the hearing.
V. The wording of the question shall be: "Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 40:13 (known as SB 2) to allow official ballot voting on all issues before the (local political subdivision) on the second Tuesday of (month)?"
VI. If a 3/5 majority of those voting on the question vote "yes," RSA 40:13 shall apply within the local political subdivision at the annual or special meeting next following. Only votes in the affirmative or negative shall be included in the calculation of the 3/5 majority.
VII. Any local political subdivision which has adopted RSA 40:13 may consider rescinding its action in the manner described in paragraphs III-VI, except that the question shall be placed on the official ballot. The wording of the question shall be: "Shall we rescind the provisions of RSA 40:13 (known as SB 2), as adopted by the (local political subdivision) on (date of adoption), so that the official ballot will no longer be used for voting on all questions, but only for the election of officers and certain other questions for which the official ballot is required by state law?" A 3/5 majority of those voting on the question shall be required to rescind the provisions of this subdivision, except in the case of repeal by charter enactment under RSA 49-D. Only votes in the affirmative or negative shall be included in the calculation of the 3/5 majority.
VIII. For any town which has adopted a charter under RSA 49-D:3, the method of adoption shall be the manner of amending the charter as provided under RSA 49-B.
IX. In the event that an alternative method for the adoption of official ballot voting exists under the laws of this state, then once the requirements are met for inclusion of the question on the warrant for annual meeting of whether to adopt this subdivision, neither the governing body nor the legislative body shall commence action to adopt official ballot voting through such alternative method until a final vote is taken on the warrant article. If procedures have been initiated to adopt official ballot voting under an alternative law of this state, then neither the governing body nor the legislative body shall commence action to adopt this subdivision until such alternative procedures are exhausted.
X. In a local political subdivision which has not adopted RSA 40:13 and in which the adoption of RSA 40:13 is to be voted on, the question shall specifically state whether the date for local elections and the second session shall be the second Tuesday in March, the second Tuesday in April, or the second Tuesday in May.
XI. A local political subdivision which has adopted the provisions of RSA 40:13 may change the date for local elections and the second session as follows:
(a) The question may be inserted on the warrant for either an annual or special meeting, either by the local governing body or by petition under RSA 39:3 or RSA 197:6.
(b) A public hearing shall be held by the local governing body on the question at least 15 days, but not more than 30 days, before the question is to be voted on. In multi-town districts, a public hearing shall be held in each town embraced by the district, none of which shall be held on the same day. Notice of the hearing shall be posted in at least 2 public places in the town, or in at least 2 public places in each town of multi-town districts, and published in a newspaper of general circulation at least 7 days prior to the date of the hearing.
(c) The wording of the question shall be substantially similar to the following: "Shall we change the date for elections and the second session from the second Tuesday in __________ to the second Tuesday in __________, which would change the date for the first session to a date between the first and second Saturdays after the last Monday in __________, inclusive?"
(d) A simple majority in the affirmative of those voting on the question shall be required to change the date; provided, however, that if the question appears on the ballot for a multi-town school district, the vote in each town or city comprising the district shall be tallied separately, and this section shall not be deemed adopted by the district unless it receives a majority vote from each and every such town and city, tallied separately. Only votes in the affirmative or negative shall be included in the calculation of the majority.
(e) A vote to change the dates of the meeting shall apply to the annual meeting next following the vote.

Source. 1995, 164:1, eff. July 31, 1995. 1997, 318:6, 7, 8, eff. Aug. 22, 1997. 1999, 34:1, 2, eff. July 10, 1999. 2000, 16:6, 7, eff. April 30, 2000. 2010, 262:6, eff. Sept. 4, 2010. 2019, 131:1, 2, eff. Aug. 24, 2019.