VOTERS AND CHECKLISTS
General Voter Registration
654:12 Determining Qualifications of Applicant.
I. When determining the qualifications of an applicant, the supervisors of the checklist, or the town or city clerk, shall require the applicant to present proof of citizenship, age, and domicile, as provided in the following categories:
(a) CITIZENSHIP. The supervisors of the checklist, or the town or city clerk, shall accept from the applicant any one of the following as proof of citizenship: the applicant's birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers if the applicant is a naturalized citizen, a qualified voter affidavit, a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day, or any other reasonable documentation which indicates the applicant is a United States citizen. The qualified voter affidavit shall be in the following form, and shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a:
QUALIFIED VOTER AFFIDAVIT (Identity, Citizenship, Age)
Name at birth if different: ______________________________
Place of birth: ______________________________
Date of birth: ____________________
Date and Place of Naturalization: ______________________________
Domicile Address: ________________________________________
Mailing Address (if different): ________________________________________
Telephone number (requested but optional) ____________________
Email address (requested but optional) ____________________
I hereby swear and affirm, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am not in possession of some or all of the documents necessary to prove my identity, citizenship, and age and that I am the identical person whom I represent myself to be, that I am a duly qualified voter of this town (or ward), that I am a United States citizen, that I am at least 18 years of age as of this date or will be at the next election, and that to the best of my knowledge and belief the information above is true and correct.
(Signature of applicant)
In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposely providing false information when registering to vote or voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.
On the date shown above, before me, ____________________ (print name of notary public, justice of the peace, election officer), appeared ____________________ (print name of person whose signature is being notarized), (known to me or satisfactorily proven (circle one)) to be the person whose name appears above, and he or she subscribed his or her name to the foregoing affidavit and swore that the facts contained in this affidavit are true to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.
This affidavit was executed for purposes of proving (check all that apply):
[ ] Identity
[ ] Citizenship
[ ] Age
Notary Public/Justice of the Peace/Official Authorized by RSA 659:30
(b) AGE. Any reasonable documentation indicating the applicant will be 18 years of age or older at the next election, or, if the applicant does not have reasonable documentation in his or her possession at the place and time of voter registration, a qualified voter affidavit, which shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a, or a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day.
(1) Registering more than 30 days in advance of an election.
(A) A person who possesses one of the following qualified documents identifying the applicant's name and the address claimed as domicile must present that document when applying for registration prior to election day: (i) New Hampshire driver's license or identification card issued under RSA 260:21, RSA 260:21-a, or RSA 260:21-b; (ii) New Hampshire resident vehicle registration; (iii) a picture identification issued by the United States government that contains a current address; (iv) government issued check, benefit statement, or tax document. A person who possesses such a document, but failed to bring it with the person when seeking to register to vote shall be required to return when he or she can present one of these documents or to bring the document and register on election day.
(B) A person who attests under penalty of voter fraud that he or she does not possess any of the qualified documents listed in subparagraph (A) may present any reasonable documentation of having established a physical presence at the place claimed as domicile, having an intent to make that place his or her domicile, and having taken a verifiable act to carry out that intent. The documentation must establish that it is more likely than not that the applicant has a domicile and intends to maintain that domicile, as defined in this chapter, at least until election day in the town or ward in which he or she desires to vote. Reasonable documentation may include, but is not limited to evidence of:
(i) Residency, as set forth in RSA 654:1, I-a, at an institution of learning at that place;
(ii) Renting or leasing an abode at that place for a period of more than 30 days, to include time directly prior to an election day;
(iii) Purchasing an abode at that place;
(iv) Enrolling the applicant's dependent minor child in a publicly funded elementary or secondary school which serves the town or ward of that place, using the address where the registrant resides;
(v) Listing that place as the person's physical residence address on state or federal tax forms, other government identification showing the address, or other government forms showing the address;
(vi) Providing the address of that place to the United States Post Office as the person's permanent address, provided it is not a postal service or commercial post office box;
(vii) Obtaining public utility services for an indefinite period at that place; or
(viii) Arranging for a homeless shelter or similar service provider located in the town or ward to receive United States mail on behalf of the individual.
An applicant whose domicile is at an abode of another and whose name is not listed on the document offered as proof of domicile may provide a written statement from a person who is listed as owner, property manager, or tenant on the document that the applicant resides at that address, signed by that person under penalty of voting fraud if false information is provided.
(2) Registering within 30 days before an election and on election day.
(A) When registering within 30 days before an election or on election day as provided in RSA 654:7-a, if the applicant does not have in his or her possession at the polls one of the qualified documents listed in subparagraph (1) or other reasonable documentation which establishes that it is more likely than not that the applicant has a domicile at the address claimed in the town or ward in which he or she desires to vote, he or she may execute a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day and initial the acknowledgment of domicile evidence obligation. If the applicant identifies on his or her application action taken to establish his or her domicile, which he or she has documentation of, he or she must agree to mail a copy of or present the document in person to the city or town clerk within 10 days, or where the town clerk's office is open fewer than 20 hours weekly, within 30 days. Copies of documents provided in compliance with this subparagraph are exempt from the public disclosure required by RSA 91-A. The clerk shall document receipt of a copy or completion of verification of a document presented in person and forward verification to the supervisors of the checklist. An applicant whose voter registration is approved based on an acknowledgment of a domicile evidence obligation who knowingly or purposely fails to provide a document to the city or town clerk as required by this paragraph shall be subject to the penalties of wrongful voting as established in RSA 659:34. The supervisors of the checklist shall initiate removing the name from the checklist of any such person who fails to provide proof of domicile by the deadline by sending the person the notice required by RSA 654:44.
(B) A person registering within 30 days before an election or on election day who does not possess reasonable documentation of establishing domicile and has taken no verifiable action to carry out his or her intent to establish domicile at the address claimed on the voter registration application may nonetheless register to vote by initialing the paragraph on the registration form acknowledging that domicile may be verified. The supervisors of the checklist shall, as soon as practical following an election at which the person initials such paragraph to register and vote, attempt to verify that the person was domiciled at the address claimed on election day by means including, but not limited to:
(i) Examining public records held by the town or city clerk, municipal assessing and planning offices, tax collector, or other municipal office that may house public records containing domicile confirmation; or
(ii) Requesting 2 or more municipal officers or their agents or state election officers or their agents to visit the address and verify that the individual was domiciled there on election day. In unincorporated places that have not organized for the purposes of conducting elections, county officers may be asked to perform this function; or
(iii) Referring the registrant's information to the secretary of state, who shall cause such further investigation as is warranted.
(C) Any case where supervisors are unable to verify the applicant's domicile or where evidence exists of voting fraud shall be promptly reported to the secretary of state and to the attorney general, who shall cause such further investigation as is warranted.
II. The supervisors may refuse to add the name of an applicant to the checklist if he or she fails to present the evidence or an affidavit as required by this section. Without limiting the acceptance of other forms of proof of domicile or identity deemed reasonable by the supervisors:
(a) Any one of the following documents is presumptive evidence that the individual seeking to vote meets the domicile requirement, provided the document is currently valid, was issued to or in the name of the applicant, and shows the address the applicant claims as a domicile:
(1) New Hampshire driver's license.
(2) New Hampshire vehicle registration.
(3) Armed services identification, or other photo identification issued by the United States government.
(b) Any one of the following is presumptive evidence of the identity of an applicant sufficient to satisfy the identity requirement for an official authorized by RSA 659:30 to take the oath of an applicant swearing to a qualified voter, domicile, or election day affidavit or a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day:
(1) Photo driver's license issued by any state or the federal government.
(2) United States passport, armed services identification, or other photo identification issued by the United States government.
(3) Photo identification issued by local or state government.
(c) The presumptions established in this paragraph may be defeated by evidence establishing that it is more likely than not that the applicant is not qualified as a voter.
III. To prove the qualifications set forth in paragraphs I and II, an applicant for registration as a voter must prove his or her identity to establish that the evidence used to prove age, citizenship, and domicile relate to the applicant. A person who has in his or her immediate possession a photo identification approved for use by paragraph II must present that identification when applying for registration. A person who does not have an approved photo identification with him or her may establish identity through completion of the qualified voter affidavit, which shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a, or a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day. Residents of a nursing home or similar facility may prove their identity through verification of identity by the administrator of the facility or by his or her designee. For the purposes of this section, the application of a person whose identity has been verified by an official of a nursing home or similar facility shall be treated in the same manner as the application of a person who proved his or her identity with a photo identification.
III-a. The supervisors of the checklist, town or city clerk, or election day official shall take a photograph of any person who registers using a qualified voter affidavit or sworn statement on the general election day registration form. Such photograph shall be retained in the same manner as qualified voter affidavits pursuant to RSA 33-A:3-a, CXLI(e). The photograph may be used for purposes of RSA 659:13, I(c).
IV. Any person who is applying for registration as a voter and who is currently registered to vote in a different town or ward in New Hampshire shall complete the voter registration form provided for in RSA 654:7. If the election official receiving the application confirms through the centralized voter registration database required by RSA 654:45 that the applicant is currently registered to vote in New Hampshire, the applicant shall prove identity and domicile, but shall not be required to prove his or her age or citizenship.
V. (a) The election official approving the application for registration as voter of a person who does not present an approved form of photo identification as proof of identity when registering, shall mark the voter registration form to indicate that no photo identification was presented and shall inform the person that, if he or she is a first-time election day registrant in New Hampshire, he or she will receive a letter of identity verification. The person entering the voter information into the centralized voter registration database shall determine if the person is listed in the system as having been previously registered in the town or ward reported by the applicant on the voter registration form. If the person is a new registrant who has not been previously registered anywhere in New Hampshire or if the centralized voter registration database does not confirm a previous registration claimed on the voter registration form, the election official shall cause the record created in the centralized voter registration database to indicate that the person is a new applicant in New Hampshire and that no photo identification was presented. When municipalities enter information on people who register on election day into the centralized voter registration database, to the extent practical applicants who are registering for the first time in New Hampshire and who also register without presenting an approved photo identification shall be entered first. The person entering the voter information of election day residents into the centralized voter registration database shall cause the records to indicate if the voter executed a sworn statement on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day.
(b) The secretary of state shall cause a letter of identity verification to be mailed by first class mail to each voter identified at any election as a first-time election day registrant in New Hampshire who also did not verify his or her identity with an approved photo identification. The letter shall be mailed by January 10 in every odd-numbered year in the case of persons registering at a state primary or general election, or within 90 days after any other election. The secretary of state shall mark the envelope with instructions to the United States Post Office not to forward the letter and to provide address correction information. The letter shall notify the person that a person who was unable to present photo identification registered or registered and voted using his or her name and address and instruct the person to return the letter within 45 days with a written confirmation that the person registered and voted or to contact the attorney general immediately if he or she did not register and vote. Any voter under a protective order pursuant to RSA 173-B, and whose name does not appear on the checklist as provided under RSA 654:25, shall not be subject to the provisions of paragraph V.
(c) The secretary of state shall conduct an inquiry regarding any letters mailed pursuant to subparagraph (b) that are returned as undeliverable by the United States Post Office and those persons who were mailed letters under subparagraph (b) and have not confirmed their registration. The inquiry may include consulting with, and examining public records held by, municipal officials, which contain information relevant to a person's qualifications to vote in New Hampshire, and interviewing persons living at the address listed on the voter registration form. After such inquiry, the secretary of state shall prepare and forward to the attorney general for investigation a list of those people whose identity or eligibility to vote could not be confirmed. Upon receipt of notice from a person who receives a letter of identity verification that the person did not register and vote, or upon receipt of a referral from the secretary of state, the attorney general shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether fraudulent registration or voting occurred.
(d) Within 90 days of each election, the secretary of state shall cause a list of persons executing sworn statements on the voter registration form used starting 30 days before an election and on election day since the prior election to be forwarded to the attorney general and the division of motor vehicles. The secretary of state shall send a letter to each such person informing him or her of a driver's obligation to obtain a New Hampshire driver's license within 60 days of becoming a New Hampshire resident. The letter shall be mailed within 60 days after the election, except that if the election is a state primary election, the letter shall be mailed 60 days after the general election, and if the election is a regularly scheduled municipal election, the letter shall be mailed by the July 1 or January 1 next following the election. The secretary of state shall mark the envelope with instructions to the United States Post Office not to forward the letter and to provide address correction information.
(e) The secretary of state shall conduct an inquiry regarding any letters mailed pursuant to subparagraph (d) that are returned as undeliverable by the United States Post Office. The inquiry may include consulting with, and examining public records held by, municipal officials, which contain information relevant to a person's qualifications to vote in New Hampshire, and interviewing persons living at the address listed on the letters. After such inquiry, the secretary of state shall prepare and forward to the attorney general for investigation a list of those people whose eligibility to vote could not be confirmed. The attorney general shall cause an investigation to be made to determine whether fraudulent registration or voting occurred.
(f) Upon completion of any investigation authorized under RSA 654:12, the secretary of state and the attorney general shall forward a report summarizing the results of the inquiry and investigation, respectively, to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the appropriate house and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over election law.
Source. 1979, 436:1. 1990, 119:8. 1992, 287:6, 7. 1994, 4:3. 1996, 169:1. 2003, 289:29. 2006, 300:1. 2009, 278:1. 2010, 172:4, 5. 2011, 192:1. 2012, 285:3-7. 2014, 260:2-6, eff. July 28, 2014; 319:4, 8, 9, eff. Sept. 30, 2014. 2017, 205:5-9, eff. Sept. 8, 2017; 222:1, 2, eff. July 10, 2017. 2021, 111:1, eff. Sept. 7, 2021.