Voting and Election

Registering to Vote in NH (Click Here)

 

Political Affiliation

 

When registering to vote, you are not required to register as a member of a political party, i.e. as a Republican or a Democrat; you may register as an “undeclared” voter. However, while all registered voters are allowed to vote in a general election, only party members can vote in a primary election. The law allows an undeclared voter to declare a party at the polls, vote the ballot of that party, and then change their party affiliation back to undeclared simply by completing the form available from the Supervisors of the Checklist at the polling place. Voters should be aware of their party status before a primary election. If you are unsure of your party affiliation, you should contact your town or city clerk, as they have the records of party membership. The State of New Hampshire provides an on-line voter registration portal for registered voters to look up their current party affiliation or call the town clerk.

 

Changing Parties

 

If you voted on a party ballot in a state or presidential primary, you are now a registered member of that party unless you CORRECTLY filled out a card at the polls to return to undeclared status. You may change your party affiliation with the clerk of the town or city where you are domiciled or at any scheduled meeting of the supervisors of the checklist except for during the period of time between the first day of the filing period for the primary election and/or the presidential primary election and the date of the primary election itself.

 

Party changes can only be made by appearing in person at the Town Clerk’s Office RSA 654:34 or at any scheduled meeting of the supervisors of the checklist EXCEPT during the period of time between the first day of the filing period for the primary election and/or the presidential primary election and the date of the primary election itself. You will be required to choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot when you go to vote.  

Absentee Registration

 

New Hampshire’s Constitution limits absentee voting to: “qualified voters who [. . .] are absent from the city or town of which they are inhabitants, or who by reason of physical disability are unable to vote in person . . . .” Part 1, Article 11. RSA 657:1 carries out Part 1 Article 11 by authoring absentee voting for:

 

“Any person who will be absent on the day of any state election from the city, town, or unincorporated place in which he or she is registered to vote or who cannot appear in public on any election day because of his or her observance of a religious commitment or who is unable to vote there in person by reason of physical disability may vote at such elections as provided in this chapter. A person who is unable to appear at any time during polling hours at his or her polling place because of an employment obligation shall be considered absent for purposes of this chapter. For the purposes of this section, the term "employment" shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.”

 

“Disability” for election law purposes has the same meaning today as it had pre-pandemic. The nature of the voter’s disability must leave them “unable to vote in person” according to the Constitution and the absentee voting statute.

 

A person can register and vote by absentee if, based on their own health circumstances, medical authorities advise them to avoid going out in public. This applies to:

 

  • voters with symptoms of a communicable disease or illness;

  • voters who, due to their own health circumstances, limit public exposure in their day-to-day life as a preventative measure.

 

These two types of voters can reasonably conclude that a “physical disability” exists within the meaning of RSA 654:16 and 654:17, absentee registration and RSA 657:1, absentee voting.

Returning Your Ballot

 

Make your vote count! Carefully follow the instructions enclosed with your ballot. After marking your ballot, place it in the small envelope and seal this envelope, sign the affidavit and return it to the Town Clerk’s office. Affix postage and mail the envelope so that it is received at the post office by 5:00 PM on Election Day.  

 

A voters absentee ballot may also be returned in person by the voters parent, spouse, sibling or child to the town clerk and may be returned on election day.   The person returning the absentee ballot shall complete a form and provide proper ID before the clerk will accept the ballot.   


NEVER leave a completed absentee ballot in a box, on a desk, or slipped through the clerks window or door.  A marked absentee ballot may NOT be transmitted by facsimile to a town or city clerk. 

Overseas Citizens and Armed Forces Registration (Click Here)