NOTE from Seacoast NAACP Branch President, Rogers J. Johnson:
The bill that will alter the definition of "domicile" in New Hampshire voter registration law is Senate Bill 3. As previously stated, the bills prime sponsor is Senator Birdsell. Please note that this bill has 12 Senate sponsors or cosponsors. You can only have 10 sponsors or co-sponsors, so a special accommodation was made to allow for this. Since it only takes 13 votes to pass a bill in the Senate, what this should tell you is that this bill is guaranteed to pass the Senate, and the New Hampshire House is more conservative that the Senate. You will find a text of this legislation below:
SENATE BILL 3
SPONSORS: Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Morse, Dist 22; Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. Sanborn, Dist 9; Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Sen. Innis, Dist 24; Sen. Gannon, Dist 23; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. French, Dist 7; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Rep. Hoelzel, Rock. 3
COMMITTEE: Election Law and Internal Affairs
This bill modifies the definition of domicile for voting purposes.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Voter; Domicile. Amend RSA 654:1, I to read as follows:
I.(a) Every inhabitant [
of the state], having [ a single] established domicile [ for voting purposes] in this state, being a citizen of the United States, of the age provided for in Article 11 of Part First of the Constitution of New Hampshire, shall have a right at any meeting or election, to vote in the town, ward, or unincorporated place in which he or she is domiciled.
(b)(1) An inhabitant’s domicile for voting purposes [
is that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social, and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government.] shall be the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person. Principal or primary home or place of abode is that home or place in which his or her habitation is fixed and to which a person, whenever he or she is temporarily absent, has the intention of returning after a departure or absence therefrom, including when the person is absent because of military service or temporarily absent as described in RSA 654:2.
(2) In determining what is a principal or primary place of abode of a person, without limitation the following factors or evidence relating to such person may be taken into account: civic and community participation, the place where a person spends most nights of the year, the location from which a person would apply for a passport or other federal identification, residence for income or other tax purposes, eligibility for a resident hunting and fishing license, and a New Hampshire driver’s license.
(3) A qualified voter who has left his or her home and has gone into another state or town of this state for a temporary purpose only shall not be considered to have lost his or her domicile as described in RSA 654:2.
(4) A person shall not be considered to have gained a domicile in any town or ward of this state into which he or she comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making it his or her home but with the intention of leaving it when he or she has accomplished the purpose that brought him or her there. Evidence that a person who, prior to arriving in New Hampshire, was domiciled in another state and is temporarily present in New Hampshire for any purpose including, but not limited to vacation, short-term temporary work, volunteering for social or civic purposes, or volunteering or working on political campaigns is not sufficient evidence that the person has established a domicile in New Hampshire.
(5) If a qualified voter moves to another state, with the intention of making it his or her permanent home, he or she shall be considered to have lost his or her domicile in this state.
(c) A person has the right to change domicile at any time, however a mere intention to change domicile in the future does not, of itself, terminate an established domicile before the person actually moves.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage