Feb 09 2013

New Hampshire Bill to Study State’s Election Laws

Source: Ballot Access News

Six New Hampshire state legislators have introduced HB 521, to establish a committee to study the state’s election laws. They are Senator John Reagan, and Representatives Kathleen Hoelzel, James Belanger, Lorrie Carey, Debra DeSimone, and Beverly Ferrante. All are Republicans except for Representative Carey, who is a Democrat.

The bill had a hearing on February 7. Darryl Perry, editor of Free Press Publications and a leading advocate for improving New Hampshire’s ballot access laws, testified in favor of the bill, and presented information about New Hampshire’s ballot access laws. The New Hampshire definition of “party” is so strict, New Hampshire is one of only three states in which no parties, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, have had qualified status since before November 1996. The other two such states are Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Georgia has given “party” status to the Libertarian and Reform Parties in part or all of the period since 1996, but they only enjoyed “party” status for statewide office, not district office.

New Hampshire legislative committees don’t make decisions about bills at the conclusion of committee hearings. Instead they think about the bill and the testimony and make a decision later, usually in a few weeks.

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