New Hampshire Election Laws
Photo ID Law
The Photo ID Law is actually part of New Hampshire Law (RSA 659:13) "Obtaining a Ballot." Upon obtaining a ballot, the Ballot Clerk will ask you for photo identification to verify your identity before you will be permitted to take a ballot.
Acceptable Photo ID
The name on the ID shall substantially conform to the name on the checklist. An acceptable photo ID must have an expiration date or date of issuance:
- Voters under 65 years of age: Your photo ID cannot be expired for more than 5 years.
- Voters 65 years or older: Photo ID may be used without regard to expiration date.
- A Driver's License or Non-Driver ID issued by any state or federal government
- U.S. armed services ID card
- U.S. Passport or pass card
- and certain Student Photo ID cards.
No Photo ID?! Here’s what to expect.
One of the acceptable forms of ID is personal verification by certain election workers. If an election worker can personally identify you, that will service as your photo ID. The election worker will sign a statement as to their personal knowledge of you. Please keep in mind, only certain election officials are allowed to identify you. Those officials are the Moderator, Supervisors of the Checklist, Ward Clerk, City Clerk and Deputy City Clerk. No other election worker is approved by law to identify you.
If an election worker cannot identify you and you do not have photo ID, you can complete a Challenged Voter Affidavit (CVA). Part of completing the affidavit requires you to have your photograph taken. If you cannot allow your photograph to be taken due to religious beliefs, you will be asked to also complete a Religious Exemption Affidavit in lieu of having a photograph taken.
It is important to know that if an election worker cannot identify you AND you refuse to complete any portion of the Challenged Voter Affidavit OR refuse to either have your photograph taken (or sign an Affidavit of Religious Exemption), you will not be permitted to vote.
What happens after completing a CVA?
After the election, completed Challenged Voter Affidavits (CVA) along with photographs or religious exemption forms are returned to the City Clerk’s Office after the Supervisors of the Checklist notify the Secretary of State as to the names of the voters who completed the CVA’s. The forms stay in the City Clerk’s Office for the same amount of time that we are required to keep the ballots for an election. This timeframe is dictated by NH Law RSA 33-A:3-a.
If you complete a Challenged Voter Affidavit, you will receive a verification letter from the Secretary of State requesting confirmation that you voted in the election. If you do not respond in writing to the Secretary of State within 90 days of the date it was mailed, the Attorney General will conduct an investigation to determine whether fraudulent voting occurred.
Registering to vote without a Photo ID
If you do not have photo ID and you need to register to vote, you will be asked to show a birth certificate to confirm your identity. If you do not have your birth certificate, you will be asked to sign a Qualified Voter Affidavit attesting to your identity. Like the Challenged Voter Affidavit, the Secretary of State’s office will follow-up after the election, with any voter who signs a Qualified Voter Affidavit.
In order to receive a ballot, you will still need to either complete a CVA (with photograph or Affidavit of Religious Exemption) or have your identity verified by an election official.
What is Electioneering?
The word “electioneer” means to work for the success of a particular candidate, party, issue, etc in an election. Some folks are employed by candidates to electioneer and many folks simply choose to informally support a candidate by wearing a hat or putting a bumper sticker on a vehicle or any other means of showing their support.
No Electioneering Zone
Electioneering is permitted outside of the polling location but not allowed within. The polling place is to be a neutral and unbiased area where voters can cast their votes without feeling influenced or intimidated. At each polling location, there is a "No Electioneering Zone" which begins at the entrance to the polls and extends out in a 10-foot wide access path to the polling location. This is in accordance with New Hampshire State Law (RSA 659:43). So how does this affect you?
If you will be holding a sign on Election Day, please remember to stay outside of that No Electioneering Zone. Also, please be sure that you do not block or impede voters who are entering the polls.
If you are planning to wear a hat, t-shirt, button, or anything else in support of your favorite candidate, please remember to cover or remove those items before entering the polls. Due to a recent change in law, these items are also not allowed inside the "No Electioneering Zone." This is in accordance with New Hampshire State Law (RSA) 659:43 relative to "Distributing Campaign Materials at Polling Place."
For more information, please review the following information: