Senate Republicans Kill No-Excuse Absentee Voting
Contact Name: Marina Altschiller
Phone: (603) 271-3207
CONCORD – Today, Senate Republicans voted ITL on SB 47, which would have enacted modest updates to NH’s election laws. Notably, this bill would have enacted no-excuse absentee voting, which was temporarily enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020 election cycle.
After the vote, Senate Democratic Leader Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) issued the following statement:
“We learned a lot this past November, when we acted in an agile, bipartisan manner to allow all registered voters to vote by absentee due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We made significant changes in election law to accommodate voters so they wouldn’t be forced to make the impossible choice between their health and their right to vote. It worked, with historic results. 814,092 ballots were cast statewide, which was 85,000 more than the previous record set in 2016. Of the ballots cast, 261,062 were by absentee—nearly 3 times the previous high. By making this important accommodation we allowed registered voters to safely participate in our elections. After observing the success of these changes, we can’t help but acknowledge the importance of ensuring people can exercise their constitutional right to determine who speaks for them, who their leaders are, and the decisions that they’ll make. This bill would have been a modest but important update to our election laws here in New Hampshire, and I am disappointed that we are undoing the successful progress we’ve made.”