"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Only Certain Things Can Go on the " Official Ballot"

One final word on placing a bond article on the Town warrant. RSA  39:3-d IV:   "IV. Articles concerning the issuance of bonds or notes shall not be placed on the official ballot, unless the municipality has adopted a charter provision authorizing that votes on the issuance of bonds or notes shall be placed on the official ballot or unless the municipality has adopted the provisions of RSA 40:12-14. "
The "Official Ballot" is what is voted on on the second Tuesday in March. 

Q. Can bond issue questions be placed on the official ballot? 
A. The only circumstances under which bond and note questions can be voted on by official ballot is if the town has adopted the provisions of RSA 40:12 through 14, known as the official ballot referendum form of town meeting (SB 2), or has adopted a charter that provides for voting on bond questions by official ballot. RSA 39:3-d. Otherwise, bond questions are put to the voters in the form of articles in the town meeting warrant. They must be voted on by written yes-no ballot distributed to voters at the meeting. If the bond is for an amount in excess of $100,000, that warrant article must be acted on by the town meeting before other articles, and written ballot voting must remain open for at least an hour. RSA 33:8 and 8-a


Joseph Cormier said...

Reinforcing what blogger is saying, and what I stated at the microphone at the warrant meeting: The only way the bond article could get on the "official ballot", used on the Tuesday of voting, was if we were an SB-2 town. We're not.

Don't take either of these opinions. Open the following link, and read for yourself, from the NHMA; lawyers!

"Q. Under what circumstances can the selectmen put a warrant article question on the town's official ballot?

A . Use of the official ballot is prohibited unless a statute specifically authorizes or requires the official ballot to be used for that article or type of article. For example, RSA 675:3 requires zoning amendment questions to be put on the official ballot if the town elects its officers by official ballot."

A statute has to specify the use of the "official ballot"
(used on the Tuesdays). Bond articles do not. Most are land planning statutes, like zoning, that can be put on.


Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Lets vote No in March and then start an SB 2 Petition, become an SB 2 Town in 2017 and then properly vote on the Rec. Center in 2018.

Anonymous said...

SB2 rears its head once again. Gilford had just 50 people vote at the deliberative session and amended two warrant articles. One was a petitioned article. Now the voters in a month may not be aware of the alterations or the original articles intent. A small motivated group of citizens hijacked the meeting and the petitioners article was changed. That is the fundamental problem with SB2 and why it has never passed here in Moultonborough.

Joseph Cormier said...

Why do folks have to go to a meeting, in MoBo, to decide how they will vote for the Community Center? Don't already know about the Community Center, whose fault is that? The solution to ignorance is to stay informed ... and not just one day a year, or one or two phone calls.

Folks will have to go to the town meeting, bused-in maybe, to vote.

Absentee ballots won't count for those not able to be there.

Hijacking meetings ... your kidding right! SB-2 takes away the MoBo mafia power and spreads it around. That's the real "who's got the power" issue.

Town meeting ... vote right now!
SB-2 ... take a couple more weeks to find out more, even if you didn't make the deliberative meeting. Then vote all articles in secret ballot, with the only one trip to the Municipal building.

Oh Ya ... you absentee balloteers ... you get to vote on ALL article, that you can't do now. There were over 400 absentee ballots for the Primary. That's a lot more than town meeting (maybe not this year).

Can't you just wait for Article 2? You do know what that is?

Josh Bartlett said...

There are some pieces of disinformation regarding SB-2 that should be cleared up:
1. It has been defeated three times, not the "many, many" times that have been stated by some officials. One of those times, it was close; a majority of voters voted yes, but not the required 60%.
2. SB-2 will not "allow all the summer people to vote". Only Moultonborough REGISTERED VOTERS will be allowed to vote, (either at the polling place or absentee) as is the case now.
3. Bond issues will continue to require 2/3 majority, not 60% as some folks have stated.
4. SB-2 does not keep people from hearing the truth. (Such as we are told we only hear at Town Meeting). On the contrary, it encourages people to research the questions and gives them time to do so. It makes for more informed voters who don't have to deal with peer pressure and some have said, intimidation.

I remain committed to the principle that all registered voters should have a voice and be heard. If someone needs to work on the day or night Town Meeting is held, or is out of town, or is physically unable to attend the meeting, they should not be excluded. I am troubled when a public official says: "If they care enough about the issues, they should attend the meeting". Some citizens are simply not able to do so.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Thank you Josh. One correction though: "The issue of notes or bonds by a school district or municipality which has adopted official ballot voting procedures pursuant to RSA 40:13 shall be authorized by a vote of 3/5." Section RSA 33:8

Josh Bartlett said...

I stand corrected! SB-2 Towns can pass Bonds with 3/5 majority.
Thanks, Blogger.

Joseph Cormier said...

Just got back home, and heading back out in less than an hour or so. Heading up to Lincoln, NH for dinner and Ice Castle.

Correction to the correction.

Josh is correct. It is 2/3rd's vote, 66.66% not 3/5.

RSA 33:8

"...except a school district or municipality which has adopted official ballot voting procedures pursuant to RSA 40:13 shall be authorized by a vote by ballot of 2/3, and the issue of tax anticipation notes, by a vote of a majority, of all the voters present and voting at an annual or special meeting of such corporation, called for the purpose. The issue of notes or bonds by a school district or municipality which has adopted official ballot voting procedures pursuant to RSA 40:13 shall be authorized by a vote of 3/5.

Note the word "except".

If it were 3/5's, Article 2 would have to be changed, since it indicates A 2/3'rds vote, which is correct.

RSA 40:13 (3/5 vote) is for an SB-2 town, which we are not.

That would be the 3/5th's vote

Stay warm!

Joseph Cormier said...


Paul is correct. I should have paid attention. I thought the Community Center was in question.