Tuesday, April 4, 2017

NH House Speaker Proposes A Special Election May 23rd, 2017 to "Validate" March 14th Rescheduled Votes

This amendment to SB 108, was proposed to address any questions of the legality of the postponed ballot day voting due to the March 14th storm.
NH House Speaker Jasper is proposing these towns be given the option to ratify the election results with a special election to be held May 23rd asking just one question:

"Shall the actions taken by official ballot in (town/school district) at the election held on (date) be ratified?"

Jasper himself sat out his town's voting during the storm in protest of the polls remaining open.
This amendment has the possibility of causing more confusion. What will happen if voters vote no and refuse to ratify the results? Should elected officials in office prior to the delayed vote remain in office until the May 23rd vote? In SB2 towns and school districts, what about bonds and budgets that were approved? What about zoning amendments? There are probably a slew of other possible problems with this approach.
Senate Majority Leader Jeff Woodburn proposed straightforward legislation stating simply that the delayed votes would be "legalized, ratified and confirmed." 

Seems to me that simpler is better and Sen. Woodburn's legislation ends the controversy. Next step would be to amend election law so that it is clear whether or not ballot voting can be delayed, who is responsible to make the call and when it will be rescheduled. 
If the opposing parties in Concord can't work out this simple issue caused by a non-partisan mother nature,  is there any hope they can ever work together to solve the big problems we face? 



1 comment:

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Update from WMUR: A House committee moved quickly Tuesday night to kill Speaker Shawn Jasper’s plan to allow towns and school districts to ratify the result of their snowstorm-delayed March elections.
Following about five hours of testimony, the House Election Law Committee voted 10-10 on the Jasper plan. The tie vote killed the speaker’s amendment, leaving 73 towns on their own to address potential legal problems resulting from their decisions to hold their elections on days other than March 14.