The New Hampshire Secretary of State is responsible for annually setting key dates for elections. Besides the “First in the Nation” primary date, the New Hampshire Secretary of State is responsible for setting the dates for all state elections. This includes town, county, and state elections. The Secretary of State also enforces election law and interprets rules regarding elections.
Important dates are listed below in chronological order. The mysterious RSA code at the end of the date is the state law that must be met for the event/action. You can find more detailed information on the NH Secretary of State home page at http://sos.nh.gov.
Supervisors should post checklist for general election showing party registration at town or city clerk’s office or at town or city hall; checklist must show place and time for session for correction of the checklist. RSA 654:33
January 12Feb 9th
Last day to publish notice in newspaper with general circulation in town of January 19 session for correction of the checklist for town election. RSA 654:27; 669:5
Last day for supervisors to post copy of checklist for primary election in the town or city clerk’s office or at town or city hall; notice of day, place, hour of upcoming checklist session must be posted with checklist. RSA 654:26, 27
Supervisors must hold session for correction of checklist from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and for extended hours at the discretion of the supervisors for town election. Change in party registrations may be accepted. RSA 669:5.
January 20-January 29*
Filing period for town offices in towns using non-partisan ballot system. Any candidate filing on last day must file in person. Clerks must be available between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on last day of filing period. RSA 669:19; 652:20
Declarations of candidacy. All candidates filing on the last day must file in person. RSA 669:19
Last day for party caucus to nominate candidates for town office in towns using partisan system. RSA 669:39
Session for correction of checklist to be held as a minimum requirement between 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. and at the discretion of the supervisors for extended hours. RSA 654:27, 28.
Last day for town clerk/supervisors to accept voter registration applications. No additions or corrections shall be made to the checklist after this session, until election day, except as provided in RSA 659:12. RSA 654:8, II. No change of party applications shall be accepted. RSA 654:32 Reports of transfer, reports of death, removal of names allowed. RSA 654:36, 37, 44.
Last day for 2 percent of voters of a town to petition selectmen to place referendum on ballot to increase or decrease membership of board of selectmen. RSA 41:8-b, 8-d
Last day for 25 or more voters or 2% of the voters, whichever is less, in the town to apply to selectmen to include a warrant article. RSA 39:3
Last day for Secretary of State to deliver Presidential Primary ballots to clerks. Ballots shall be inspected by town or city clerk in the presence of at least one other legal voter and resealed for use on election day. RSA 656:29.
Last day for supervisors to post final corrected checklist for Presidential Primaryand certification of checklist. RSA 654:28,29.
City or town clerk must be available to accept any completed Presidential Primary absentee ballots filed in person, or returned by a family member at least between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. RSA 652:20, 657:17
February 9: State Presidential Primary Election Day
Last day for supervisors to post town election checklist at town clerk’s office or at town hall; notice of day, hour and place of upcoming checklist sessions must be posted with checklist. RSA 654:26, 27, 669:5. Voters may register at the polls on election day. RSA 653:9; 654:7-a, 7-b
Last day for any candidate who received at least 9 percent of the votes cast in a party’s primary to apply to Secretary of State for recount. RSA 660:7.
Last day for any candidate who requested a recount to withdraw the request. RSA 660:7, II. (Monday is the deadline, but it is a state holiday – President’s Day)
Last day to publish notice of February 27 session for correction of checklist for town election. RSA 654:27, 669:5.
Last day for selectmen to post warrant at all polling places and at town clerks office and at town hall; warrant shall prescribe place, day, hour of election, the time polls are to open and the time before which polls may not close; warrant shall specify which items will be voted on by ballot. RSA 39:5, 669:2.
Session of supervisors for correction of checklist as a minimum requirement between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and at the discretion of the supervisors for extended hours. RSA 654:27, 28; 669:5.
Last day for town clerk/supervisors to accept voter registration applications. No additions or corrections shall be made to the checklist after this session, until election day, except as provided in RSA 659:12. RSA 654:8, II. Reports of transfer; reports of death; removal of names. RSA 654:36, 37, 44
Last day for supervisors to post final, corrected checklist for town election, on or before midnight. RSA 654:28. Certification of checklist; 2 copies filed with town clerk. RSA 654:28, 29.
March 7 5:00 p.m.
Town clerk must be available to accept any completed absentee ballots filed in person at least between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. RSA 652:20; 669:29; 657:17; 657:24.
Town Election Day. Voters may register at the polls on election day. RSA 39:1, 669:1, 654:7-a, 7-b. Any person has the right to observe in-person voter registration. They may not be positioned within 5 feet of the voter registration table. The ballot clerk must publicly announce name and address of person registering. RSA 654:7-c. No person not authorized by law may stand or sit within 6 feet of the ballot clerk for purposes of observing the check-in of voters without the express permission of the moderator. RSA 659:13-a; 666:4,5
March 8th, 5:00 p.m.
Deadline for town clerk to accept any completed absentee ballots delivered by mail. RSA 657:22; 669:29
Last day for any person for whom a vote was cast to apply to town clerk for a recount. Clerk must be available at least between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. RSA 669:30; 652:20
Last day for 10 voters of a town to petition clerk to recount ballots on any questionprinted on official ballot. Clerk must be available at least between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. RSA 40:4-c; 652:20.
*These dates do not apply to towns or school districts which are governed by RSA 40:13 (SB2)