Two controversial New Hampshire election laws, HB 1264 and SB 3, have found their way into the New Hampshire state courts over the past several months. HB 1264, which was discussed in a previous article, will not take effect until 2019. The League of Women Voters of New Hampshire, however, sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin SB 3 from being used in New Hampshire’s midterm election. The New Hampshire Superior Court granted the injunction, finding that the bill placed an undue burden on voters. The New Hampshire Supreme Court, however, overruled the lower court’s order. While the court did not opine on the underlying merits of SB 3, the justices found that the order would create “a substantial risk of confusion and disruption of the orderly conduct of the [midterm] election.”
New Hampshire Superior Court
By: Samuel Holliday
On Tuesday Sep. 12, 2017, a New Hampshire Superior Court judge placed a temporary restraining order on the enforcement of penalties under the controversial voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3 pending further judicial review. The law, signed by Governor Chris Sununu (R) on July 10, 2017, provided stricter penalties ‒ a fine up to $5,000 and a jail sentence of up to a year ‒ for failure to provide documentation that supports a voter’s domicile in the state if they register within 30 days of an election. The decision was handed down on the day of the first election in the state which would have been affected by the new law, with instructions that the decision be relayed to localities holding elections.