2010 New Hampshire Statutes
TITLE LXIII ELECTIONS
CHAPTER 658 PRE-ELECTION PROCEDURE
Section 658:9 Arrangement.
I. The selectmen of each town and ward shall provide for a suitable place in which to hold state elections and shall see that the same is warmed, lighted, and furnished with proper supplies and conveniences. Such supplies and conveniences shall include a ballot box and a sufficient number of pens with machine-readable ink or soft black lead pencils and booths with shelves to enable the voter to mark his or her ballot screened from all observation as to the manner in which he or she does so. Each place in which state elections are held shall be easily accessible as provided in RSA 658:9-a to all persons including persons with disabilities and elderly persons who are otherwise qualified to vote in the choice of any officer or officers to be elected or upon any question submitted at such election. The selectmen of each town and ward shall be charged with the responsibility to see that the flag of the United States is displayed inside and, weather conditions permitting, flown outside the polling place on election day. A guardrail shall be so constructed and placed so that only such persons as are inside such rail can approach within 6 feet of the ballot box and of the voting booths. The arrangements shall be such that the voting booths can be reached only by passing within the guardrail.
II. The voting booths shall be in plain view of the election officers, and both they and the ballot box shall be in plain view of those outside the guardrail. Each of said booths shall have 3 sides enclosed, one side in front to open and shut by a door swinging outward or to be enclosed with a curtain. Each side of the booths shall be not less than 6 feet high. The booth shall be between 28 and 36 inches wide, and between 28 and 36 inches deep. The door or curtain shall extend to within 2 feet of the floor and shall be closed while the voter is marking his or her ballot. Each booth shall be well lighted and shall contain a shelf between 12 and 15 inches wide running the width of the booth at a convenient height for writing.
III. In addition to the voting booths described in paragraph II, each polling place shall have at least one voting booth which is easily accessible to elderly persons and to persons with physical disabilities. Each booth shall have 3 sides enclosed, one side in front to open and shut by a door swinging outward or to be enclosed with a curtain. The entrance to the booth shall have a clear opening of at least 60 inches and shall have clearances that comply with the New Hampshire building code, RSA 155-A, and with standards implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. part 36. Each side of the booths shall be not less than 6 feet high. The booth shall be at least 60 inches wide at its front, at least 60 inches deep, and at least 60 inches wide along the back wall. The door or curtain shall extend to within 2 feet of the floor and shall be closed while the voter is marking his or her ballot. Each booth shall be well lighted and shall contain a shelf or table at a height of between 30 and 32 inches which shall be convenient for writing with at least 28 inches of unobstructed space from the floor to the bottom of the shelf. The secretary of state shall include a diagram of an accessible booth that satisfies the requirements of this section in the election laws and procedures manual issued pursuant to RSA 652:22.
IV. In addition to the voting booths described in paragraphs II and III, each polling place shall have table-top voting screens available for use in an election. Each voting screen shall consist of 3 panels, to be positioned on a table or similar surface so that when a voter is marking a ballot he or she is provided privacy. Each panel of the screen shall be at least 17 inches high and 15 inches wide.
V. (a) Each polling place shall have available for use in an election at least 2 of the voting booths described in paragraph II, one of the voting booths described in paragraph III, and 2 of the voting screens described in paragraph IV.
(b) The minimum number of voting booths and screens that shall be erected for an election shall be as follows:
(1) For a general election where votes will be cast for president, one for every 100 voters on the checklist. This requirement may be modified with the approval of the secretary of state and the attorney general for specific polling places, if conditions within the polling place will not permit the required number of voting booths. Under no circumstances shall the required number of voting booths drop below one booth for every 125 voters for a general election where votes will be cast for president.
(2) For a general election where votes will not be cast for president, one for every 125 voters on the checklist.
(3) For all other elections, including the state primary election, one for every 150 voters on the checklist.
(c) The minimum requirements established in subparagraph (b) may be satisfied with any combination of booths or screens, provided that no more than 50 percent of the minimum requirement is satisfied by voting screens and that the requirements of subparagraph (a) are also met. The moderator may require that booths or screens exceeding the minimum number be erected or available at the polling place. This section shall not be interpreted to mandate the erection of voting screens if there are sufficient booths to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph V(b).
Source. 1979, 436:1. 1987, 210:1. 1998, 110:1. 2007, 312:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2008. 2008, 66:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.
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