Voting information for victims and survivors

Any New Hampshire resident, who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day, and is a United States Citizen, may register to vote in the town or city where he or she lives.  There is no minimum period of time you are required to have lived in the state before being allowed to register.There are 3 ways you can register to vote:

  1. At the town or city clerk’s office where you live.
  2. With the supervisor of the Checklist.
  3. At the polling place on election day at all elections.
You will need to fill out a voter registration form and be required to show proof of identity, age, citizenship and your domicile. You can access a list of city or town clerks offices at www.sos.nh.gov/clerks or by calling the Secretary of State’s Office at (603) 271-3242. Unless you use one of the procedures described below, once you are registered to vote, your name, address, and political party affiliation will be placed on a public “voter checklist.”  This checklist is used for various purposes when elections are held.  Because this checklist is public, anyone can get access to this information fairly easily by going to the appropriate town or city clerk and asking to inspect the voter checklist. This can obviously create concern for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking who are trying to keep their locations a secret from their abusers.

What are my Options
There are a couple of options that victims have in order to try and keep themselves and their information safe when considering whether to vote.

Protective Order
If you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault and have a valid protective order (under RSA 173:B or 633:3-a), you may request that your name and address be removed from the “public checklist” (under RSA 654:25) in the town where you are currently registered to vote.  This will also enable you to vote using an Absentee Ballot, which means that you will not have to go and vote in person on the day of the election.  You will need to register to vote using a special Absentee Voter Registration Form (RSA 654:16), so you should contact the town clerk’s office at least one month prior to the election to complete and process the application.  You will also need to provide proof of the valid protective order.

Absentee Ballot
Any person who is legally qualified to vote in a town or city in New Hampshire, who has a protective order, who participates in the Address Confidentiality Program (see below for more information), is unable to make it to the polls by reason of having a physical disability, religious practice, employment obligation or because he or she is temporarily absent, may register to vote using a special Absentee Voter Registration Form, (RSA 654:16).  According to the Secretary of State’s Office, this could apply if you are living in a domestic violence shelter.  Because there is an application process in order to get an absentee ballot, make sure you contact the town you are currently registered to vote in at least one month prior to the election to process and complete an application.

Living in Shelter
If you currently live in a domestic violence shelter in New Hampshire, you may be able to register to vote in the town that the shelter is located, since the shelter is considered your current residence.

This is explained in part by RSA 654:1
An inhabitant’s domicile for voting purposes is that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government.

You can only register and vote in one town. Therefore, if you are already registered in New Hampshire and wish to vote in the town where the shelter is located, you must re-register in that town to vote.

Address Confidentiality Program (ACP)
Participants in the ACP designate the Attorney General as their legal agent for service of process of legal documents and receipt of mail.  They will receive a substitute address that state and local agencies must accept as though it were the participant’s legal address, making it harder for them to be tracked down through public records.

Additionally, ACP participants who are otherwise qualified to vote may apply as an absentee voter and neither their name nor address will be available to the public.

There are requirements that someone must meet to eligible for the ACP.  In order to apply to the ACP, individuals must go through a screening and application process through one of the domestic or sexual violence crisis centers in New Hampshire.  This process can take at least a week.  If you are interested in the ACP, please contact your local domestic or sexual violence crisis center in your area.

Remember…

  • Voting is your  right - As long as you are 18 years old and an American Citizen, you have the right to vote in the town or city where you live.
  • Your vote can make a difference - Don’t let anyone tell you that your opinion and vote don’t matter.
  • You can only vote once per election - Please be sure you understand where and how you can vote to make sure that you do it correctly and that your vote will be counted!

*This information was adapted from a brochure created by the State of New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General

Get HELP Fast

Domestic Violence
24-hour Hotline
1-866-644-3574

Sexual Assault 24-hour Hotline
1-800-277-5570

Find a Crisis Center

Call our hotlines anywhere in New Hampshire for support. Stalking victims should call the Domestic Violence Hotline. TTY available at 1-800-Relay-NH.

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