On February 18, a subcommittee of the New Hampshire House Election Law Committee held a work session on two bills that ease the definition of “political party”. The subcommitee recommended passage of HB 1322, which lowers the vote test from 4% to 3%. As the subcommittee members noted, the vote test was 3% in New Hampshire from 1891 until 1997, when it was raised to 4%. The vote test applies to gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates. New Hampshire doesn’t elect any other statewide offices except for President.
The full Election Law Committee will consider the bill on February 20.
The subcommittee did not approve HB 1497, which lowers the vote test to 1% and also lowers the number of signatures for independent candidates and the nominees of unqualified parties. Thanks to Darryl Perry for this news.