The Law: Don’t Postpone Town Elections Come Snow or High Water

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning with heavy snow expected for New Hampshire from midnight Monday to 8 a.m. Wednesday. For a more precise forecast for your specific location…go to

Secretary of State William M. Gardner and Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald issued the following statement regarding the town elections scheduled for tomorrow, March 13, 2018: As set forth in our memorandum to town officials issued on March 6, 2018, New Hampshire law does not contain a provision that authorizes any public official to postpone an election.

Although town moderators may postpone deliberative sessions (in SB 2 towns) and the business meetings of the town (in towns that have adopted RSA 39:2-a) due to weather emergencies, the law does not authorize local or state officials to postpone the town elections.

For most towns, tomorrow is the town election day and, therefore, cannot be postponed. In the event that a town is scheduled to have both its town election and its business meeting per RSA 39:2-a, only the business meeting of the town may be postponed. The Attorney General’s Office will be operating its Election Day Hotline tomorrow. That number is (866) 868-3703. In addition, the Attorney General’s Office will be deploying roving teams to monitor and assist towns with implementing the changes to the same-day registration requirements established by Senate Bill 3.


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