Last Updated: October 2020
Election Day: Polls must open by 11:00 a.m. EST and must remain open until at least 7:00 p.m. EST. Most polls open between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. EST and close between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. EST.
New Hampshire does not have early voting. If you will be unable to vote in person on Election Day, you can request an absentee ballot (see below).
Voters waiting in line to vote when the poll closing is announced, including voters who are in their cars waiting to get parking when the poll closes, must be allowed to vote.
How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s polling place locator tool.
Any voter who tells the moderator under oath that he or she needs assistance marking his or her ballot will be told the accessible voting options. If the voter chooses, the voter may be assisted by one or both inspectors, or by a person of the voter’s choice (except for the voter’s employer, agent of the voter’s employer, or agent or official of the voter’s union).
Polling places must be accessible to all individuals who are physically disabled. Contact your command center or the city chief elections officer if the polling place is not accessible.
No person not authorized by law may stand or sit within 6 feet of the ballot clerk for purposes of observing the check-in of voters without the express permission of the moderator. Voters should immediately notify the moderator or city chief elections officer of any violation of this rule
- In-Person Voter Registration Deadline: There is no deadline to register to vote. Unregistered voters may register and vote on Election Day. If you would like to register before the election, you may register in person at the meeting of the Supervisors of the Checklist. The last of these meetings is required by law to occur 6 to 13 days before each state election. Information about this meeting can be found on your town/city website or by calling the clerk’s office. You may register in person at this meeting.
- Absentee Voter Registration Deadline: You may qualify to register to vote by mail if you are unable to register in person because (1) you are concerned about exposure to infection from COVID-19 or exposing others; (2) you will be absent from the town or city on the dates/times when the Supervisors of the Checklist meet to receive voter registration applications (this includes an employment obligation that prevents you from attending a session of the Supervisors); (3) you cannot appear in public because of a religious commitment; (4) you are unable to vote in person by reason of a physical disability; (5) you are the victim of domestic violence; or (6) you have an active protective order, or are participating in the Attorney General’s address confidentiality program. You may request an absentee voter registration form from your town clerk, or here. Note that voters registering to vote by mail (i.e., absentee), must also complete the updated absentee registration affidavit which includes concern about COVID-19 as a “disability.” Note that this updated form is being used solely during 2020 elections. Applications must be received and reviewed by the Supervisors of the Checklist, which by law is required to occur 6 to 13 days before each state election. Therefore, the absentee voter registration form, absentee registration form (which must be signed by a witness) as well as proof of identify and domicile documents must be submitted to the voter’s city or town clerk in time for the Supervisors of the Checklist to review them at their meeting. Information about this meeting can be found on your town/city website or by calling the clerk’s office.
You can find your clerk’s contact information here.
Typically, registering on Election Day will require you to wait in two lines: one to register and one to vote. You may save time by registering earlier.
How to Check Your Registration: Use the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s voter information lookup tool or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in New Hampshire, you must:
- Be a citizen of the United States;
- Be domiciled in New Hampshire; and
- Be at least 18 years of age or older on Election Day.
There is no duration of residence requirement in New Hampshire. You may register to vote on the first day that you move to the state. You may only register in the town or ward in which you are domiciled.
How to Register: New Hampshire voters may register in person or, if you will be voting absentee, by mail. There is no online registration option.
New Hampshire prefers in-person voter registration, either at the polling place on Election Day, at the town or city clerk’s office in which you are domiciled or at any scheduled meeting, or at the meeting of your local community supervisors of the checklist.
If you cannot register in person (because of physical disability (including a concern about registering in-person due to COVID-19 in 2020), religious beliefs, military service, or temporary absence), you may register to vote by mail (see above). Call your town or city clerk and ask for them to send you a mail-in voter registration form and an absentee voter registration affidavit (an affidavit is a legal document that states that you are registering by mail because you cannot register in person), or find these forms here.
Complete both the voter registration form and the affidavit in front of a witness, have the witness sign the affidavit, and then mail both the affidavit and the voter registration, along with proof of identity and domicile documents, back to your town or city clerk in time for the application and affidavit to be considered by the Supervisors of the Checklist at their meeting held 6 to 13 days prior to the election.
Identification Required for Registration: To register to vote in New Hampshire, you will be required to show proof of identity, age, United States citizenship, and domicile.
You are domiciled in the place in which you sleep most nights of the year, or the place where you intend to return after a temporary absence. Examples of a temporary absence are:
- Military and overseas voters;
- Residences of nursing, convalescent, hospital, or long-term care facilities;
- Teachers or students;
- Voters without a permanent home;
- Incarcerated persons;
- Persons without a new domicile;
- Persons navigating waters; and
- Persons who have not gained another domicile elsewhere in the United States.
Examples of documents that establish domicile are a driver’s license, a utility bill, or other mailed correspondence. Examples of documents that establish citizenship are a United States birth certificate, a United States passport, or naturalization papers if you were not born in the United States. Examples of acceptable proof of age include a driver’s license, a passport, or a birth certificate. You may also establish your age, citizenship, and, within 30 days of an election, domicile, by signing an affidavit, which is a legal document stating that you meet the requirements to vote in New Hampshire. However, if a voter submits an affidavit swearing to domicile, he or she will have to either: (1) provide documentary proof of domicile to the city or town clerk as soon as 10 days after the election; or (2) indicate that they do not possess such documentation, in which case the supervisors of the checklist may attempt to investigate the claim of domicile after the election. A person who knowingly or purposely fails to provide such proof may be subject to the penalties of wrongful voting.
Note that persons attending college, university or other institutions of learning in New Hampshire who establish New Hampshire as their domicile are eligible to register to vote in the state. For more information about registering to vote as a student enrolled in a college, university or other institution of learning in New Hampshire, please see the N.H. Department of State’s 2020-2021 Election Procedure Manual at pages 27-33 for more information about the types of documents students may use as evidence of their New Hampshire domicile and other information about student voting.
If you are registering by mail, be sure to contact your town or city clerk’s office for more information on how to meet the registration identification requirements.
If You Want to Vote Early
New Hampshire does not have early voting. If you are unable to vote on Election Day, you should request an absentee ballot.
If You Want to Vote Absentee
You may vote absentee in New Hampshire if you:
- Will be absent from your place of domicile on Election Day;
- Cannot appear in public on Election Day because of observance of a religious commitment, you are a victim of domestic violence, have an active protective order, or are participating in the Attorney General’s address confidentiality program; or
- Cannot vote in person due to a disability (including due to a concern about voting in person due to COVID-19 in 2020);
- Cannot vote in person because of an employment obligation that requires you to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close (including the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation).
Your request for an absentee ballot must be received by 5:00 pm on the day before the election (Monday, September 7 for the State Primary and Monday, November 2 for the General Election). Applications for absentee ballots may be mailed, faxed, or hand delivered to your local city or town clerk. To download an absentee ballot application, visit the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s election forms page.
Your absentee ballot must be received at your local town or city clerk’s office via either U.S. mail or commercial carrier by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Election Day. Note that ballots which are postmarked by Election Day, but not received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Election Day will not be counted. For the next State Primary Election, the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots by the city or town clerk is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. For the next General Election, the deadline is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Voters consider making an application for an absentee ballot as early as possible since voters may not receive the ballot in time to return it so that it is received by the deadline if they wait until the day prior to the election to apply for it.
Military and other overseas United States citizens who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day and are domiciled in New Hampshire may use the standard procedure of absentee registration and voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together, these groups are called UOCAVA voters). More information on UOCAVA voters can be found below.
If you requested an absentee ballot but decide to ultimately vote in person, you may deliver the absentee ballot to the clerk’s office in-person or by a delivery agent. Family members, nursing home and elder care facility administrators, and a person assisting a voter with a disability who signs the absentee ballot affidavit may be a delivery agent (but they are limited to delivering ballots for four voters).
Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot
Valid forms of identification are:
- A driver’s license issued by any state or the federal government;
- A New Hampshire non-driver identification card or a non-driver identification card issued by the motor vehicles division, department, agency, or office of any other state;
- A United States armed forces identification card;
- A United States passport or passcard;
- A valid student identification if the card is issued by:
- A college, university, or career school in New Hampshire and approved to operate or licensed to operate in New Hampshire;
- A public high school in New Hampshire;
- A non-public high school in New Hampshire that is accredited by a private school accrediting agency that is recognized by the New Hampshire Department of Education;
- Dartmouth College; or
- A college or university operated by the university system of New Hampshire or the community college system of New Hampshire.
- A note from a homeless shelter or other service provider located in the town or ward where you will vote that confirms they receive US mail sent to you at that address.
- Any other document that shows manifestation of your intent to make the place you claim your voting domicile.
The photo identification also typically must have an expiration date that is not more than five years old. However, you may use an older identification card if you are 65 years of age or older.
The name on the identification shall substantially conform to the name on the voting checklist.
A voter who does not have an approved photo identification may obtain a free photo identification for voting purposes by presenting a voucher from his or her town or city clerk or the New Hampshire Secretary of State to any New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office that issues identification.
Without one of these forms of identification, you may:
- Vote with a challenged voter affidavit. If you execute a challenged voter affidavit, you will be photographed (if you object to being photographed due to your religious beliefs, you will have to execute an additional affidavit of religious exemption); or
- Vote, if you provide a photo identification other than those listed above that is determined to be legitimate by the supervisors of the checklist, the moderator, or the clerk of a town, ward, or city, assuming that no one authorized to do so challenges the use of such identification (if so, you will have to execute a challenged voter affidavit); or
- Vote, if the supervisors of the checklist, the moderator, or the clerk of a town, ward, or city (not a ballot clerk) verifies your identity, assuming that no one authorized to do so challenges the use of such identification (if so, you will have to execute a challenged voter affidavit). You can find the affidavit here.
If you filled out a challenged voter affidavit in order to vote on Election Day, you will receive a verification letter from the New Hampshire Secretary of State requesting confirmation that you voted in the election. If you do not respond in writing within 30 days of the date it was mailed, the New Hampshire Attorney General will conduct an investigation to determine whether fraudulent voting occurred.
If you are registering to vote by absentee, be sure to contact your town or city clerk’s office for more information.
Moving within the Same Precinct
If you are a registered New Hampshire voter and have moved within the town or ward in which you are registered and have not informed the supervisors of the checklist, you may vote by going to your assigned polling place and informing the ballot clerk of your new address.
You may change your address within the same town or city with the town or city clerk where you are domiciled at any scheduled meeting of the supervisors of the checklist.
If you do not update your address by the day of the meeting of the supervisors of the checklist prior to Election Day, you will have to wait to change your address at the polls.
Moving Outside the Same Precinct
If you are a registered New Hampshire voter but move outside of the town or ward where you are registered, you have to re-register in the new town or ward in which you wish to vote. If you do not re-register prior to Election Day, you will have to wait to re-register on Election Day. Go to your new polling place to re-register.
If the election official receiving the application confirms through the centralized voter registration database that you are currently registered to vote in New Hampshire, but simply need to re-register in your new hometown, you will have to provide proof of identity and domicile, but you will not be required to prove your age or citizenship.
There is no durational residency requirement. You can move to New Hampshire or to a new town or ward, establish your voting domicile on Election Day, register and vote.
Moving to a Different County
New Hampshire permits same-day registration if the voter does not appear on the checklist at the correct polling place and is otherwise qualified to vote.
Military and other overseas United States citizens that are domiciled in New Hampshire may use the standard procedure of absentee registration and voting by mail. If you requested an absentee ballot but decide to vote in person, you may deliver the absentee ballot to the clerk’s office in person or by a delivery agent. Family members, nursing home and elder care facility administrators, and a person assisting a voter with a disability who signs the absentee ballot affidavit may be a delivery agent (but they are limited to delivering ballot for four voters.
However, members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together, members of these groups are called UOCAVA voters), may also use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. For more information, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) New Hampshire-specific FPCA page.
Additionally, if you are in the military, you do not have to re-register simply because you have moved, even if you have moved outside of New Hampshire or overseas. Rather, you can maintain your domicile at your “home of record,” which is the address you had upon entry into the service, so long as you do not register to vote elsewhere.
Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot
UOCAVA voters can use the FPCA to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.
UOCAVA voters may receive a FPCA by mail, e-mail, or fax from their local city or town clerk, or they may go to the FVAP’s New Hampshire-specific FPCA page to print an FPCA.
Your request for your absentee ballot must be received by your city or town clerk’s office by the day before Election Day. For this year’s General Election, that is Monday, November 2, 2020.
For more information, visit the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s UOCAVA “frequently asked questions” page or FVAP’s New Hampshire-specific FPCA page.
Receiving an Absentee Ballot
UOCAVA voters will receive their blank absentee ballots by U.S. mail or electronically.
The ballot must be returned via U.S. mail or commercial carrier by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Election Day. For this year’s General Election, that is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The ballot will not be counted if it is transmitted electronically. The ballot must be sent to the local town or clerk’s office where the UOCAVA voter is registered to vote.
For more information, visit the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s UOCAVA “frequently asked questions” page or FVAP’s New Hampshire-specific FPCA page.
Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot
The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.
The FWAB may only be used to vote for federal offices.
You may use the FWAB regardless of whether you are located domestically or outside the United States, (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities.
If you have already requested a FPCA, the FWAB will be treated as a ballot. However, the registration information that comes with the FWAB can be treated to complete a voter registration as well, if there is a prior signature on a voter registration document from the voter on file. If there is no voter signature on a prior voter registration application on file, the FWAB cannot be counted as a ballot, even if the voter registration material with the FWAB is completed.
Your FWAB must be received through either U.S. mail or commercial carrier by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Election Day. For this year’s General Election, that is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The ballot will not be counted if it is transmitted electronically. The ballot must be sent to your local town or clerk’s office.
For more information, visit the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s UOCAVA “frequently asked questions” page or FVAP’s New Hampshire-specific FWAB page.
A person sentenced for a felony may not vote from the time of sentencing until the sentence’s final discharge, unless the execution of sentence is suspended (with or without probation) or the person is paroled. In other words, New Hampshire automatically restores the right to vote to persons with felony convictions upon release from prison, including during parole or probation. RSA 607-A:2; RSA 654:5.
Persons convicted of a felony offense who have been released from prison should check their voter registration to determine whether they have been removed from the checklist. Supervisors of the Checklist regularly receive information from the Secretary of State about voters who have been convicted of felony offenses and they remove voters from the checklist if they are still serving their felony sentence in prison. If the voter has been removed from the checklist for this reason, the voter will need to register again following their release from prison.
Persons confined in a penal institution in pre-trial detention or as a result of a conviction for a misdemeanor retain the right to vote. Most people sentenced to County Corrections fall in this category. Their domicile for voting purposes is the town or city where they had their domicile immediately prior to being confined. Persons confined in a penal institution must vote by absentee ballot. RSA 654:2- a.
Documents are being updated.