City of Laconia, NH
Belknap County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Sect. 2:01  

Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, as hereby constituted at every state biennial election commencing with the biennial election in 1976, shall choose by ballot and plurality vote one Supervisor of checklists and the City Council shall also, at its next regular monthly meeting following the state biennial election thereafter by ballot and majority vote choose one supervisor of checklists who shall constitute the Board of Supervisors of checklists of all wards of the City, and the member chosen by the City Council shall be Chairman of the Board. All vacancies occurring in the Board shall be filled by the City Council. (1893 Charter, Section 8, as amended; further amended and passed 11-4-1975 by referendum; partly obsolete: see RSA 40, 44, 55; amended and passed 11-5-1991 by referendum)

Sect. 2:02  

Said supervisors shall be in session, in such places as they shall designate, for the purpose of revising and correcting the list of voters, on the Saturday 10 days prior to the election between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and at the discretion of the supervisors for additional hours. If the Saturday falls on a holiday weekend, that session shall be held on Tuesday. Seven days prior to the election, between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and at the discretion of the supervisors for extended hours. No name shall be added to said list after the last meeting except such as have been left off by mistake, and not unless the supervisor in attendance at an election in any ward where such omission occurs clearly knew before the list was made out that the names thus omitted legally belonged on it. Said board shall have all the powers and perform all the duties prescribed by law for supervisors of check lists. (1893 Charter, Section 9, as amended; amended by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,947 yes, 874 no)

Sect. 2:03  

Said supervisors shall be in session, in such places as they shall designate, for the purpose of revising and correcting the list of voters, six days at least before the day of election, from nine o'clock in the forenoon till noon, and from two till five o'clock in the afternoon, of each of said days. The first session shall be upon the Tuesday next preceding the day of election. No name shall be added to said list after the last meeting except such as have been left off by mistake, and not unless the supervisor in attendance at an election in any ward where such omission occurs clearly knew before the list was made out that the names thus omitted legally belonged on it. Said Board shall have all the powers and perform all the duties prescribed by law for supervisors of checklists. (1893 Charter, Section 10, as amended)

Sect. 2:04  

Each member of the Board of Supervisors shall receive as compensation for each day's services performed by him in accordance with the provisions of this act, such sums as may be determined by the City Council, to be paid out of the City Treasury. (1893 Charter, Section 11, as amended)

Sect. 2:05  

At the first election under this act a Moderator and Ward Clerk shall be chosen, by and from the qualified voters of each ward, who shall hold their respective offices until the close of the biennial election in November, 1894; and thereafter, at each state biennial election, a Moderator and Ward Clerk shall be chosen, by and from the qualified voters of each ward, who shall hold their respective offices for the term of two years. The members of the present Board of Selectmen in each ward shall continue in office until their respective terms expire or until their successors are chosen and qualified. At the biennial meeting in 1941 there shall be chosen by and from the qualified voters of each ward one Selectman to serve for the term of four years; at the biennial meeting in 1943 there shall be chosen by and from the qualified voters of each ward one Selectman to serve for the term of four years, and one Selectman to serve for the term of six years; and at each biennial meeting thereafter one Selectman shall be chosen by and from the qualified voters of each ward to serve for the term of six years each. All vacancies in the office of Moderator, Ward Clerk or Selectman shall be filled by the City Council. (1893 Charter, Section 13, as amended; partly obsolete: see RSA 40:1 and 44:11)

Sect. 2:06 CONDUCT OF NONPARTISAN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.

The procedures set forth in this section shall apply to municipal elections only. The procedures set forth in this section shall apply to municipal elections only. All municipal elections shall be nonpartisan and no ballot shall show a designated party affiliation for any candidate. (Amended by referendum 11-4-2014, 2,622 yes, 2,333 no)
The polls shall be open at each municipal election from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and during such additional hours before or after that period as the council may authorize by ordinance. (RSA 44:13) (Amended per referendum 11-2-2010, 3,859 yes, 793 no, effective 7-1-2011)
The City Council shall determine the polling hours no later than 30 days prior to a state or federal election. (Added by referendum 11-2-2010, 3,859 yes, 793 no, effective 7-1-2011)
THE PRIMARY ELECTION. The printed primary ballot shall contain the name of each and every person who, in accordance with this paragraph, declares his or her candidacy for an office that is to be filled at the next municipal election and for which the person is otherwise qualified under this Charter and New Hampshire law. A person may declare his or her candidacy by filing a written declaration of candidacy with the office of the Laconia City Clerk between the first Wednesday in August and the Friday of the following week. The declaration of candidacy shall be in the following form: (Amended by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no)
"I, __________, declare that I am domiciled in Ward _____in the City of Laconia, Belknap County, New Hampshire; that I am registered to vote in Laconia; that I am a candidate for nomination for the office of _________________ to be made at the primary election to be held on the _____ day of __________________, _______; and I hereby request that my name be printed on the official primary election ballot as a candidate for nomination for this office. I declare that I am eligible to file as a candidate for nomination for this office, and I will not withdraw. If I receive the highest number of votes or the second highest number of votes for this office in the primary election, I hereby request that my name be printed on the official municipal election ballot as a candidate for this office. If elected in the municipal election, I will assume the duties and serve in this office.
Signed this _____ day of _________________, _____.
Signature of Declarant
For the offices of Mayor and Ward Councilors, a primary election will be held when three or more declarations of candidacy are filed. If two or less declarations of candidacy are filed the City Clerk shall deem the primary election unnecessary and all names will appear on the municipal election ballot. (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no)
For all other elected offices there shall be no primary election held. (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no)
The printed primary ballot shall contain the name of each and every person who, in accordance with this paragraph, declares his or her candidacy for an office that is to be filled at the next municipal election and for which the person is otherwise qualified under this Charter and New Hampshire law. No person's name shall appear on the printed ballot unless that person has filed a declaration of candidacy in accordance with this paragraph; however, the ballot shall contain a space for a write-in for each office. (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no)
Forms for a declaration of candidacy shall be available from the City Clerk. The names of all primary candidates shall appear on the ballot in alphabetical order as required under RSA 656-5:a. The two candidates receiving the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared nominated candidates for the municipal election; however, in the case of a write-in candidate receiving votes a minimum of 35 votes shall be received to declare any write-in candidate as nominated for the municipal election. (Amended by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no; 11-4-2014, 3,666 yes, 944 no; 11-4-2014, 3,233 yes, 1,494 no)
The municipal primary election shall be held on the second Tuesday in September of every odd-numbered year. All municipal elections and primaries shall be nonpartisan; and no ballot shall show a designation of party affiliation for any candidate. All ballots shall divide the candidates by office and with respect to each office, the following language shall appear: "Vote for not more than one." All ballots shall conform to the requirements of New Hampshire law. (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no)
THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION. The municipal election shall be held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November of each odd-numbered year. (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no)
For the office of Mayor and Ward Councilor the printed municipal ballot shall contain the names of the two candidates for each office who received the highest and the second highest number of votes in the primary election, if held, and no others. For all other elected offices the printed ballot shall contain the names of all candidates filing a declaration of candidacy. The ballot shall, however, contain space for a write-in for each office. The names of the candidates for each office shall appear in alphabetical order as required under RSA 656-5:a. The candidate for each office who receives the higher number of votes shall be declared elected; however, in the case of a write-in candidate receiving votes a minimum of 35 votes shall be received to declare any write-in candidate as elected for all elected office. (Amended by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no; 11-4-2014, 3,666 yes, 944 no; 11-4-2014, 3,233 yes, 1,494 no)
A person may declare his or her candidacy for by filing a written declaration of candidacy with the office of the Laconia City Clerk between the first Wednesday in August and the Friday of the following week. The declaration of candidacy shall be in the following form: (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,237 yes, 1,461 no)
"I, __________, declare that I am domiciled in Ward _____ in the City of Laconia, Belknap County, New Hampshire; that I am registered to vote in Laconia; that I am a candidate for nomination for the office of __________ to be made at the municipal election to be held on the _____ day of _________, _____; and I hereby request that my name be printed on the official municipal election ballot as a candidate for nomination for this office. I declare that I am eligible to file as a candidate for nomination for this office, and I will not withdraw. If elected in the municipal election, I will assume the duties and serve in this office.
Signed this _____ day of _________________, _____.
Signature of Declarant
The election officers in each ward whose duty it is to conduct regular biennial elections shall conduct the primary and municipal elections at City expense in accordance with this section. The supervisor of the checklist in each ward shall fix the polling place therein and give notice thereof when the checklist is posted. All duties of the City Clerk and the supervisors of the checklist set forth in other sections of this Charter or New Hampshire law, to the extent that they are timed with references to the date of the municipal election, shall hereafter be timed with reference to the date of the primary election unless they relate only to the municipal election. (Amended by referendum 11-7-1995, 1,949 yes, 1,081 no; amended by referendum 11-2-2010, 3,599 yes, 1,001 no, effective 7-1-2011)

Sect. 2:07 QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS.

Persons who would be qualified to vote in a biennial election if held on the day of such municipal election shall be qualified to vote in all elections held pursuant to this Charter and Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 49-C and all elections held hereunder shall be deemed elections within the meaning of all general statutes, penal and otherwise, and those statutes shall apply to municipal elections so far as consistent with this Charter and Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 49-C. (Amended by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,438 yes, 1,442 no)

Sect. 2:08 PREPARATION OF BALLOTS.

The City Clerk shall prepare the ballots to be used at the municipal elections. Election shall be by the Australian Ballot System, and the ballots shall be prepared in accordance with the procedure provided for in general election laws governing that system. (RSA 49-C:6) (Amended by referendum 11-2-2010, 3,334 yes, 1,235 no, effective 7-1-2011)

Sect. 2:09 CONTESTED ELECTIONS.

Any election contest shall be resolved in accordance with the procedure set forth in the general election laws governing biennial elections. (RSA 49-C:7) Amended by referendum 11-2-2010, 3,334 yes, 1,235 no, effective 7-1-2011)

Sect. 2:10 RECOUNT PROCEDURE.

Any candidate whose name appeared on a municipal election ballot may file a request for recount in writing with the Laconia City Clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Friday following the municipal election. The applicant shall pay a fee to the Laconia City Clerk, for the use of the City in the same manner as prescribed by RSA 669:31, II. (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,755 yes, 970 no)
The following rules and procedures shall be observed during the course of a municipal election recount: (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,755 yes, 970 no)
1. 
The City Clerk will unseal the container holding all ballots cast by voters on the date cast, announcing such publicly.
2. 
The City Clerk will operate with two-person teams for recounting.
3. 
For each two-person team, each candidate will have one observer.
4. 
Each candidate will be informed as to how many two-person teams will be conducting his/her particular recount.
5. 
No observer will use pencil or pen at the recount.
6. 
Observers are prohibited from touching the ballots.
7. 
One member of the two-person team will read the ballot declaring those legal votes apparent from the voters marks. The second member will place the ballot in a stack according to how the ballot was cast.
8. 
If there is a protest of any ballot it must be made immediately.
9. 
The candidate who requested the recount may cancel same at any time during the procedure, at which time the City Clerk will publicly announce the candidate's request to cancel the recount, and the recount will cease at once.
10. 
The City Clerk will maintain a tally showing the old and new figures and at the completion of the recount will announce the official winner based on the recount figures.
11. 
No cell phones may be used in the recount room; at no time shall photographs be taken of any ballot.(Added by referendum 11-2-2010, 3,879 yes, 765 no, effective 7-1-2011; amended by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,755 yes, 970 no)
12. 
All members of the public shall be seated in a designated area that will allow for visual and audible observation of the recount. No person shall be seated closer than six feet from the two-person teams conducting the recount unless they are an official observer. (Added by referendum 11-4-2014, 3,755 yes, 970 no)

Sect. 2:11 ABSENTEE VOTING.

Any legal voter of the City of Laconia who is absent from the City on the day of any regular or special municipal election, or who, by reason of physical disability, is unable to vote in person at said election, may vote at said election by so-called absentee ballot. The provisions of state law, so far as applicable hereto and not inconsistent herewith, shall apply to such absentee voting in the City, provided that the City clerk shall prepare the forms and ballots for such voting and said Clerk shall also prepare the required instructions. (Passed 11-4-1975 by referendum; source: Chapter 359, NH Laws of 1975)