New Hampshire House Passes Bill Easing Definition of “Political Party”

On March 13, the New Hampshire House passed HB 1322, which lowers the vote test for qualified party status from 4% to 3%. The only offices that count for the vote test are U.S. Senate and Governor.

New Hampshire is one of only three states which has not had any ballot-qualified parties at any time in the last 18 years. The other two are Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If the bill becomes law, it will still be true that New Hampshire is one of only three such states. The only minor party on the ballot in New Hampshire for Governor in 2012 was the Libertarian Party, which got 2.78% for Governor. There was no US Senate race in New Hampshire in 2012.

The New Hampshire vote test for party status between 1891 and 1996 was 3%, and HB 1322 restores that percentage. Thanks to Darryl Perry for this news.

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