Two New Hampshire Bills to Ease Definition of “Political Party”

Currently, New Hampshire defines a party to be a group that polled at least 4% for either Governor or U.S. Senator at the last election. Two of the state’s Libertarian House members have introduced two bills to ease that. HB 1568 would let voters register into unqualified parties, and if 1% of the total state registration registers into a party, then it is also a qualified party. This would include newly-qualifying parties as well as already-qualified parties.

HB 1448 expands the vote test from just Governor or U.S. Senate, to either of one of the two U.S. House seats. Also it says that if a party has a sitting State Senator, or a member of the Executive Council, or at least 16 House members, it is also a qualified party.

The existing 4% vote test was created in 1997. It is so difficult, it has only been used by any party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, once, in 2016 when the Libertarian Party polled over 4% for Governor. New Hampshire elects its Governor every two years.

The authors are Caleb Dyer and Brandon Phinney. Thanks to Darryl Perry for this news.


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