New Hampshire

Overview

New Hampshire Redistricting Process

Congressional and Legislative

Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the State General Court. The Governor can veto the plans.

The General Court can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. No party currently has a veto-proof majority in either chamber.

Source: N.H. Const. art. IX, XXVI.


Previous Redistricting Cycles

2010

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 202
      • Passed = April 18, 2012 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = April 23, 2012
      • Preclearance = Granted on August 14, 2012
    • Litigation History
      • None
  • Legislative
    • Original PlansHB 592 (House); SB 201 (Senate)
      • Passed = March 15, 2012 (R-controlled)
      • Vetoed/Signed = House plan vetoed, Senate plan signed on March 23, 2012 (D-controlled)
        • Veto Overridden = March 28, 2012
      • Preclearance = Granted on June 1, 2012
    • Litigation History
      • City of Manchester v. Secretary of State, 48 A.3d 864 (N.H. 2012): Several New Hampshire voters filed a challenge to the General Court’s enacted state House plan, alleging that it violated the state constitution by failing to provide 62 places with their own representatives, dividing certain localities, and devising multi-member districts in localities that aren’t contiguous. On June 19, 2012, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendants on the grounds the plaintiffs failed to sufficient prove violations of the state constitution.

2000

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 3
      • Passed = March 21, 2002 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = April 8, 2002
      • Preclearance = Granted on June 10, 2002
    • Litigation History
      • None
  • Legislative
    • Original PlansHB 420 (House); SB 1 (Senate)
      • Passed = March 21, 2002 (R-controlled)
      • Vetoed = April 3, 2002 (House); March 29, 2002 (Senate) (D-controlled)
    • N.H. Supreme Court’s PlansHouse; Senate
      • Adopted = July 26, 2002 (House); June 24, 2002 (Senate)
      • Preclearance = Granted on September 5, 2002
    • General Court’s Revised PlansHB 1292 (House); HB 264 (Senate)
      • Passed = March 18, 2004 (House); May 6, 2004 (Senate) (R-controlled)
      • Signed = April 5, 2004 (House); May 28, 2004 (Senate)
    • Litigation History
      • Below v. Gardner, 963 A.2d 785 (N.H. 2002): After the Republican General Court’s state Senate plan was vetoed by the Democratic Governor, the General Court failed to pass another plan, and the responsibility fell to the state Supreme Court. On June 24, 2002, the N.H. Supreme Court ruled that the existing state Senate districts were malapportioned in violation of the state and federal constitutions and adopted its own state Senate redistricting plan.
      • Burling v. Speaker of the House, 148 N.H. 143 (N.H. 2002): After the Republican General Court’s state House plan was vetoed by the Democratic Governor, the General Court failed to pass another plan, and the responsibility fell to the state Supreme Court. On July 26, 2002, the N.H. Supreme Court riled that the existing state House districts were malapportioned in violation of the state and federal constitutions and adopted its own state House redistricting plan.
      • In re Below, 151 N.H. 135 (N.H. 2004): After the General Court passed revised legislative plans, which modified the state Supreme Court’s adopted plans, plaintiffs challenged the validity of the revised plans on the grounds the General Court lacked authority under the state constitution to amend the court’s plans. On June 22, 2004, the court upheld the revised plans, finding that the General Court had the authority to modify the court’s adopted plans.
      • Town of Canaan v. Secretary of State, 959 A.2d 172 (N.H. 2008): After the state Supreme Court declined to include floterial districts in its adopted legislative plans, the General Court passed, and the voters adopted, a state constitutional amendment codifying floterial districts as required in state legislative plans. Plaintiffs filed a challenge to the court’s adopted legislative plans, alleging that the plans now violated the state constitution because they did not include floterial districts and requesting they be redrawn prior to the 2008 elections. On October 29, 2008, the state Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ petition, finding that the amendment did not compel immediate reapportionment but rather would be implemented during the next reapportionment session.

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Only the New Hampshire General Court may refer amendments to the ballot. There is no initiative or referendum process.

Source: N.H. Const. art. C.


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