Referendum Statewide

LFDA Editor

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that the state constitution bars statewide referendums that would allow citizens to directly vote on issues.

Supporters of referendums believe that citizens should have a direct voice in major issues.

Opponents believe that since NH has one of the largest legislatures in the world, citizens have ample access to their elected representatives and do not need the power of a referendum.  Opponents also point to the experience of California, where statewide referendums are often "bought" by special interest groups that pay for aggressive advertising campaigns.

New Hampshire is one of 23 states that does not permit ballot initiatives or referendums. Click here for definitions of ballot measures, initiatives, referendums and legislative measures.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Interim Study

Constitutional amendment allowing voters to veto state laws by referendum.

Killed in the House

Constitutional amendment allowing voters to veto state laws by referendum.

Should NH allow binding referendums?

FOR
REPRESENTATIVES

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UNDECIDED
REPRESENTATIVES

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AGAINST
REPRESENTATIVES

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Issue Status

In January 2012, Rep. David Bates (R-Windham) proposed CACR 21 to allow voters to veto state laws by referendum. The House sent the resolution to interim study, effectively killing the bill.

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