My effort is to accomplish what I believe the voters in Windham want, election integrity, through the use of a Special Meeting. I don’t want division. I want to see Windham voters use all the tools citizens in NH have.
The statutes are there for all to see. Here some of them – it’s up to you to use them!
Special Meetings a Windham Option
39:3 Articles. – Upon the written application of 25 or more registered voters or 2 percent of the registered voters in town, whichever is less, although in no event shall fewer than 10 registered voters be sufficient, presented to the selectmen or one of them not later than the fifth Tuesday before the day prescribed for an annual meeting, the selectmen shall insert in their warrant for such meeting the petitioned article with only such minor textual changes as may be required. Such corrections shall not in any way change the intended effect of the article as presented in the original language of the petition. For the purposes of this section, the number of registered voters in a town shall be the number of voters registered prior to the last state general election. The right to have an article inserted in the warrant conferred by this section shall not be invalidated by the provisions of RSA 32. In towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants upon the written application of 50 or more voters or 1/4 of the voters in town, whichever is fewer, and in towns with 10,000 or more inhabitants upon the written application of 5 percent of the registered voters in the town, so presented not less than 60 days before the next annual meeting, the selectmen shall warn a special meeting to act upon any question specified in such application. The checklist for an annual or special town meeting shall be corrected by the supervisors of the checklist as provided in RSA 654:25-31. Those persons qualified to vote whose names are on the corrected checklist shall be entitled to vote at the meeting. The same checklist used at a recessed town meeting shall be used at any reconvened session of the same town meeting. In no event shall a special town meeting be held on the biennial election day.
Source. RS 32:3. CS 34:3. GS 35:3. GL 38:3. PS 41:3. PL 45:3. 1937, 40:1. RL 57:3. 1947, 21:1. RSA 39:3. 1969, 59:1. 1971, 79:1. 1975, 160:1. 1981, 454:1. 1987, 299:1. 1990, 192:1. 1991, 223:1; 370:5. 1994, 197:1, eff. July 23, 1994. 1998, 194:1, eff. Aug. 17, 1998. 2018, 325:1, eff. Aug. 24, 2018.
Petition: (5% of registered voters required)
To see if the voters of the Town of Windham will require the Windham Selectmen to warn a special meeting to act upon this specific question:
To see if the voters of the Town of Windham will raise and appropriate the sum of $__________________ to hire Jovan Pulitzer to coordinate, to his satisfaction, a complete forensic audit of the Town of Windham optical scanner ballot counting machines owned by the Town and used on November 3, 2020.
Such complete forensic audit will begin at the conclusion of the 2021 Senate Bill 43 Audit.
39:5 Posting Warrant. – The selectmen may address their warrant to the voters of the town, in which case they shall post an attested copy of such warrant at the place of meeting, and a like copy at one other public place in the town, at least 14 days before the day of meeting. The 14 days shall not include the day of posting nor the day of the meeting, but shall include any Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays within the said period.
Source. RS 32:4. CS 34:4. GS 35:4. GL 38:4. PS 41:4. PL 45:4. RL 57:4. RSA 39:5. 1967, 90:1. 1975, 11:3, eff. April 25, 1975. 2003, 289:4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
39:9 Warning, Upon Neglect. – If the selectmen unreasonably neglect or refuse to warn a meeting, or to insert any article in their warrant, a justice of the superior court, upon application in writing of 25 or more voters or of 1/6 part of the voters of such town, may issue a warrant for such meeting, or order the insertion of an article in the warrant.
Source. RS 32:9. CS 34:9. GS 35:9. GL 38:9. PS 41:9. PL 45:8. 1939, 21:1. RL 57:8.
31:5 At Special Meetings. –
I. (a) No money shall be raised or appropriated or shall any appropriation previously made be reduced or rescinded at any special town meeting except by vote by ballot, nor unless the ballots cast at such meeting shall be equal in number to at least 1/2 of the number of legal voters borne on the checklist of the town entitled to vote at the annual or biennial election next preceding such special meeting; and such checklist, corrected according to law, shall be used at any meeting upon the request of 10 legal voters of the town. This section shall not apply to money to be raised for the public defense or any military purpose in time of war. In case an emergency arises requiring an immediate expenditure of money, the selectmen may petition the superior court for permission to hold a special town meeting which, if granted, shall give said meeting the same authority as an annual town meeting.
(b) “Emergency” for the purposes of this section shall mean a sudden or unexpected situation or occurrence, or combination of occurrences, of a serious and urgent nature, that demands prompt, or immediate action, including an immediate expenditure of money. This definition, however, does not establish a requirement that an emergency involves a crisis in every set of circumstances.
(c) To verify that an emergency exists, a petitioner shall present, and the court shall consider, a number of factors including:
(1) The severity of the harm to be avoided.
(2) The urgency of the petitioner’s need.
(3) Whether the claimed emergency was foreseeable or avoidable.
(4) Whether the appropriation could have been made at the annual meeting.
(5) Whether there are alternative remedies not requiring an appropriation.
II. On or before the date of filing the petition with the superior court, the selectmen shall forward a copy of the petition and the warrant article or articles, by certified mail, to the commissioner of the department of revenue administration. The petition to the superior court shall include a certification that the commissioner of the department of revenue administration has been notified pursuant to this paragraph.
III. In the event that the legislative body at an annual meeting amends or rejects the cost items or fact finder’s reports as submitted pursuant to RSA 273-A, notwithstanding paragraphs I and II, the selectmen may call one special meeting for the sole purpose of addressing all negotiated cost items without petitioning the superior court for authorization. Such special meeting may be authorized only by a contingent warrant article inserted on the warrant or official ballot either by petition or by the governing body. The wording of the question shall be as follows: “Shall (the local political subdivision), if article __________ is defeated, authorize the governing body to call one special meeting, at its option, to address article __________ cost items only?” The refusal of the legislative body to authorize a special meeting as provided in this paragraph shall not affect any other provision of law. Any special meeting held under this paragraph shall be combined with the revised operating budget meeting under RSA 40:13, XI, if any, and shall not be counted toward the number of special meetings which may be held in a given calendar or fiscal year.
IV. When the selectmen vote to petition the superior court for permission to hold a special town meeting, the selectmen shall post notice of such vote within 24 hours after taking the vote and a minimum of 10 days prior to filing the petition with the court. The selectmen shall post notice of the court date for an evidentiary hearing on the petition within 24 hours after receiving notice of the court date from the court. Such notices shall be posted at the office of the selectmen and at 2 or more other conspicuous places in the town, and in the next available edition of a local newspaper with a wide circulation in the town.
Source. 1876, 2:1. 1881, 69:2. PS 40:4. 1917, 161:1. PL 42:5. 1927, 56:1. RL 51:5. 1943, 37:1. RSA 31:5. 1989, 172:1. 1991, 166:1, eff. July 26, 1991. 1997, 317:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997; 318:1, eff. Aug. 22, 1997. 1998, 55:1, eff. July 4, 1998.
If you have questions or unsure what something means, I’m available to help!