Last week, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted in agreement with the New Hampshire State Senate to approve a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the register of probate office. This measure will appear on the ballot in November for New Hampshire voters.
The ballot measure was introduced to the New Hampshire General Court in November of 2021. In March, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 294-43 to approve the amendment. In April 21, the Senate voted 21-3 on an amended resolution. On May 13, 2022, the House adopted the revised amendment by voice vote.
To get a constitutional amendment on the ballot in New Hampshire, it must receive 60% of the vote in one legislative session of the New Hampshire state legislature, which amounts to 201 votes in the House of Representatives. Because this measure met that requirement in the House of Representatives and was approved by a voice vote in the New Hampshire state senate, the measure will appear on the ballot. To be ratified, a two-thirds vote is needed at the election.
In the past, New Hampshire’s Register of Probate office handled issues such as simple wills. But in 2011, due to a reorganization of New Hampshire’s court system, most of the duties of this office were eliminated. Currently, the primary responsibility of the office is to the preservation of files that have the potential for historical significance.
This is the second ballot measure to appear on New Hampshire’s statewide ballot for the Nov. 8, 2022 general election. The other ballot measure asks voters on whether or not to hold a state constitutional convention, which appears on New Hampshire’s ballot automatically every 10 years.
In New Hampshire, 13 statewide ballot measures went to voters between 1996 and 2018. Five of these measures were approved, while 8 were defeated.