Senate, New Hampshire Constitution

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New Hampshire Constitution
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Part First
Part Second
County Treasurer
The Senate of the New Hampshire Constitution consists of 17 sections.

Article 25

Text of Article 25:

Senate, How Constituted

The senate shall consist of twenty-four members.[1]


  • Amended in 1792. Generally rephrased specifying term as one year from the first Wednesday in June.
  • Amended in 1877 increasing senators to 24 and providing for 2 year term.
  • Amended in 1889 so that term started in January instead of June.
  • Amended in 1974 deleting reference to term.

Article 26

Text of Article 26:

Senatorial Districts, How Constituted

And that the state may be equally represented in the senate, the legislature shall divide the state into single-member districts, as nearly equal as may be in population, each consisting of contiguous towns, city wards and unincorporated places, without dividing any town, city ward or unincorporated place. The legislature shall form the single-member districts at its next session after approval of this article by the voters of the state and thereafter at the regular session following each decennial federal census.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 dividing the state into 12 senatorial districts still based on proportion of taxes paid by the district.
  • Amended in 1877 increasing senate to 24 members from single member districts.
  • Amended in 1964 providing for election of senators on basis of population.

Article 26-a

Text of Article 26-a:

Division of Town, Ward or Place; Senatorial Districts

Notwithstanding Article 26 or any other article, a law providing for an apportionment to form senatorial districts under Article 26 of Part Second may divide a town, ward or unincorporated place into two or more senatorial districts if such town, ward or place by referendum requests such division.[1]


  • Added on November 22, 1978.

Article 27

Text of Article 27:

Election of Senators

The freeholders and other inhabitants of each district, qualified as in this constitution is provided shall biennially give in their votes for a senator, at some meeting holden in the month of November.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 rewording phrases but not changing the meaning.
  • Amended in 1877 twice substituting biennial election and sessions for annual elections and sessions and providing for elections in November instead of March.

Article 28

Text of Article 28:

Senators, How and by Whom Chosen; Right of Suffrage



  • Amended in 1792 changing wording but not the meaning.
  • Amended in 1877 twice, substituting "biennially" for "annually" and "November" for "March."
  • Amended in 1958 removing obsolete reference to "male" inhabitants as being the only ones allowed to vote.
  • Repealed in 1976. Provisions covered by Article 11.

Article 29

Text of Article 29:

Qualifications of Senators

Provided nevertheless, that no person shall be capable of being elected a senator, who is not of the age of thirty years, and who shall not have been an inhabitant of this state for seven years immediately preceding his election, and at the time thereof he shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he shall be chosen. Should such person, after election, cease to be an inhabitant of the district for which he was chosen, he shall be disqualified to hold said position and a vacancy shall be declared therein.[1]


  • Amended in 1852 deleting property qualifications.
  • Amended in 1877 deleting requirements that senators be Protestant.
  • Amended in 1976 adding provision that a senator is disqualified if he moves from his district.

Article 30

Text of Article 30:

Inhabitant Defined

And every person, qualified as the constitution provides, shall be considered an inhabitant for the purpose of being elected into any office or place within this state, in the town, or ward, where he is domiciled.[1]


  • Amended in 1958 substituting "ward" for "parish, and plantation."
  • Amended in 1976 twice deleting reference to electing and substituting "is domiciled" for "dwelleth and hath his home."

Article 31

Text of Article 31:

Inhabitants of Unincorporated Places; Their Rights, etc



  • Amended in 1877 twice providing for biennial instead of annual elections in November instead of March.
  • Amended in 1958 deleting reference to plantations and substituting "wards" for "parishes."
  • Repealed in 1976. Provisions covered by Part I, Art. 11.

Article 32

Text of Article 32:

Biennial Meetings, How Warned, Governed, and Conducted; Return of Votes, etc

The meetings for the choice of governor, council and senators, shall be warned by warrant from the selectmen, and governed by a moderator, who shall, in the presence of the selectmen (whose duty it shall be to attend) in open meeting, receive the votes of all the inhabitants of such towns and wards present, and qualified to vote for senators; and shall, in said meetings, in presence of the said selectmen, and of the town or city clerk, in said meetings, sort and count the said votes, and make a public declaration thereof, with the name of every person voted for, and the number of votes for each person; and the town or city clerk shall make a fair record of the same at large, in the town book, and shall make out a fair attested copy thereof, to be by him sealed up and directed to the secretary of state, within five days following the election, with a superscription expressing the purport there of.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 generally rewording section.
  • Amended in 1889 substituting "January" for "June" regarding notification to secretary of state.
  • Amended in 1958 substituting "wards" for "parishes" and added reference to city clerks.
  • Amended in 1974 substituting "December" for "January" and "twenty" and "thirty" regarding notification to secretary of state.
  • Amended in 1976 changing notification to 5 days after the election.

Article 33

Text of Article 33:

Secretary of State to Count Votes for Senators and Notify Persons Elected

And that there may be a due meeting of senators and representatives on the first Wednesday of December, biennially, the secretary of state shall, as soon as may be, examine the returned copy of such records; and fourteen days before the first Wednesday of December, he shall issue his summons to such persons as appear to be chosen senators and representatives, by a plurality of votes, to attend and take their seats on that day.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 changing president to governor and specific number of councilors to majority of councilors.
  • Amended in 1877 changing annually to biennially.
  • Amended in 1889 changing June to January for beginning of session.
  • Amended in 1912 substituting "plurality of votes" for "majority of votes."
  • Amended in 1968 deleting proviso relating to the first year.
  • Amended in 1974 changing meeting to first Wednesday of December.
  • Amended in 1976 providing that the secretary of state should examine the returns and notify those elected instead of governor.

Article 34

Text of Article 34:

Vacancies in Senate, How Filled

And in case there shall not appear to be a senator elected, by a plurality of votes, for any district, the deficiency shall be supplied in the following manner, viz. The members of the house of representatives, and such senators as shall be declared elected, shall take the names of the two persons having the highest number of votes in the district, and out of them shall elect, by joint ballot, the senator wanted for such district; and in this manner all such vacancies shall be filled up, in every district of the state and in case the person receiving a plurality of votes in any district is found by the Senate not to be qualified to be seated, a new election shall be held forthwith in said district. All vacancies in the senate arising by death, removal out of the state, or otherwise, except from failure to elect, shall be filled by a new election by the people of the district upon the requisition of the governor and council, as soon as may be after such vacancies shall happen.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 generally rewording section.
  • Amended in 1889 adding provisions for new elections in case of vacancies.
  • Amended in 1912 providing for plurality of votes instead of majority.
  • Amended in 1968 providing for new election if person elected is not qualified.

Article 35

Text of Article 35:

Senate, Judges of Their Own Elections

The senate shall be final judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications, of their own members, as pointed out in this constitution.[1]

Article 36

Text of Article 36:


The senate shall have power to adjourn themselves, and whenever they shall sit on the trial of any impeachment, they may adjourn to such time and place as they may think proper although the legislature be not assembled on such day, or at such place.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 adding proviso relating to impeachment.
  • Amended in 1948 increasing adjournment from 2 days to 5 days.
  • Amended in 1966 deleting limitation on adjournment.

Article 37

Text of Article 37:

Senate to Elect Their Own Officers; Quorum

The senate shall appoint their president and other officers, and determine their own rules of proceedings: And not less than thirteen members of the senate shall make a quorum for doing business; and when less than sixteen senators shall be present, the assent of ten, at least, shall be necessary to render their acts and proceedings valid.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 adding "president."
  • Amended in 1877 increasing quorum from 7 to 13 and changing assent of 5 when less than 8 present to assent of 10 when less than 16 present.

Article 38

Text of Article 38:

Senate to Try Impeachments; Mode of Proceeding

The senate shall be a court, with full power and authority to hear, try, and determine, all impeachments made by the house of representatives against any officer or officers of the state, for bribery, corruption, malpractice or maladministration, in office; with full power to issue summons, or compulsory process, for convening witnesses before them: But previous to the trial of any such impeachment, the members of the senate shall respectively be sworn truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence. And every officer, impeached for bribery, corruption, malpractice or maladministration in office, shall be served with an attested copy of the impeachment, and order of the senate thereon with such citation as the senate may direct, setting forth the time and place of their sitting to try the impeachment; which service shall be made by the sheriff, or such other sworn officer as the senate may appoint, at least fourteen days previous to the time of trial; and such citation being duly served and returned, the senate may proceed in the hearing of the impeachment, giving the person impeached, if he shall appear, full liberty of producing witnesses and proofs, and of making his defense, by himself and counsel, and may also, upon his refusing or neglecting to appear hear the proofs in support of the impeachment, and render judgment thereon, his nonappearance notwithstanding; and such judgment shall have the same force and effect as if the person impeached had appeared and pleaded in the trial.[1]


  • Amended in 1792 adding mode of proceeding.

Article 39

Text of Article 39:

Judgment on Impeachment Limited

Their judgment, however, shall not extend further than removal from office, disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honor, trust, or profit, under this state, but the party so convicted, shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to the laws of the land.[1]

Article 40

Text of Article 40:

Chief Justice to Preside on Impeachment of Governor

Whenever the governor shall be impeached, the chief justice of the supreme judicial court, shall, during the trial, preside in the senate, but have no vote therein.[1]

See also

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