Secretary of State Bill Gardner is signaling support for a bill its sponsors said would crack down on so-called drive-by voting. Supporters of SB 179 said it would safeguard the integrity of New Hampshire elections, but others see it as a political ploy to keep some voters away from the polls. When Vice President Joe Biden’s niece, Alana Biden, cast a ballot in New Hampshire in 2012 after a short campaign stint, she didn’t break the letter of the law, but many think she violated the spirit of it. “When that happens, it hurts all of our votes,” Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Hudson, said. “It disenfranchises the people that really live here.”
Carson sponsored the bill, which states that in order to vote in New Hampshire, a person has to be domiciled in the state for no less than 30 consecutive days before any election.
There currently is no such requirement, and while Biden’s niece is a high-profile example, Gardner said taking advantage of the law is nothing new.
“We’ve had examples of abuses in the past, and we’ve never liked that,” he said.