A bill that would require a 30-day waiting period to vote was vetoed Friday by Gov. Maggie Hassan who said the bill places unreasonable restrictions on citizens’ voting rights. The bill also attempts to better define domicile for voting as the primary residence or abode. The change would more closely align domicile with a person’s residency. “The constitutional right of all citizens to vote is the most fundamental right of our democracy, and we must always be working to ensure that people who are legally domiciled in New Hampshire are not blocked from voting,” Hassan said in her veto statement. “Senate Bill 179 places unreasonable restrictions upon all New Hampshire citizens’ right to vote in this state with an arbitrary timeline that will prevent lawful residents from taking part in the robust citizen democracy that we are so proud of in the Granite State.”
The bill had the backing of Secretary of State Bill Gardner and was approved largely down party lines in the House and Senate, but not by the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.
Supporters say it would end “drive-by voting” by people who are in the state for a short period of time and who intend to move on but vote in an election, such as political campaign workers or consultants.
Under the bill, a person would have to be a resident of the state for at least 30 days before he or she could vote in an election.