More than a dozen lawyers are setting up shop in the Hillsborough Superior Court-North in Manchester for the next two weeks for the preliminary injunction hearing on the controversial voter residency law commonly known as SB 3. Judge Kenneth Brown is being asked to stop the law from taking effect until after the lawsuit against the state — brought by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters, and some individual voters — is decided in court. This could mean the law, which critics claim will dampen college voter turnout, will not be in effect for the November midterm election. Numerous witnesses are expected to testify, and the state is seeking to dig into the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s budget as part of the proceedings. Lucas Meyer, the president of the New Hampshire Young Democrats, testified Monday the state party has budgeted $150,000 to $250,000 for voter education in the wake of SB 3’s passage.
“The changes to the same-day voter registration form we see as confusing and intimidating to college students,” Meyer said.
The New Hampshire Young Democrats constitute an organization that is officially separate from the state party. However, Meyer sits on the state party’s executive committee, while the Young Democrats share office space in state party headquarters. Meyer said the Young Democrats organization has been on alert since the law was first proposed.
The law still allows college students who live in other states, but who attend school in New Hampshire, to vote in New Hampshire elections. New Hampshire remains one of the few states to also still allow same day voter registration on Election Day.