On Sept. 12, a New Hampshire Superior Court judge allowed Senate Bill 3 — a bill that changes the proof of residency requirements for voters who choose to register same-day — to take effect but blocked a portion of the bill imposing fines on voters who are unable to produce the required documents. Hanover town clerk Betsy McClain said that before the bill, voters who chose to register same-day could verbally confirm their residency and sign a document on-site if they were unable to produce proper identification on voting day, swearing under penalty of perjury that they live in the town of Hanover. Now, these voters will need to fill out a different form and return to the clerk’s office within 10 days of registration to provide proof of residence. Acceptable proof of residence documents include a driver’s license, a utility bill or, according to McClain, “[proof of] residence at an institution of learning.”
Primary bill sponsor Republican State Sen. Regina Birdsell said the purpose of the bill is to combat voter fraud. Birdsell explained that when she ran for Congress and personally talked with constituents, she “got a lot of consternations from the constituents … about their concern for our electoral system.” She believes SB3 “would help put a little bit of integrity into our electoral system.”
Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party Raymond Buckley said when he was a state representative, he never encountered these concerns from constituents.
“The latest [University of New Hampshire] poll stated that 87 percent of New Hampshire’s voters believe that there is no voter fraud in New Hampshire,” he said.