Gov. Maggie Hassan is likely to veto legislation that would require people to live in New Hampshire for 30 days before they can vote in the state. Hassan’s office said Thursday she worries the bill will restrict people’s constitutional right to vote. The comments from her office came after a coalition of Democratic lawmakers, election workers and the American Civil Liberties Union called the bill unconstitutional. The Republican-controlled House and Senate both passed the bill earlier this year and Hassan could take action on it at any time. Besides requiring people to live in New Hampshire for 30 days before they can vote there, it outlines specific criteria election workers should evaluate when determining someone’s domicile for voting purposes, including whether the person is eligible for a resident hunting or fishing license or has a New Hampshire driver’s license.
Supporters of the bill say the measure would eliminate voter fraud, including so-called drive-by voting by people who register to vote on Election Day when they don’t live in the state. People domiciled in New Hampshire can register on the day they vote. Secretary of State Bill Gardner backs the bill and has said he believes drive-by voting is a problem.
“You should really live here,” said Republican Sen. Sharon Carson of Londonderry, the measure’s prime sponsor. “You’re making a decision about what representation should look like and if you’re not vested in that community, you don’t have any ties to that community, why are you voting here?”