New Hampshire has had a proud tradition of hosting the first-in-the-nation Presidential Primary Election but this year’s election may be remembered more for voter confusion and a not-so-subtle attempt to deny the vote to targeted groups of New Hampshire voters.
There’s been a full scale war against voters going on in New Hampshire for the past year. America Votes and the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire have taken the lead in fighting back against every attempt to pass voter suppression legislation. So far, the current leadership of the New Hampshire Legislature has been unsuccessful when it comes to actually passing legislation but their obsessive efforts to suppress the vote are taking a toll on New Hampshire’s voters.
Bills that would have barred college students from the voting booth, ended same-day voter registration in New Hampshire and required already registered voters to show a photo ID to get a ballot on Election Day have all been defeated.
Voters, understandably, have become confused by the constant barrage of bills (another half-dozen have been introduced this session). And it’s not just the voters. The League has surveyed the websites of 330 cities and towns and found a dismaying amount of misinformation or lack of information to help voters know their rights. This was brought to the Secretary of State’s attention last fall and also for the Presidential Primary Election on January 10. If towns have incorrect information on their websites, what are voters being told at local polling places?
Last fall, one town decided to ask for photo IDs before handing out ballots in a special election because they heard that there would probably be a photo ID law in the future. In the past week, America Votes has received reports from a different city of voters being told they can’t get an absentee ballot without a photo ID. Another voter was told that there is no Democratic Presidential Primary this year, only a Republican Primary! These are examples of election officials who are also confused about voting in New Hampshire. And, it really didn’t help when earlier this week, NBC Nightly News incorrectly stated that voters have to show photo ID to obtain their ballots on Tuesday.