GOP-backed bill would require voters to produce government-issued photo ID to cast ballots beginning in November 2012. NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports.
The House voted 259-116 to require voters without proper photo identification to cast a provisional ballot and be given three days to produce a valid photo ID.
The bill also calls for the state to issue voters ID card for free. The bills’ lead author, Republican David Bates of Windham argued that the bill is a common sense way to root out election fraud and won’t disenfranchise eligible voters.
“The burden that this imposes has been greatly exaggerated.”
But critics the measure could compromise a fundamental right. “This bill makes it much more likely that legitimate voters will be disenfranchised because they do not have a current-ID with them at the polls.”
As passed by the House the bill would allow voters to get a waiver of the photo-ID requirement from the secretary of state. The Senate’s version of the bill allowed election officials to take a person’s picture for their file. It also recognizes photo-IDs issued by licensed schools and some businesses and institutions. The chambers will try to work out their differences in a committee of conference.