If a voter ID bill fails to emerge from the state Legislature this year, supporters won’t have much trouble figuring out who to blame: their Republican “friends” in the House of Representatives. For perhaps lost in last week’s chaos of a Nazi salute and an insincere apology was the Republican-controlled chamber’s action on a bill to require voters to show a photo ID before getting a ballot. Specifically, it turned aside a Senate-approved bill that had earned the backing of Secretary of State William Gardner and the New Hampshire City & Town Clerks Association in favor of its own version that did not. And since Gov. John Lynch has made it clear he has no intention of permitting such a bill to pass without a veto fight – he already has won four veto showdowns over GOP-sponsored voter ID bills – every vote will count.
Last Tuesday, after state Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, made national news by uttering the vile words “Sieg Heil” during a dispute with House Speaker William O’Brien, the House voted, 226-115, to approve a heavily rewritten version of the original Senate bill (SB 289), which had passed that chamber by a veto-proof 18-5 vote. That bill was the brainchild of Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, who crafted the legislation in such a way to earn the support of Gardner and the clerks’ association – the very people who would be responsible for implementing a voter ID law in cities and towns across the state – after years of opposition. And while the clerks anticipated some changes to the bill by the House, they weren’t quite prepared for the final product that emerged from the House Election Laws Committee.
Full Article: House ups ante with voter ID bill – NashuaTelegraph.com.