Supporters of a bill requiring photo identification at the ballot box called it a balancing act between a person’s right to vote and a prohibition on those not qualified. Senate Bill 289 would require voters to present a photo identification to vote after Jan. 1, 2013, but no one would be denied the right to vote, officials said at a public hearing Tuesday before the House Election Law Committee. Qualified voters have the value of their votes diminished when unqualified voters caste ballots, said bill co-sponsor Rep. Daniel Itse, R-Fremont. “Rights come with obligations,” he said. However, opponents far outweighed supporters at the hearing. They said far more people will be discouraged from voting or disenfranchised than any amount of voter fraud the bill seeks to stop. “This is a solution in search of a program,” said former Rep. Joel Winter of Manchester. “This will disenfranchise far more people than the cases of voter fraud to be prevented.”
The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, worked with the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as the New Hampshire City and Town Clerks Association, to craft the bill that passed the Senate on a nearly partisan 18-5 vote. Last year, lawmakers passed a bill requiring photo identification to vote and set up a provisional ballot process for those who could not produce a valid identification last session, but Gov. John Lynch vetoed the bill and the Senate failed to override the veto. The clerks association opposed that bill.
Full Article: Voter ID bill draws criticism | New Hampshire NEWS06.