A proposal to require voters to present a photo ID at the polls has town clerks worried it could create a nightmare during elections. The state House of Representatives is expected to vote today on legislation intended to prevent election fraud. While some election workers think it’s a good idea, they say they are concerned about “provisional balloting.” That would give people three days to present their ID if they don’t have it when they go to the polls.
“That would hold up the election count for days,” Plaistow Town Clerk Maryellen Pelletier said yesterday. Voters should have to show their IDs at the polls, Pelletier said, but she opposes provisional balloting. Other Southern New Hampshire officials also disagree with the provision, including Derry Town Clerk Denise Neale. “That is really going to mess up our system,” she said. “There are too many questions involved.”
Neale and other town clerks said if the bill passes, they would still be counting ballots by the time candidates request recounts of tight races. The deadline for filing requests is three days after an election.
Winners of some elections won’t be announced until after the three-day window has passed, clerks said.
“New Hampshire has prided itself on its elections,” Neale said. “To do something like this, we’re going to become a question state like everyone else.”