Town clerks across New Hampshire breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday after hearing the controversial photo ID bill would not become law. But little did they know the proposal some called “a nightmare” may resurface in the next legislative session. Two local lawmakers intend to file new bills.
The state Senate voted, 17-7, on Wednesday to sustain Gov. John Lynch’s veto of Senate Bill 129. The legislation would have required voters to present a valid photo ID when casting ballots on Election Day. The goal was to eliminate voter fraud. The Legislature passed the bill last spring, but Lynch vetoed it, saying it would have created obstacles for voters.
Under the bill, people who didn’t bring an ID to the polls could vote — using a provisional ballot. Those voters would have been given two and a half days to return with identification. Town clerks said that would have created confusion and delayed election results.
“I’m happy about the vote,” Derry Town Clerk Denise Neale said yesterday. “I don’t mind the photo ID, but the provisional ballot is going to be a nightmare for clerks.”