New Hampshire’s Republican-controlled Legislature is again considering measures that would affect voter registration and the casting of ballots, even though the most recent change to the state’s election law remains in limbo in court. Under a law that took effect last year, voters who move to the state within 30 days of an election are required to provide proof that they intend to stay. But after Democrats and the League of Women Voters sued, a judge blocked penalties included in the law and said further hearings are necessary. Meanwhile, Republicans are pressing ahead with legislation they argue will help restore confidence in elections and prevent fraud, while opponents say the goal is to prevent certain groups of people from voting.
Under current law, college students, medical residents and others can declare the state their domicile for voting purposes without becoming bona fide residents subject to other requirements, such as registering their cars or getting New Hampshire driver licenses.
The House Election Law Committee held public hearings on four of the bills Thursday:
A bill sponsored by Rep. Lisa Freeman, R-Manchester, would prohibit voters under age 70 from using driver’s licenses or other photo IDs that expired more than five years before an election as proof of identity at the polls, and it would ban the use of out-of-state licenses for that purpose. Freeman said her goal was to “solidify integrity” in voting. Opponents argued the purpose behind requiring voters to show photo IDs is to match names and faces, and it doesn’t matter whether a license is from another state.
Voters who use out-of-state licenses as identification at the polls would be handed information about the state’s motor vehicle laws under a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Michael Harrington of Strafford. Those laws require drivers to obtain a New Hampshire license and register their vehicles within 60 days of becoming bona fide residents, and while the bill doesn’t make voting conditional on becoming a resident or getting a New Hampshire license, critics said it would create confusion and could deter people from voting.
Full Article: NH Republicans push for more voting restrictions.