A voter identification bill that had the support of the Senate, town clerks and the secretary of state’s office is in jeopardy because of changes made yesterday by a House committee, said Sen. Russell Prescott, a Kingston Republican and the bill’s sponsor. The House Election Law Committee voted 13-7 to require photo identification at the polls months earlier than clerks say is feasible, and to disallow students to use their IDs to vote. The changes, if passed by the full House, would take effect immediately, for this year’s general election. Prescott’s bill pushed the start date to elections after Jan. 2013, to give voters and clerks time to get used to the new requirements. “I worked really hard with (clerks and state officials) to make a clean voter ID bill,” Prescott said yesterday. “We have a bill I think a lot of people support. I am saddened that this amendment has passed.”
The secretary of state’s office said this week the changes would be impossible to make in time for this year’s election. Nancy Johnson, lobbyist for the state’s town and city clerks, left yesterday’s vote looking discouraged. “We are opposed to this, and we continue to support the Senate’s version,” she said. “We agree with what the secretary of state has said. We can (implement voter identification) but not this year. The timing (passed yesterday) is very bad.”
Full Article: Sponsor: Voter ID bill in jeopardy | Concord Monitor.