The New Hampshire State House is currently considering several bills that would impact voting and election laws in the state. Students, along with many others, would be highly affected by these new bills if they were to be passed. A Republican-led state house has put forward more than 40 new election bills that will be voted upon in the upcoming months. David Bates, a Republican state representative from Windham, has been the guiding force behind most of these bills that oppose such voting. Election officials in New Hampshire have repeatedly said that there is no widespread voter fraud in the state, according to NHPR. The definition of domicile would be changed under these laws, meaning that those who do not plan to stay in the state on a relatively permanent-basis would no longer be allowed to vote. With these laws in place, out-of-state students would no longer be allowed to vote.
Other proposed bills look to make voting more technologically advanced, by having online registration and electronic poll books in a few communities around the state, which gained bipartisan support in the last legislative session, as reported by NHPR. These election bills are still in committee, meaning that they are still under consideration.
Michael Verney, a UNH graduate student and a lecturer in history through the UNH Navitas program, organized a rally in Concord this past weekend in opposition to these new bills. Verney said that Senate Bill 3 will have a particular impact on out-of-state students as they will no longer be able to claim New Hampshire as their domicile and thus will lose their right to vote in the state. Verney also mentioned that military personnel who are temporarily living here will not be able to vote either and said that he found that “offensive.”