The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state on behalf of two college students who claim a new law that requires a New Hampshire driver’s license to vote violates their constitutional rights and represents a 21st-century “poll tax.” Caroline Casey is originally from Louisiana and Maggie Flaherty is from California. Both women are sophomores at Dartmouth College who voted in the 2018 primaries and general elections in New Hampshire but maintain driver’s licenses from their home states, according to the lawsuit. Under HB 1264, which was signed into law last year but doesn’t take effect until July, anyone who votes in New Hampshire must obtain an in-state driver’s license and vehicle registration within 60 days of casting their ballot.Full Article: ACLU sues to block NH voter fraud law deriding it as a 'poll tax' | Courts | unionleader.com.
Articles about voting issues in New Hampshire.
A New Hampshire law that will make residency a condition of voting in the state unconstitutionally restricts students’ right to vote, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday in a lawsuit. Under current law, New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t require residency. The federal lawsuit filed against Secretary of State William Gardner and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald was brought on behalf of two Dartmouth College students. They say the law, which takes effect July 1, burdens their right to vote by requiring new voters to shift their home state driver’s licenses and registrations to New Hampshire. “Under this law, I have to pay to change my California license to be a New Hampshire one,” one of the students, Maggie Flaherty, said in a statement. “If I vote and don’t change my license within 60 days, I could even be charged with a misdemeanor offense with up to one year in jail.Full Article: Voter residency law challenged in nation’s 1st primary state | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
New Hampshire: Amid Election Scrutiny, Dixville Notch’s Midnight Voting Tradition Could Be At Risk | NHPR
Once every four years, for a brief moment, it seems the whole world turns its eyes to Dixville Notch. Since 1960, voters in this tiny Coos County community have been casting their ballots just after the stroke of midnight to mark the official start of the New Hampshire presidential primary. Of course, Dixville Notch isn’t the only place in New Hampshire that opens its polls at midnight. But it’s kept its tradition running the longest, so it gets most of the press coverage. But Dixville Notch has lately found itself under a different kind of spotlight: from the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.Full Article: Amid Election Scrutiny, Dixville Notch’s Midnight Voting Tradition Could Be At Risk | New Hampshire Public Radio.
New Hampshire: State Supreme Court denies access to voter database in suit over registration law | Legal Newsline
A request to produce a voters database that was ordered by a lower court as evidence in a lawsuit was denied by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Chief Justice Robert Lynn issued a 10-page ruling on Jan. 24, vacating the New Hampshire Superior Court’s order in the lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and several individuals in a challenge to a voter registration law. The high court concluded that the Superior Court erred ordering the state’s secretary of state and attorney general to produce the New Hampshire Centralized Voter Registration Database, concluding that the list is “exempt from disclosure by statute.” The League of Women Voters of New Hampshire the New Hampshire Democratic Party sued over the validity of some state voting laws.Full Article: New Hampshire Supreme Court denies access to voter database in suit over registration law | Legal Newsline.
While much of the focus has been on young voters, New Hampshire lawmakers also are considering changes to make it easier for older residents to cast their ballots. The House Election Law Committee will hold public hearings Tuesday on two bills related to older voters. One would allow unrelated caregivers to deliver absentee ballots on behalf of voters who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The other would allow anyone age 60 or older to vote up to five weeks before an election. Rep. Richard Komi, a Democrat from Manchester, is the sponsor of the second bill, which he said is partly inspired by his 75-year-old mother. He wants to help elderly residents who are in poor health or who worry about inclement weather to vote when it is most convenient for them.Full Article: Bills would make it easier for older residents to vote | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
New Hampshire: Democrats denied access to voter database in lawsuit over election law | Union Leader
The state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Secretary of State does not have provide a detailed voter database to the N.H. Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 3, the new law on voter verification. A lower court had ordered release of the database to the plaintiffs, who claimed they needed certain information from it to make their case. “We conclude that the database is exempt from disclosure by statute, and we therefore vacate the trial court’s order,” states the unanimous order of the five justices.Full Article: Dems denied access to voter database in lawsuit over NH election law | Politics | unionleader.com.
New Hampshire: Constitutional Amendment Would Create An Independent Redistricting Panel in New Hampshire | NHPR
Lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to draw boundaries for state elections. Current law leaves the responsibility of redistricting to the New Hampshire Legislature. Supporters of this measure say that allows for gerrymandering, or the ability of the majority party to draw boundary lines in its favor. Democratic State Rep. Ellen Read, a supporter of the measure, said she’s mentioned limiting gerrymandering to members of her party in the past.Full Article: Constitutional Amendment Would Create An Independent Redistricting Panel in N.H. | New Hampshire Public Radio.
The first public hearings on two bills that would effectively repeal two controversial laws that many Democrats view as voter suppression measures filled a double committee room at the Legislative Office Building on Thursday. Outside the packed third-floor room, supporters waved signs saying, “Restore Voting Rights” and “Granite Stater, Granite Voter” as elected officials, citizens and lobbyists took turns telling members of the House Election Law Committee why they should either back House Bills 105 and 106 or deep six them both. Rep. Timothy Horrigan, D-Durham, who co-sponsored both bills, said they are important to his constituents because of the University of New Hampshire where he believes students will be unduly impacted by having to pay fees for licenses and car registrations to prove residency.Full Article: Lawmakers hear bills to repeal GOP-led voter registration laws.
Newly empowered Democrats are hoping to reverse two recent changes to New Hampshire’s election laws before either fully takes effect. One new law, requiring voters to provide more documentation if they register within 30 days of an election, remains tied up in court. The other, which ends the distinction between full-fledged residents and those claiming the state as their domicile for voting, takes effect July 1. Both passed under Republican-led Legislatures, but Democrats won majorities in both the House and Senate in November, and they are drafting bills to essentially repeal both changes. “I’m trying to put things back the way they were before,” said Rep. Timothy Horrigan, who is sponsoring both bills.Full Article: NH Democrats seek to reverse voting restrictions | New Hampshire Politics | newburyportnews.com.
In a day of high drama at the State House, Bill Gardner, the nation’s longest serving Secretary of State, held off a formidable challenge by former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, eking out a four-vote win to another two-year term. Gardner, the underdog in this race for the first time in decades, pulled off a remarkable upset, beating Van Ostern on the second ballot of voting by House and Senate members, 209-205. First elected in 1976, Gardner told the New Hampshire Union Leader he was hoping for one more term, bringing him to the 100th anniversary of the state’s First-in-the-Nation Primary in 2020.Full Article: Gardner wins reelection after revote, 209 to 205 | State | unionleader.com.
Secretary of State Bill Gardner has had a decadeslong run as the legendary, hard-nosed guardian of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. But he may not make it through the Trump era. Gardner, a fixture in presidential politics after more than 40 years in office, may be on the verge of a bitter ouster from his job after supporting stricter voter eligibility requirements and participating in President Donald Trump’s ill-fated voter fraud commission. Though he has traditionally garnered support from both Republicans and Democrats — the Legislature selects the state’s secretary of state every two years — New Hampshire House Democrats overwhelmingly threw their support to a rival Democrat, Colin Van Ostern, in a preliminary caucus vote recently.Full Article: New Hampshire political legend falls prey to Trump effect - POLITICO.
The voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3 will stay in place through the upcoming midterms, after the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Friday overruled a lower court’s order that would have put the law on hold. The decision from the high court capped off a rollercoaster week for election officials in New Hampshire. On Monday, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown ordered them to stop using Senate Bill 3 (or “SB3”) in the upcoming midterms. By Wednesday, the state said, essentially, “Not so fast.” Arguing that it was too late to make any substantial changes to the registration process and that Brown’s instructions would burden pollworkers, state election officials asked both Brown and the New Hampshire Supreme Court for permission to keep the law in place. (The opposing attorneys challenging SB3, meanwhile, called this “a thinly-veiled attempt to create a record of difficulty and confusion where there really is none” so the state could avoid compliance with Brown’s order.)Full Article: N.H. Supreme Court Says SB3 Can Stay In Place, Reversing Lower Court Order | New Hampshire Public Radio.
New Hampshire: ‘It’s a poll tax’: how New Hampshire became a battlefield for voting rights | The Guardian
Among the symmetrically mown lawns and grand homes of suburban New Hampshire, Garrett Muscatel was knocking on doors to talk about a subject that took many by surprise: voter suppression. At just 20 years old, this student at Dartmouth College is vying to become the youngest member of the state’s 400-person house of representatives in November’s midterm elections. But, so he told potential voters in this precinct, what is at stake was not just the beginning of his political career but the future of democracy in the Granite state. “Hi, my name is Garrett,” he told one woman in her 60s, tending to her barking dog. “I’m a student here at Dartmouth and I’m running for office. Did you know much about laws Republicans have passed that make it harder for people like me to vote?” She hadn’t heard much. But agreed that turning up to vote, even in a heavily Democratic precinct like this one, was important in the Trump era.Full Article: 'It's a poll tax': how New Hampshire became a battlefield for voting rights | US news | The Guardian.
New Hampshire: Judge blocks SB 3 voting law, saying it imposes ‘unreasonable, discriminatory’ burdens | WBUR
The state has been blocked from using new voter registration forms and affidavits set out in the controversial 2017 law known as Senate Bill 3 in the upcoming election by a court ruling that called the law burdensome, confusing and likely to create long lines at voting places. Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown on Monday issued a preliminary injunction halting the state from moving forward with the provisions of the law, which was challenged shortly after it was signed last year by Gov. Chris Sununu. Brown ruled that “the burdens imposed by SB 3 are unreasonable and discriminatory.” The ruling, which was issued 15 days before the midterm election, was in favor of the plaintiffs: the League of Women Voters, the New Hampshire Democratic Party and several voters. The court said the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits after a full-blown trial, which is expected to be held next year.Full Article: Judge blocks SB 3 voting law, saying it imposes 'unreasonable, discriminatory' burdens.
New Hampshire: Voting advocates say absentee ballot errors demonstrate flaws in system | Concord Monitor
There are ballot errors – the misspellings, typos and misalignments that can prompt last-minute changes ahead of Election Day. Then there are errors, and Stephen D’Angelo found himself on the receiving end of a major one. On Oct. 6, a Saturday, the Democratic nominee for Rockingham County District 4 received a flood of emails with alerts from supporters. The absentee ballots had been sent out to voters, the emails said, and D’Angelo’s name wasn’t on them. In the box for the Democrat in his House race, instead, was D’Angelo’s primary opponent Russell Norman, whom he had defeated in September by five votes. One Republican representative from the same five-seat district, Jess Edwards, had posted a screenshot of the ballot on a Facebook page. “I thought he was kidding,” D’Angelo, of Chester, said in an interview. “I thought it was a joke at first. I looked on the secretary of state’s website and lo and behold, it was accurate.”Full Article: Voting advocates say absentee ballot errors demonstrate flaws in system.
New Hampshire: Deputy secretary of state says ballot errors flagged by voting group now corrected | WMUR
The progressive New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights this week called on the Ssecretary of state’s office to conduct a “full review” of ballots for the upcoming general election after finding that some incorrect absentee ballots and sample ballots were printed and distributed. WMUR has learned that on Tuesday, the New Hampshire Democratic Party went further and issued a formal election law complaint to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, requesting that “immediate action be taken to audit all ballots issued for the Nov. 6 election.” According to a statement provided by the NHDP to WMUR, “The party has also requested corrections on inaccurate ballots, that voters in receipt of inaccurate ballots be notified and issued a correct ballot, and that an investigation into the publication and distribution of ballots occur immediately.”Full Article: Deputy secretary of state says ballot errors flagged by voting group now corrected.
New Hampshire: Citing Federal Judge’s Ruling, State Tells Towns Not to Compare Absentee Voters’ Signatures | NHPR
State officials are not challenging a federal judge’s decision to strike down New Hampshire’s “signature mismatch” procedures. Instead, they have instructed pollworkers not to compare a voter’s handwriting on their absentee ballot with the handwriting used on their absentee ballot application. According to instructions sent to local election officials on Aug. 24, local moderators should move forward with counting someone’s absentee ballot as long as it belongs to a registered voter whose name appears on the local checklist, the affidavit attached to the ballot “appears to be properly executed” and “the signatures appear to be the signatures of a duly qualified voter who has not voted at the election.”Full Article: Citing Federal Judge's Ruling, N.H. Tells Towns Not to Compare Absentee Voters' Signatures | New Hampshire Public Radio.
More than a dozen lawyers are setting up shop in the Hillsborough Superior Court-North in Manchester for the next two weeks for the preliminary injunction hearing on the controversial voter residency law commonly known as SB 3. Judge Kenneth Brown is being asked to stop the law from taking effect until after the lawsuit against the state — brought by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters, and some individual voters — is decided in court. This could mean the law, which critics claim will dampen college voter turnout, will not be in effect for the November midterm election. Numerous witnesses are expected to testify, and the state is seeking to dig into the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s budget as part of the proceedings. Lucas Meyer, the president of the New Hampshire Young Democrats, testified Monday the state party has budgeted $150,000 to $250,000 for voter education in the wake of SB 3’s passage.Full Article: Judge asked to shut down voter registration law | News, Sports, Jobs - The Nashua Telegraph.
mid concerns about hacking from Russia, Iran and other countries, New Hampshire plans to spend a quarter of a million dollars in federal grant money on assessing whether its election systems are vulnerable to intruders. David Scanlan, the deputy secretary of state, said that $250,000 from the five-year grant will be used to hire a firm that will attempt to hack the election system to help identify any weaknesses. The state also plans to embed software in the election database that can recognize abnormal activity and shut it down. The state also wil monitor the “dark web” for signs the state is being discussed among hackers. “It’s kind of an ear to the ground to find if New Hampshire is being discussed in any way to give us a heads up of when a potential attempt to hack might happen,” Scanlan said of the “dark web” effort. Scanlan said there is no evidence so far that anyone has attempted to hack and get into New Hampshire’s election system.Full Article: Valley News - N.H. Election System Might Be Vulnerable.
New Hampshire: Federal court bars New Hampshire from disenfranchising voters because of their handwriting | Slate
A federal court blocked New Hampshire’s “signature mismatch” law on Tuesday, prohibiting the state from rejecting ballots on the basis of inconsistent handwriting. The court found that election officials had violated voters’ constitutional rights by tossing out their ballots due to perceived discrepancies between signatures. In 2016 alone, officials disenfranchised 275 voters for alleged signature mismatches, a disproportionate number of whom were disabled.Full Article: Federal court bars New Hampshire from disenfranchising voters because of their handwriting..