New Hampshire

Articles about voting issues in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire: Officials say college students don’t have standing to sue over election law | Union Leader

Six college students listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenges the Senate Bill 3 election reform bill are legally able to vote in New Hampshire and lack the standing necessary to challenge the law, New Hampshire officials said in recent court filings. The six produced proof of dormitory addresses, leases or New Hampshire driver licenses during the discovery process, when lawyers queried the opposing party about claims made in the lawsuit. Under the law, the documents are enough to prove residency for voting purposes. One of the six was registered to vote before the suit was filed; another voted twice after the suit was filed. Read More

New Hampshire: State makes it tougher for students to vote. Democrats call it ‘devious’ suppression. | NBC

New Hampshire Democrats are hoping to turn the November midterm elections into a referendum on a new law barring part-time residents from voting in the state. Last week, Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, signed into law House Bill 1264, requiring students and other part-time residents to become permanent residents of the state if they want to vote. Currently, students must show they are “domiciled” in the state when they register to vote. The new law will force permanent residents to comply with laws such as state motor vehicle registration. Students with cars, for example, would have to pay for a new, in-state driver’s license and register their cars in the state, a cost critics argue could deter the historically Democratic voting bloc from the ballot box. “It’s a poll tax,” said Garrett Muscatel, a Dartmouth College student and candidate for state representative.  Read More

New Hampshire: City, town election officials sued for secretly throwing out absentee ballots if signature didn’t ‘match’ | Union Leader

Mary Saucedo was surprised to learn in 2017 that the ballot she cast in the 2016 presidential election didn’t count. The 94-year-old Manchester woman, who spent her career working for the Department of Veterans Affairs, is legally blind and for the past 12 years has voted by absentee ballot with the help of her husband. Her 2016 ballot was tossed by Saucedo’s ward moderator, who concluded that the signature on the absentee ballot application did not match the signature on the affidavit filed with the completed ballot. On Monday, Saucedo and her husband, Gus, were in U.S. District Court in Concord as attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union argued the state law allowing for ballots to be discarded under such circumstances is unconstitutional. Read More

New Hampshire: Ground Zero in the War on Voting Rights | Slate

On Friday, New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu transformed his state into ground zero in the assault on voting rights. By signing HB 1264 into law, Sununu effectively imposed a poll tax on college students, compelling many of them to pay hundreds of dollars in fees to establish residence in the state before they’re permitted to vote in New Hampshire. Once it takes effect, the law is almost certain to chill the franchise of younger Democratic-leaning voters—to an extent that could swing the state’s famously close elections. But the measure’s stringent new requirements do not kick in until July 2019, giving Democrats a single opportunity to repeal it before it disenfranchises a key portion of their base. In New Hampshire, the November midterm elections won’t just determine control of the state government. It will decide whether Republicans will be successful in their years-long quest to suppress the college vote, a move that would help them further entrench their own political power. HB 1264 is the latest and most sweeping voter suppression bill passed by New Hampshire Republicans in the wake of the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton carried the state by a slim margin, as did Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, who defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte by about 1,000 votes. At the same time, Republicans retook the governorship and maintained control of the Legislature, giving them total control of the state government. They used that power to begin restricting access to the ballot under the pretext of preventing voter fraud. Read More

New Hampshire: Reversing course, Sununu signs voter residency bill into law | Concord Monitor

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu reversed course Friday and signed a bill imposing residency requirements on out-of-state college students who vote in New Hampshire. Current law allows students and others who consider the state their domicile to vote without being subject to residency requirements, such as getting a New Hampshire driver’s license or registering their cars. Lawmakers passed a bill this year to end the distinction between domicile and residency, but Sununu delayed action on it and asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in. The court issued a 3-2 advisory opinion Thursday saying the bill was constitutional. “House Bill 1264 restores equality and fairness to our elections,” Sununu said. “Finally, every person who votes in New Hampshire will be treated the same. This is the essence of an equal right to vote.” Read More

New Hampshire: State Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of voter residency bill | Concord Monitor

A fiercely contested bill to make residency a condition of voting in New Hampshire was determined by the state Supreme Court to be constitutional Thursday, in a major ruling that clears its approval by Gov. Chris Sununu. In a 3-2 ruling, the court found that the bill, House Bill 1264, is not a burden on the right to vote, but rather a means to better organize state laws “in order to place voters and residents on equal footing as New Hampshire citizens.” The court’s decision, which came without warning, now sets up a high-stakes choice for Sununu. On Thursday afternoon, hours after the court weighed in, the bill passed from Senate President Chuck Morse’s desk over to the governor’s office. That set in motion a constitutionally mandated five-day countdown; Sununu must decide by Tuesday whether to veto, sign or let pass without signature a law he has taken varying positions on in the last seven months. In a terse statement Thursday, Sununu declined to show his cards. Read More

New Hampshire: Judge in New Hampshire election law dispute steps aside | Union Leader

A long-running court dispute over a controversial election reform law just got longer with the presiding judge deciding Friday to disqualify himself due to a close, personal relationship with one of the state’s lawyers. The ruling throws yet another controversy at this court battle pitting the League of Women Voters and the New Hampshire Democratic Party against Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who is defending a law meant to require voters show proof at the polls or after the election that they actually live or are domiciled in New Hampshire. Critics maintain the law known as SB 3 is meant to discourage college students, low-income and minority citizens from taking advantage of New Hampshire’s easy requirements to cast a ballot in the state. Read More

New Hampshire: State wants to boot professors in SB 3 lawsuit | The Nashua Telegraph

State leaders want to stop three college professors from testifying in the SB 3 lawsuit, and protect two state attorneys from having to give testimony, in ongoing litigation over the law aimed at halting voter fraud. In motions filed with the Hillsborough Superior Court in Nashua, attorneys for New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office ask the court to keep the three professors from testifying. The state is being sued by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters, and individual voters of SB 3, which introduced possible criminal penalties for people who register to vote on election day, but fail to file all the newly required paperwork within a given time period. The plaintiffs claim the law is aimed at keeping college students, and the poor from registering to vote in New Hampshire. Read More

New Hampshire: State Supreme Court hears from 10 parties on voting rights bill | Associated Press

Ten individuals or groups have weighed in as the New Hampshire Supreme Court decides whether to consider the constitutionality of ending the state’s distinction between full-fledged residents and those who claim the state as their domicile in order to vote. Current law allows college students and others who say they are domiciled in New Hampshire to vote without being official residents subject to residency requirements, such as getting a New Hampshire driver’s license or registering a vehicle. The Legislature sent Republican Gov. Chris Sununu a bill last week to align the definitions of domicile and residency, but he wants the court to clarify whether doing so would be constitutional. Read More

New Hampshire: Database flags 142 possible voter fraud cases, not Trump’s ‘thousands’ | Associated Press

Fewer than 150 of the nearly 95,000 New Hampshire names flagged by a multistate voter registration database represent cases of possible fraud, the secretary of state said Tuesday. The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is aimed at preventing voter fraud by identifying duplicate voter registration records among those voluntarily provided by states. New Hampshire was among 28 participants last year, though some states have dropped out or are re-evaluating the program amid criticism that it results in false matches and doesn’t properly protect personal information. After the 2016 general election, the system flagged 94,610 New Hampshire voters whose first and last names and dates of birth matched those in other states. That amounts to about 1 in 9 voters, but officials eliminated all but 142 of the matches after taking a closer look at middle names and other information, including the marked checklists maintained by poll workers. Of the 142, officials have sent 51 to the attorney general’s office for investigation and are waiting for information from other states on the rest, Secretary of State Bill Gardner told the Ballot Law Commission. Read More