Gov. Chris Sununu said he would “never support” any legislation that could potentially curtail college students’ ability to vote in New Hampshire. Last week, Sununu said he “hates” HB 372, which would tighten the legal definitions of a resident, inhabitant and residence or residency by eliminating the language in the law that considers residents domiciled in the state if they have demonstrated they will be staying in New Hampshire “for the indefinite future.” “I’m not a fan. I hope that the Legislature kills it,” Sununu said to Ben Kremer of the New Hampshire Youth Movement in a video posted to YouTube. “I will never support anything that suppresses the student right to vote.”
On Wednesday, Sununu met with state Sen. Regina Birdsell R-Hampstead, chairwoman of the Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee, to discuss his concerns over the proposed legislation, according to Press Secretary Benjamin Vihstadt. The committee passed an amendment to the bill along party lines that further tightens language to read, “This place of abode or domicile must be that place the person has, through all of his or her actions, demonstrated a current intent to designate as his or her principal place of physical presence to the exclusion of all others.”
The bill passed the house in the last session and is expected to be taken up by the Senate early in the upcoming term in January.
“Gov. Sununu appreciates Sen. Birdsell’s work and all the time she dedicates to her constituents,” Vihstadt said. “The governor expressed his concerns about the bill in a meeting with her (on Wednesday), specifically the importance of analyzing any unintended consequences that may result. His position has not changed, but he always appreciates the opportunity to receive more information.”