A bill to repeal the new voter photo identification law drew support Tuesday at a public hearing. Lawmakers last year approved a photo ID bill just months before the primary election that required voters to show a variety of photo IDs in order to vote in last November’s election. However, beginning in September, the list of acceptable photo IDs narrows to state or federally issued IDs. As in the past two years, supporters of the law say it is needed to guarantee the integrity of elections, while opponents of photo ID say it addresses a problem that does not exist but does disenfranchise certain groups of voters, such as the elderly, college students and the poor. The prime sponsor of House Bill 287, Rep. Timothy Horrigan, D-Durham, said under his bill voter fraud would continue to be a crime.
“Voting is a basic right,” Horrigan told the House Election Law Committee. “If you do not need a photo ID to speak up or to defend yourself, you do not need a photo ID to vote.”
Repealing the law would save about $465,000 over the next four years, he said.
The repeal was opposed by House Republican leadership who said last year New Hampshire joined more than 30 other states in requiring some form of identification to vote.
They urged waiting for several elections to see if changes are needed in the law.