Gov. John Lynch on Thursday vetoed a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID or sign a qualified voter affidavit, setting up a showdown with legislators next week. Using a qualified voter affidavit shouldn’t be used to establish a voter’s identity to vote and “will cause confusion, slow the voting process and may result in the inability of eligible voters to cast their vote,” Lynch wrote in his veto message for Senate Bill 289. Handicapping next week’s vote to override the governor’s veto, Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, said, “I think it’s entirely up to the Senate at this point.” Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, said he would push for the Senate next week to pass a corrections bill to satisfy the governor’s concern by substituting the use of the qualified voter affidavit with a simpler challenged voter affidavit, which is now used to challenge a person’s qualifications to vote. A corrections bill, if approved by the Senate, would go to the House for a vote and on to the governor to sign or veto, he said.
New Hampshire: Voter ID plan would take effect in fall, with tighter restrictions later | NashuaTelegraph.com
A new legislative compromise would ask all voters to show a photo identification card before casting ballots in state elections starting this fall. Those voters without an ID would still be able to vote without having to fill out any additional paperwork, but a different, voter ID law would kick in after July 1, 2013. Negotiators literally split this one down the middle creating the legal scheme for 2012 the Senate wanted and then more rigorous voter ID requirements later, which was the desire of House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon.
House and Senate negotiators came to an agreement today on a voter ID bill that if passed will go into effect in 15 months. According to chief House negotiator Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, concessions were made by both sides before a compromise was reached. The result, said Bates, was essentially the passing of both versions of the bill. “What’s going to happen now – in order for there to be at least in the Senate’s mind an orderly, trouble-free process – (we’re) going to use the provision of the Senate bill that accepts many, many more forms of identification,” he said. That wide identification acceptance will be used during what Bates called a “transitionary period,” which he said is really just a process to get voters used to the new requirements. Discretion will also be given to the election official, such as during instances when they know the person voting. “(Voters) will be asked for an ID, but wont be required to have one in order to vote,” Bates said in regard to the upcoming elections.
House and Senate lawmakers indicated Tuesday that a compromise might be possible on a bill to require voters to show photo identification before casting ballots if they can resolve differences over issues such as when certain provisions should take effect and what types of IDs can be used. Sen. Russell Prescott, the bill’s prime sponsor, opened the negotiating session by telling House members that their version of the bill was likely to be vetoed by the governor or challenged in court, while the Senate version “is ready for prime time.” “I think you guys are on the ropes, and I’m ready to battle hard,” said Prescott, R-Kingston. But Prescott later said the Senate was willing to consider some changes. For example, the House wants to require voters to present photo identification cards or sign affidavits and be photographed by election workers. The Senate version of the bill would let people sign affidavits without being photographed, but senators said Tuesday they’d be willing to consider the picture-taking provision if it was delayed until next year. House lawmakers also indicated they might consider allowing student IDs to be used, as the Senate wants, though they asked for language specifying that the cards must be issued by accredited schools.
GOP-backed bill would require voters to produce government-issued photo ID to cast ballots beginning in November 2012. NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports.
The House voted 259-116 to require voters without proper photo identification to cast a provisional ballot and be given three days to produce a valid photo ID.
The bill also calls for the state to issue voters ID card for free. The bills’ lead author, Republican David Bates of Windham argued that the bill is a common sense way to root out election fraud and won’t disenfranchise eligible voters.