The League of Women Voters of New Hampshire and three New Hampshire voters are suing state officials to block a new law that toughens voter registration requirements, rules that civil rights advocates say amount to intimidation designed to discourage thousands of young residents from voting. The lawsuit, which was filed in state court Wednesday morning, challenges a measure New Hampshire’s GOP Governor Chris Sununu signed in July tightening the requirements for registering to vote in the state. Specifically, would-be voters must provide documentary evidence, such as a driver’s license or utility bill, that New Hampshire is their place of domicile — or their primary home — and that they plan to stay for longer than a temporary stint.
Supporters of the law, including New Hampshire’s Secretary of State, say it is a necessary step to eliminate at least the perception that the state’s voting laws are vulnerable to abuse by people in the state temporarily, with no intention of living there long-term.
But the plaintiffs in the suit argue that the law aims to suppress voting by groups, especially college students, who tend to favor Democratic candidates.
New Hampshire Republicans pushed for the new law against a backdrop of unverified claims about rampant voter fraud leveled by President Trump. He has singled out New Hampshire at times, claiming that illegal voting there cost him the state and led former Senator Kelly Ayotte to narrowly lose her seat to her Democratic challenger.