Last fall, University of New Hampshire student Rachel Berg was one of the more than 3,000 people in Durham who registered to vote on Election Day. And she came prepared. “I had to bring a few forms of ID, I don’t remember exactly what,” Berg recalled while sitting in a corner of the UNH student center last week. “License, I think. School ID. And maybe my passport, just to be safe.” Berg, who’s from Grantham originally, also needed to be able to prove she lived in Durham. In her case, that meant bringing along a package her parents used to mail an orthopedic ankle brace to her on-campus apartment.
Voting officials in Durham have come to accept a hodgepodge of evidence from students to show residency: a letter from a dorm supervisor, for example, or a piece of mail that lists a student’s specific residence hall. In a pinch, Durham officials said students can also prove their domicile by holding up a cell phone to show their dorm address listed on a university website.
“I had never heard of that, but that’s actually not a bad idea, frankly,” said Hampstead Sen. Regina Birdsell.