“This bill is very workable,’’ said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro. “It does not disenfranchise any voters. It does not create a single barrier. What it does do is ensure our elections are clean. As long as you are who you say you are, you will not have a problem. If not, then don’t try to vote in New Hampshire.”
Unlike other failed voter ID bills of the past, this bill permits those without an ID to vote. They would have to sign a challenged voter affidavit under penalty of perjury.
NH has same day voter registration, and anyone who registers on election day is required to sign a domicile affidavit. Of course this article doesn't point out that NH doesn't have voter fraud issues, either.
Sen. Amanda Merrill, D-Durham, said up to 5 percent of voters could be disenfranchised by this mandate.
“There have been no indications of anything approaching widespread voter fraud in New Hampshire,” Merrill said. “There are approximately 50,000 residents of our state without photo identification, which is roughly the population of an entire state Senate district. This bill threatens the Constitutional right to vote for thousands of citizens without any clear evidence of a problem.”
Given that this is a highly partisan issue, the chair of the NH GOP disagrees:
Republican State Chairman Wayne MacDonald disagreed and noted that in the state’s presidential primary, conservative activists were able to successfully pose as deceased voters and initially obtained ballots at targeted polls in Nashua and Manchester.
He's referring to James O'Keefe (an acolyte of the late Andrew Breitbart) who is most famous for the "pimp" sting on ACORN, with highly edited film footage. It would be so much easier to take McDonald's outrage seriously if O'Keefe and his pals were actually prosecuted for attempted voter fraud. There's been no suggestion of that from the NH GOP.
Now that this bill has cleared the Senate (which has behaved slightly more responsibly over the last 2 years than the NH House) it goes back to the House, which is eager to pass the bill.
Photos will be taken at the polling places, which means a cost to the taxpayers, and more work for the community volunteers who run elections in NH small towns. As has so often been said, this is a solution in search of a problem. It also seems to be a rather blatant attempt at disenfranchising voters before the elections in November.
In June of last year Governor Lynch vetoed a Voter ID bill. The old bill was rewritten, so desperate is the NH legislature to pass a Voter ID bill.
Thirty-three states have introduced Voter ID laws this year. Coincidence? Hardly. It's another gift from ALEC.
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org