“He felt we had too many ways you could prove your identity.”
New Hampshire state Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel on why Election Law Committee Chairman David Bates opposed a proposed voter ID bill
Is the GOP zeal to disenfranchise New Hampshire students about to cost the state millions of dollars in out-of-state tuition — and result in a large tuition increase for in-state students? Norma Love has the details.
Legislation that would require residency for people who register to vote in New Hampshire could affect millions of dollars in nonresident tuition that students pay to the state’s public colleges.
[Current] law says that claiming domicile for voting purposes does not establish the person’s voting address as his legal residence for other purposes. [House Election Law Chairman David Bates] would make the voting address the legal residence and that is what could affect students’ status and therefore their tuition rates….
As in other states, New Hampshire’s public colleges rely on out-of-state tuition to subsidize in-state tuition. If a large number of nonresident students voted in New Hampshire and were deemed residents, they would begin paying in-state rates, and that loss of revenue could lead to increases in the rates charged in-state students.
In September, the state Senate voted to sustain Gov. Lynch’s veto of SB 129, a bill that would have required voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot. Lynch had offered a very simple, very clear explanation for his veto:
“An eligible voter who goes to the polls to vote on Election Day should be able to have his or her vote count on Election Day. SB 129 creates a real risk that New Hampshire voters will be denied their right to vote.”
House Speaker Bill O’Brien dismissed the concerns and vowed to reintroduce the measure next year.
O’Brien said the issue will be back in January, saying, “New Hampshire’s lax voter registration and balloting laws need to be improved.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Just ask Dorothy Cooper, a 96-year-old retired domestic worker from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who has missed voting in only one election in over 70 years. A new state law requires voters to show a photo ID, so Cooper headed to the Driver Service Center to get her free ID.
Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander.
“But I didn’t have my marriage certificate,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.
We’ve seen this movie before.
When Gov. Lynch vetoed SB 129, the bill that would require voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot, he offered a very simple, very clear explanation
An eligible voter who goes to the polls to vote on Election Day should be able to have his or her vote count on Election Day. SB 129 creates a real risk that New Hampshire voters will be denied their right to vote.
House Speaker O’Brien pooh-poohed his concern
“It certainly is not a major imposition to ask for a driver’s license or other ID in order to protect the integrity of voting.”
What could possibly go wrong?
An editorial in today’s New Hampshire Union Leader, “Jim Crow? Not Even Close,” blasted former President Bill Clinton for comparing New Hampshire’s voter photo ID bill to Jim Crow laws.
Legislators finally passed a voter ID bill this session, only to have Gov. John Lynch veto it. This week former President Bill Clinton compared it to Jim Crow laws. We suppose that as long as you’re going to make up stuff to discredit the opposition, you might as well go all in.
There’s only one problem with that claim, well, two actually.
1. The New Hampshire legislation that Clinton included as an example of the “disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators” to disenfranchise voters was the legislature’s attempt to prevent college students from voting in the town where they live while attending school — not the voter photo ID bill.
2. Clinton didn’t compare the new wave of restrictive voter legislation to Jim Crow laws, he said it represents the most determined effort to limit voting since the end of the Jim Crow era. That’s a very different claim — and one that’s hard to dispute.
The video makes all this clear. But hey, let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story. As Sarah Palin would say, it’s just the lamestream media makin’ stuff up.
Last week, former President Bill Clinton referred to attempts by the New Hampshire legislature to pass new voter restrictions as part of the most “disciplined, passionate, determined effort” to disenfranchise voters since Jim Crow.
“[O]ne of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.
“Why has New Hampshire [tried to] made it almost impossible for college students who come from other states but live in New Hampshire most of the year to vote there? Why is all this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen today signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Justice Department to carefully review the “highly restrictive photo identification requirements” that could disenfranchise “millions of eligible voters.”
We are writing to express our concerns about highly restrictive photo identification requirements under consideration or already signed into law in several states. These measures have the potential to block millions of eligible American voters without addressing any problem commensurate with this kind of restriction on voting rights. …
Highly restrictive photo identification requirements at the polls can make it more difficult for well-intentioned voters to cast their ballots, and as far as America’s civil rights trajectory is concerned, that sort of effect takes America in the wrong direction. We urge you to exercise your authority to examine these laws so that voting rights are not jeopardized. …
New voter photo ID laws have been enacted in Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Kansas and Tennessee. In New Hampshire, Gov. Lynch has vetoed SB 129, a bill passed by the legislature that would require a voter to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot. A vote attempting to override his veto is expected this fall.
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled Indiana’s state voter photo ID law is constitutional. Indiana provides free IDs to the poor and allows those without IDs to cast provisional ballots. The New Hampshire bill contains similar provisions.
The right to vote is a fundamental right that is guaranteed to all citizens of this State under the United States and New Hampshire Constitutions. An eligible voter who goes to the polls to vote on Election Day should be able to have his or her vote count on Election Day. SB 129 creates a real risk that New Hampshire voters will be denied their right to vote.
Voter turnout in New Hampshire is among the highest in the nation, election after election. There is no voter fraud problem in New Hampshire. We already have strong elections laws that are effective in regulating our elections.
For all these reasons, I am vetoing SB 129.
— Gov. John Lynch
During last week’s special election in Hillsborough county, signs were posted at the New Boston polling location reading, “Per pending legislation you will be required to produce a photo ID in order to receive a ballot.”
Writing in The Lobby, Kevin Landrigan calls the incident “an attempt to intimidate voters” and questions whether it was simply a bad idea from town clerk Irene Baudreau or “part of a larger initiative.”
Landrigan interviewed three New Boston voters who confirmed observing potential voters turn away from the polls when they saw the sign.
Charles Koch of New Boston said he saw some chagrined voters spot the sign and walk away.
“This is corruption. The attorney general should be investigating this. This was an obvious attempt to intimidate voters,” he said.
We may have a new champion in the contest for the person who cares least about imparting the value of the democratic process on the next generation of American leaders: New Hampshire’s state House speaker.
What can you say about a politician who has so little conviction in his ideas that he believes it’s easier to disenfranchise a faction of voters than it is to convince them?
Presumably [Speaker William] O’Brien is familiar with the basics of American history. I wonder how he would reconcile that history with his attempt to strip voting rights from a group of adults who live, eat, sleep, work, and learn in his state. If O’Brien believes in the words of his state’s motto — “Live Free or Die” — I believe he just instructed college students to drop dead.
— Adam Goldstein, Student Press Law Center
Inspired by a true story.
“Don’t let college students vote!” people yell. “They don’t really know how things work! They lack life experience! They’re full of newfangled ideals, and probably one or two controlled substances!”
“Don’t let old people vote!” I retort. “They don’t really understand how things work these days! No matter what you are talking about, they insist on comparing it to the Great Depression! They refer to Google as ‘the Google,’ which makes it sound like something that follows you around in 19th-century Warsaw bringing misfortune. They’re full of old-fashioned ideals, and probably Metamucil.”