Voting Laws

Vox Efx / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire lawmakers have been looking at whether to make changes to the state’s voter identification law. Critics say provisions of the law, set to take effect this fall, would cost the state money and cause delays at the polls.

Revisiting Voter ID

Apr 18, 2013

Today on The Exchange, revisiting New Hampshire's Voter ID laws. With stricter ID provisions ready to kick in at the polls this September, a new house bill looks to pull back on these requirements. Supporters cite disproportionate toll on certain groups of voters, such as minorities and the elderly, while opponents voice concerns about potential fraud. We're talking to both sides of this issue, taking place not only in the Granite State, but states across the country.

Guests:

Some key votes are coming up within a busy House docket: the tobacco tax increase, expected to pass, but at less than the Governor's proposed level; freezing the second phase of the Voter ID law, halting provisions set to take effect this fall that would eliminate some of the current acceptable forms of identification, namely college students' school IDs; a change of the "Stand Your Ground" law, reinstating the requirement that people make an effort to retreat before using deadly force.

N.H. House Votes To Reverse Voter Registration Law

Mar 13, 2013

The House has voted to change a voter registration law that will make it clear that out-of-state college students have a right to vote in New Hampshire.

A group of Democratic lawmakers want to repeal the voter ID requirements implemented under Republican leadership.

Current law requires that voters be asked for photo identification at the polls, but does not require they have one to cast a ballot.

In elections this year, people who wanted to vote but did not have ID had to sign an affidavit.

Proponents argue the measure helps to prevent voter fraud, but Tim Horrigan, a Durham Democrat, says there is no evidence that a problem exists.

State Begins Tabulating Cost Of Voter ID Law

Nov 26, 2012
Poll workers
NHPR

The Secretary of State’s Office says the first Election Day under the new Voter ID law was a low-cost success story.  But over the next few months, those costs will rise.

But how much money the state will have to pay to implement and enforce the Voter ID law is still an open question. 

Long Lines At Polls Not Because Of Voter ID Law

Nov 7, 2012
Manchester Polls
Susan Posner / NHPR

New Hampshire Elections officials say they heard a fair number of complaints about long lines at the polls.  But as they say something other than the new voter ID law is to blame.

Talk of long lines at the polls was common on Election Day.  And for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne, it even affected how Election Night played out. As supporters saw more and more returns favoring Democrat Maggie Hassan, a spokeswoman addressed the crowd.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

Polling stations in Nashua opened at 6 AM this morning. And many stood patiently long before the sun appeared.

With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, at least 150 voters wrapped around the Amherst Street School building before dawn.

Arthur Barrett is the town’s moderator.

He says by around 10 AM, almost 1500 had already cast their ballots.

He compares this turnout to that of 2008:

In Coos County, The Voters Are Coming

Nov 6, 2012
Chris Jensen for NHPR

In the towns of Dalton and Whitefield in Coos County voting was heavy Tuesday morning.

Dalton Town Moderator Ann Craxton seemed quite pleased with the way things were going.

“The turnout for us has been very heavy. We have 540 registered voters. We have more than 50 that voting absentee and here by 10 o’clock in the morning we’ve already had 80 come through the polls.

Beyond that Craxton says the voters are an eager and happy bunch.

We look at what our nation’s most important document, the Constitution, says and doesn’t say about elections. There’s some debate over who should write the rules, the federal or state governments, also who exactly can cast a ballot and if voting is a right or a privilege.  We’ll talk with those involved in new civics program called “Constitutionally speaking”. 

Guests

TBA

NH Secretary of State

Today, everyone who goes to the polls will be asked to show a photo-ID in order to vote. This is the second  step in a phased in process instituting voter ID’s over the next few election cycles. The process began with the primary in September when poll workers asked to see an ID but let voters cast a ballot regardless of whether they produced one or not.

Today poll workers will ask for an ID, and anyone who does not have one will have to sign “a qualified voter affidavit” stating,

betsythedevine via Flickr Creative Commons

Unprecedented spending by Super PACs has voters feeling deluged by 2012 campaign ads.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The State’s election officials are gearing up for Election Day, preparing voters and town workers to implement the state’s new voter ID law.

Back in September, the new law required poll workers to ask for an ID during the primary. The idea was to start educating voters, even though it wasn’t required to vote.

The Secretary of State’s office says around 6.5% of voters either didn’t have an ID, or refused to show one in protest of the new law.

Delaney: Obviously it’s a sensitive issue.

League of Women Voters of California via Flickr Creative Commons

Next week, voters will take to the polls to elect the next president of the United States.  Watching the process will be a number of observers from all sides of the political process.

If you show up to vote on November 6th, election officials will, for the first time in New Hampshire, ask for identification. Voters can show a driver’s license, military ID, student ID or a passport.

For those without an ID, the state is now ready to distribute a free voter ID card, says David Scanlan, Deputy Secretary of State.

What The Future Looks Like For Voter ID Laws

Oct 4, 2012
Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

For the first time, Granite State voters will be expected to show photo ID at the polls in November.  New Hampshire now one of eleven states that require or request photo identification to cast a ballot. 

But that number continues to change. In Pennsylvania, for example, a judge recently halted parts of that state’s strict photo ID law

Gardner Weighs In On Voter ID Law

Oct 4, 2012

New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has weighed in on the state's new voter registration law, saying "it cannot be" that non-residents can somehow claim domicile for voting purposes only.

Pres. Clinton Criticizes N.H. Voter ID Law

Oct 3, 2012
PennStateLive / Flickr

Former President Bill Clinton is telling college students in the battleground state of New Hampshire that they have the right to vote either where they attend school or at home.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A Strafford County judge says the Secretary of State must change voter registration forms before November’s election. 

The New Hampshire League of Women Voters and four college students sued the state after it released registration forms that seemed to say voters had to meet residency requirements.  But under state law, people who spend most of their time here for a defined period, like college students and military personnel, can vote without becoming residents.  League Election Law Specialist Joan Flood Ashwell says she’s pleased with the ruling.

The No-Votes

Sep 22, 2012

A new survey shows as many as ninety million Americans are likely to sit out this election.  They cite a number of reasons from “I’m too busy” to “my vote doesn’t matter”.  But in a tight election, these voters could have a profound impact on the outcome.  We’ll look closer at this group, why they feel the way they do, and the implications for our democracy.

Guests

David Paleologos - Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, which conducted the Unlikely/Unregistered Voter Poll with USA Today.

No Settlement Reached In Voter Registration Suit

Sep 21, 2012
Chris Jensen / NHPR

The New Hampshire attorney general's office says the state and two advocacy groups have failed to reach a settlement in a case challenging a new law that blocks out-of-state students from voting unless they establish legal residency in the state.

A superior court judge set a deadline of Friday for the state and the New Hampshire chapters of the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union to reach a compromise.

Assistant Attorney General Richard Head says settling constitutional challenges is no easy task. He says the office will await the court's ruling.

Daniel Parks / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s League of Women Voters could reach an agreement with the state soon on a controversial addition to voter registration forms.  This following Wednesday’s hearing in Strafford County Superior Court. 

The Strafford County judge has set noon, Friday, as deadline for an agreement.  The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, representing the League of Women Voters and four college students—recently filed suit against the state.

N.H. Court Hears Challenge To Voter Registration Law

Sep 19, 2012

A Strafford County judge is hearing from advocacy groups suing the state over a new law that effectively blocks out-of-state students from voting in New Hampshire.

The U.S. Justice Department recently approved our law requiring photo identification…not for today’s primary, but beginning with November’s general election. Supporters say an ID is needed to combat voter fraud – but others say it will disenfranchise some voters. We look at what to expect, and how the requirements will change over time.

Guests

  • David Scanlon – New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State..His office oversees state elections.

We'll also hear from

168,000 Voters Expected At Polls Today

Sep 11, 2012
Theresa Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s primary day, and despite an incredibly close race in the Democratic gubernatorial contest, many more Republican voters are expected at the polls. 

Last week, the Justice Department approved New Hampshire's new law requiring voters to present a valid photo ID at the polls, or to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity in order to vote. Josh Rogers, NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter, is here with more on what New Hampshire voters can expect. 

and

N.H. Cleared By Feds To Implement New Voter I.D. Law

Sep 5, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice has cleared the way for New Hampshire to implement its new voter identification law for the upcoming elections.

Gov. John Lynch has allowed a bill requiring photo identification at polling places to become law without his signature, but he says he hopes the New Hampshire Legislature will revisit the issue.

Amanda Loder

Wednesday the New Hampshire House and Senate overrode seven of Gov. John Lynch’s vetoes and allowed six to stand.

The voting came rapid-fire in the Senate, which made it through seven of its own bills in the morning, and then waited for the House to work through its backlog in the afternoon. The House votes came at a statelier pace at first, but then picked up after lunch. At the end of the day seven of Lynch's vetoes were knocked down, and six allowed to stand.

The Legislature has overridden Governor Lynch’s veto of a voter ID law. The bill allows a variety of forms this fall—including student IDs. Starting next year, only government issued identifications, including driver’s licenses, military ID’s and passports will be accepted.

Representative David Bates of Windham told colleagues that tighter restrictions are needed to ensure fair elections.

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