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Photo Identification of Voters Becomes Law

The Legislature has overridden Governor Lynch’s vetoof a voter ID law. The billallows 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.

"The whole purpose of this bill is to give positive identification of those people who are coming to vote in our elections. And the process of verifying a person’s identity is only as reliable as the form of identity you chose to accept."

Opponents of the measure, including Representative David Pierce from Etna, say that the law will disenfranchise legitimate voters who don’t have the right documentation.

"I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask for photo ID from someone who has one on their person and can present it. The problem comes from when you’re asking for a photo ID from someone who doesn’t have one on their person."

Voters without ID wishing to cast a ballot will now have their photo taken by an election official, and will sign an affidavit.

Exactly what that affidavit will look like is still up in the air. At the request of election officials, House and Senate leaders scurried to pass an amendment, making changes to the affidavit’s content. Governor Lynch will have to sign off on that fix.

But even though the details aren’t finalized, the passage was a victory for Republicans.

The House broke into cheers when Speaker Bill O’Brien announced the tally.

"The House will be attentive to the state of the vote: 231 members have voted in the affirmative, 112 in the negative. Photo identification of voters is now the law of New Hampshire."  [Cheers]


Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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