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N.H. Senate Committee Takes Up Absentee Voting Proposals

N.H. State House
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Absentee balloting - a policy put front and center in 2020 due to the coronavirus - was before a state Senate committee Monday.

Local election officials told lawmakers that a proposal to require images of a photo IDs to be included with absentee ballots and ballot requests would create a logistical burden that would disenfranchise eligible voters.

Tina Guilford is a moderator in Derry. She said requiring people to show an ID when they vote absentee in-person at town clerks’ offices would be one thing. But she said it wouldn't be right to do the same for people voting entirely by mail.

"For these voters that have to vote absentee, regardless of the reason why, you are disenfranchising them and would be suppressing their vote.”

The bill to add a photo ID component was sponsored by Republicans. The committee also took testimony on a more sweeping proposal introduced by Democrats. Among other things, that bill would create no-excuse absentee voting.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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