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Judge to Weigh Fate of Lawsuits Challenging New N.H. Voting Law

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It didn’t take long for Senate Bill 3, the controversial new voting law passed earlier this year, to face legal challenges from opponents who claim it will disenfranchise potential voters. One of the first hearings on the issue will go before a judge in Nashua Monday afternoon.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald are trying to dismiss a pair of lawsuits challenging SB3. One lawsuit comes from the New Hampshire Democratic Party, the other from the League of Women Voters and a trio of people who say they’ll have trouble registering to vote because of the new law.

SB3 doesn’t substantially change the paperwork required to register to vote, but it does redefine what it means to be "domiciled" in the state and imposes stricter penalties on people who don’t provide the right kind of documents when registering within 30 days of an election.

The law only just took effect on Friday, and — if it’s not put on hold — will have its first big test during Tuesday’s special election for a House seat in Laconia.

This afternoon, a judge will hear arguments on whether the cases should move forward at 1:30 p.m., in Hillsborough County Court in Nashua.

Casey McDermott is an editor and reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, where she works with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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