Senate Passes Bill to Rollback Controversial Election Law SB 3

May 30, 2019

Voters make their way to the polls in Bedford in 2018.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR
 

A bill that would essentially repeal a controversial, Republican-backed election law passed the New Hampshire Senate on Thursday.

 

The bill, which has already passed the New Hampshire House, would roll back a two-year old law that requires new voters to show documentation they live in the state.

 

The law, known as SB 3, passed in 2017 and has since been the subject of lawsuits by Democrats and others who said it created unnecessary hurdles for new voters.

 

Speaking before Thursday's vote, Republican Sen. Regina Birdsell told her colleagues that complaints about SB 3 were overblown.

"Senate Bill 3 was used for almost a year and a half in municipal, state and federal elections with no negative impacts," she said, "and no one was denied the right to vote under Senate Bill 3."

 

The bill passed the New Hampshire House earlier this spring. Gov. Chris Sununu appears likely to veto it. His spokesman told NHPR Thursday that Sununu opposes "any attempt to undo the election integrity reforms he signed into law last year."