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The Exchange

Amendment Renews Debate over N.H. Voting Laws

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Allegra Boverman for NHPR
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More wrangling over voting requirements. A new proposal would raise the bar for voter eligibility in New Hampshire -- the latest in an ongoing dispute over who can cast a ballot. Supporters say this would ensure people who participate in state elections are residents, but opponents say these changes will disenfranchise many, including college students. 

GUESTS: 

Senator Regina Birdsell - Republican from Hampstead. She co-sponsored an amendment to HB 372 that would require residency before voting.   She is chairman of the Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee. Birdsell also sponsored SB3, which requires voters submit documentation to prove they are domiciled. That bill is now caught up in court, with a trial set for August 2018.

Doug Marino - Senior at UNH. He is the Parliamentarian of the UNH Student Senate and former co-president of the UNH College Democrats. 

David Scanlan -  Deputy Secretary of State of New Hampshire.   He supports the HB 372 amendment.  

Senator Donna Soucy - Democrat from Manchester. She serves on the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee. 

Governor Sununu is shown in this YouTube video expressing strong opposition to HB 372 when questioned by Ben Kremer, a community organizer with the N.H. Youth Movement.   

Related Reading

The National Conference of State Legislatures explores what it means to reside in a state (to be a resident) and what it means to be domiciled, for voting purposes: "Voter Registration is All About Residency (and Domicile)

Concord Monitor reports: An amendment to House Bill 372 would raise the bar for voting in New Hampshire, requiring residency.

Read WMUR coverage of Governor Sununu's meeting with Senator Regina Birdsell, sponsor of the HB 372 amendment. 

NHPR has done extensive reporting on voting laws and elections.   You can find some of that coverage here and here.  For more on SB3, another bill addressing voting requirements, visit here.

College students have been at the center of this debate over domicile and residency.   Tufts University does extensive work on civic engagement among students. To see their recent report on college and university student voting, visit here

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