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Editorial: On voter ID, the House position is right

If Republicans and Democrats can’t find a way to compromise on a legislative solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, what hope is there? Passage of the voter identification law by the last Legislature’s Republican super-majority was a low point in partisanship. Bill Gardner, the secretary of state for the past generation, and the facts, proved that the alleged voter fraud that the law was intended to prevent essentially didn’t exist. The law, one of many passed along in draft form to states by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, passed anyway.

This year, the House, expecting opposition from the Senate, where Republicans hold a 13-11 majority, voted not to repeal the law but to make it less onerous by rolling back changes that would eliminate student IDs as an acceptable form of identification. The law also called for election officials to photograph voters who lacked approved identification. Both measures would work to discourage voters and threaten New Hampshire’s status as a state that deserves to host the nation’s first presidential primary because turnout is so high. A third change, which would eliminate the ability of poll workers to identify people known to them, is silly in a rural state filled with small towns and an insult to the integrity of election officials. It should be removed.

Little time for compromise is left. The Senate did agree to delay the photographing of voters until 2015, after learning that the cost of cameras and other expenses to comply would top $80,000. But it has yet to yield on other issues. A committee of conference is working to craft a bill that can win majority support.

The Senate majority isn’t fooling anyone with its talk of protecting the sanctity of elections. The law was designed to discourage voting by students, minorities, the poor and the elderly, the portion of the population least likely to have a government ID and most likely to vote Democratic. Whatever the outcome, voters should know that.

Legacy Comments6

Foreign students can't vote. You have to be able to prove citizenship in order to vote.

Lets break this down. Students in my opinion always have ID's. Most students drive, go to concerts, baseball games etc, which all require photo ID's. Not to mention getting into any college building. The poor often are on govt programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc. Tell me how they get those things without an ID. The elderly have lived a long life and pretty much have to get meds now and then, tell me how they gets meds with no ID. Also, how do Seniors cash their Medicare checks with no ID, rent an apt, etc. The excuses for no ID are lame at best. An MV non drivers ID is 10 bucks and lasts for 5 years. That averages out to 2 bucks a year. And if you can manage transportion to get to a voter side, then you can manage a way to get to a place to get an ID. After all the shouting about the inconvience, where are these people with no IDs? I do not see them on TV, or any of them coming forward and complaining they cannot vote.

Yes, students always have IDs but you missed the point. The student ID is NO LONGER going to be valid as a form of identification. They can drive, go to concerts baseball games etc. but they cannot use their ID to vote. I guess you'd call me elderly. I'm 76 and I don't need a photo ID to pick up my Lipitor at the pharmacy every month. I take the bottle to the window and 20 minutes later I get my pills. I live in a town where there is a nursing home. Most of the residents register to vote when they move into the facility. A staff person sees to it that they register to vote if they want to. Many of them come without any photo ID. They don't have drivers licenses anymore and if they can they will be driven to the polls on election day. If they can't they get to vote by absentee ballot, which exposes a huge hole in the system. They don't need a photo ID at all to vote absentee. Medicare is not a program for the poor. It is a program for seniors. Income level has nothing to do with it. My Medicare check is directly deposited into my bank account, hence, no photo ID required there. If you don't see them coming forward to complain that they can't vote, you havent been paying attention. Read the papers around the state after an election and you'll see stories of people who have been denied the right to vote one way or another. The process of requiring people to sign affadavits or have their photo's taken and processed takes time and creates long lines at the polls. Many people who go to vote can't afford to stand in line for a couple of hours. These are the people who may be the working poor. They work but they don't have a job that lets them take off 2 hours to stand in line to vote. This is an attempt, as stated by former Speaker of the House Bill O'Brien to disenfranchise the people who would be likely Democratic voters. Nothing more and nothing less. Voter fraud is a red herring.

Correct Rabbit, 100% of the College students that I know have driver's licenses. It is clear to me that they want student IDs to be used so that they can get out of state votes. Anyone who tells you it is hard to get an absentee ballot is a liar and out of state students should get an absentee ballot from their state.

Student ID will allow foreign students to vote ! - Why do democrats fear laws to promote the integrity of the ballot? Between beer & bongs students can find time to ask for an absentee ballot from their HOME.

You got that right Sail!!! Absentee ballots are easy to get. My daughter got one by just e-mailing her town clerk and filling out a form. It is easy. It might be difficult to a low information democrat voter.

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