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Editorial: A better way to protest voter ID law

If you loathe New Hampshire’s new voter ID law, should you refuse to show your ID to send a message to the Legislature that passed it?

No! And here’s why:

The whole cynical purpose of the law was to discourage people (certain people, anyway) from voting – to intimidate and confuse them about the rules, to bog down the process, to slow the lines at the polls. Among the people least likely to have a photo ID are the poor, the disabled and the young. In other words, people without cars – and people more likely to vote for Democrats.

If you refuse to show your ID as a form of protest, you’ll still be allowed to vote but – unless the polling officials recognize you – you’ll first have to fill out an affidavit. In many places, this could slow down the process and discourage the voters in line behind you. Just what the authors of this terrible legislation wanted!

Turnout today is expected to be high. Secretary of State Bill Gardner predicts 722,000 voters in all – about 70 percent of the voting-age population. Additionally, many people will arrive without being registered, either because they’re first-time voters or because the state in 2011 purged its voter rolls, removing the names of people who hadn’t voted in the past few elections. About 160,000 names were removed, and Gardner expects as many as 100,000 new voters or returning voters to be registering today.

In other words: You’ll likely encounter a line. Making the line slower won’t help. And it’s quicker to show an ID than to sign an affidavit.

Voter advocacy groups and the attorney general are also discouraging such protests – and for the same reasons.

The election officials at your polling place didn’t pass the new voter ID law. They are simply doing their job. Don’t like the law? The answer isn’t to make it harder for others to vote. Focus instead on electing a governor and legislators who will quickly repeal it.

Legacy Comments2

I timed took 15 seconds to show my id. Sorry for the people behind me.

I helped my 88 year old mom get her ID and vote this year. She never drove a car, never had a license and her other documentation was in her maiden name. We went to the bank and got her marriage license out of the safety deposit box, her birth certificate and a waiver from the town. It took 30 minutes and she had her ID. Was it a bit of a hassle...yes! Was it worth it....yes! person, one vote is how it should be. Already today, watching the news there are complaints all over the country about voter fraud, disenfranchised voters and in one Pennsylvania county 70 Republican poll watchers were chastised and thrown out of the polls by Democrats. Maybe the Monitor should ask why those three groups who vote Democrat do so. They do so because Democrats make promises. Those poor folks just don't understand. Democrats have had a war on poverty for generations, they have been scaring seniors for generations and they make promises to every special interest group giving them crumbs and people grovel for any morsel. Year after year, African Americans suck in the Democrat rhetoric and I wonder how the 12% unemployment rate among black males is sitting with that group? They can't be happy about that, but they will vote Obama. The difference is that Democrats have to call on coalitions of special interest groups banding together and held together by a promise of something for nothing.....not just something but just a little something. "Thou doth protest too much" applies in the case of a progressive newspaper complaining, in essence, about the political party they support being unable to cheat in what is one of the most important elections of our lifetime.

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