Letter: A bad bill for voter participation

Thursday, December 07, 2017
A bad bill for voter participation

New Hampshire voters champion fair elections. While some people think voter fraud can happen, we don’t ask that fellow citizens be deprived of their constitutional right to vote. Rather, New Hampshire citizens believe a healthy democracy depends on policies that protect voting rights and encourage full participation by eligible voters.

We want our representatives in Concord to prioritize bills that modernize and secure our elections. Instead, legislators just introduced a bill designed to restrict voting rights.

House Bill 372 requires every voter who owns a vehicle to register it in New Hampshire and get an in-state driver’s license. This means it would be mandatory for some voters to spend hundreds of dollars just to be allowed to cast their ballots. HB 372 imposes what amounts to a poll tax on eligible voters who are not certain they will live here indefinitely, threatening the franchise of military personnel, medical residents and college students.

In New Hampshire, some students are so invested in their communities that they’ve been elected to municipal and state positions. Under HB 372, some of them could potentially serve without being able to cast a vote. At a time when our state’s economy needs young energy and talent, the message of HB 372 to young people is: This state, where you’re now living and spending your money, will be happy to see the back of you when you graduate.

HB 372 is bad bill that must be defeated.