Voter ID law passes by wide margin
'Veto Day' votes include school choice legislation
CONCORD - The Legislature has passed a law requiring people to present photo identification when voting, while adopting a last-minute amendment meant to ease concerns expressed by voting officials ahead of the November elections.
The Senate voted 18-5 on Wednesday to override the governor's veto of Senate Bill 289, which will require voters this November to show a photo ID or sign an affidavit.
The House passed the bill 231 -112.
Both votes exceeded the two-thirds margin necessary for a veto override.
Earlier in the day, the Senate voted to reintroduce a bill it had tabled earlier in the session, House Bill 1354, and amend it to change all references to a “qualified voter affidavit” to “challenged voter affidavit.”
A challenged voter document would be less cumbersome, and the Secretary of State's Office and the town clerks association urged the change, according the bill's chief Senate sponsor, Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston.
“This amendment is needed to correct an oversight on my part,” Prescott said on the floor of the Senate.
Under SB 289, more stringent identification requirements would be imposed after the 2012 elections.
Both the Senate and House passed HB 1354, and then voted to override the governor's veto of SB 289.
Use of the qualified voter affidavit was one problem cited by Lynch in his veto. Of greater concern, he said, was the limited range of IDs that would be acceptable after 2012; primarily state-issued driver’s licenses.
The governor has five days to sign, veto or let HB 1354 become law without his signature.
A spokesman for Lynch said he will be reviewing the bill.
The votes were largely along party lines, with Democrats saying the bill would disenfranchise elderly, poor and minority voters, as well as students, and Republicans arguing that the bill is necessary to ensure that integrity of the voting process and prevent fraud.
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- Total Votes: 292
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