Gov: Voter affidavit bill helps, but is not enough
CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch allowed House Bill 1354, aimed at fixing the affidavit requirement in the recently passed voter ID law, to become law today without his signature. The affidavit requirement was an issue Lynch objected to when he vetoed SB 289, the voter ID law. The Legislature overrode the Governor's veto of SB 289 last Wednesday.
“New Hampshire has a history of clean elections and high voter participation,” Lynch said. “Beginning in September 2013, this bill eliminates the ability of citizens to use state agency, municipal and valid student IDs, and it also eliminates the ability of local election officials to recognize other valid photo IDs. These more restrictive photo ID provisions are wrong for our citizens, wrong for New Hampshire and will unnecessarily restrict citizens' access to their constitutionally protected right to vote. That is why I vetoed SB 289, and why it should be a priority for the next Legislature to revisit this bill.”
In vetoing SB 289, Governor Lynch noted that the bill provided for the execution of a “qualified voter affidavit” to establish a voter' s identity if a voter lacked an allowable photo ID. HB 1354, passed on veto day, changes the affidavit a voter must sign from a “qualified voter affidavit” to a “challenged voter affidavit.”
The challenged voter document asks a voter to attest to their name, residence and eligibility to vote.
The qualified voter form is the same people must submit when they register to vote and requires them to give their place and date of birth or naturalization.
“While this bill fixes one problem with SB 289, the underlying problems with the photo ID requirements commencing in September 2013 remain. It is my hope that the next Legislature will make it a priority to restore appropriate photo ID criteria to the law."
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