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November 05. 2012 10:43PM

Voter ID: What to expect at the polls in New Hampshire

The state has a new photo identification law and state election officials want voters to know what to expect when they show up at the polls today.

Attorney General Michael Delaney and Secretary of State Bill Gardner said when voters enter the polls, they will be asked if they have photo identification and, if they do, they will be escorted to the normal voting line to check in.

If a voter does not have photo identification, he or she will be allowed to vote if the person is a registered voter in New Hampshire, Delaney said, but will have to follow a different procedure.

Those without photo identification will be directed to another line and asked to fill out a challenged voter affidavit, which essentially asks the person to swear to his or her identity and that he or she lives in the ward or community for that polling place.

Once the affidavit is complete, the person will be directed to the usual voting line to check in.

"No person who is a registered voter in the state will be sent home without voting on Election Day," Gardner said during a news conference Monday. "Some people my have to sign an affidavit, but they can vote."

Manchester polls

Manchester election officials said they are expecting confusion today over voter ID, thanks to a recent state Superior Court decision on a related topic.

Earlier this fall, Superior Court Judge John Lewis struck down a provision of a newly passed state law dealing with voter registration.

That has no impact on the voter ID law, said Joann Ferruolo, assistant city clerk in Manchester.

"People are confusing the two laws," said Ferruolo, who oversees elections in Manchester.

The new voter registration law had required that anyone registering to vote also declare New Hampshire his or her legal residence. Doing so would require the new voter to obtain a New Hampshire driver's license within 60 days and register his or her automobile in the state.

The state Supreme Court is eventually expected to rule on the law.

Ferruolo said Manchester polls will have greeters on hand who will approach people as they line up to vote. She said signs will ask people to show their ID, but not require it. In September, the Attorney General had the city remove signs that said an ID was required.

New Hampshire has same-day registration, which requires a person to have proof of identity, age, citizenship and domicile.

Election hotline

Delaney said his office will have 30 attorneys and investigators ready and stationed throughout the state to address issues or answer questions that arise on Election Day.

If there are allegations of impropriety, attorneys or investigators will be sent to that polling place immediately, Delaney said.

"We will be closely linked with the Secretary of State's Office," he said.

Both the Attorney General's Office and U.S. Attorney will staff an election information and complaint hotline today, on Election Day, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The number is 1-866-868-3703 (1-866-VOTER03).

Other inquiries or complaints may be submitted via email at electionlaw@doj.nh.gov.

mhayward@unionleader.com
grayno@unionleader.com


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