Another View: The ins and outs of registering and voting on Election Day
If you have not yet registered to vote and wish to vote today, you will now need to register at your polling place, as allowed by New Hampshire law. (The last day to have registered at the town/city hall was Saturday, Oct. 27.) If possible, bring photo identification (see below), proof of citizenship (birth certificate, passport, etc.), and proof of where you live (such as mail showing your current street address). If you don't have any of these documents, you may still register by affirming your age eligibility, citizenship, and/or domicile by signing affidavits.
"No matter when or where you register to vote, you will be required to fill out a standard voter registration form, and you will be asked to show proof of identity, age, citizenship, and domicile. These qualifications may be established by signing affidavit(s)." - New Hampshire Secretary of State's "Frequently Asked Questions"
You must be domiciled in the state in order to vote and you must vote where you are domiciled. "Domicile" is defined as "that place, more than any other, where you sleep most nights of the year, or to which you intend to return after a temporary absence." There is no minimum requirement of how long you must live here before being allowed to vote.
What should you bring with you to the polls?
Even if you are a registered voter, you will be asked to show a photo ID. However, if you do not have one with you, you may still vote by first signing an affidavit. Acceptable forms of photo ID include:
-- Driver's license issued by any state (even if expired);
-- ID card issued by N.H. Division of Motor Vehicles;
-- U.S. Armed Services ID card;
-- U.S. Passport (even if expired);
-- Valid photo ID card issued by either the federal government or a state, county, or municipal government;
-- Valid student ID card;
-- Other photo ID deemed legitimate by the supervisors of the checklist, the moderator or the town clerk.
An option may be verification of identity by the supervisor of the checklist, the moderator, or the town clerk.
You cannot be denied your right to vote if you do not have a photo ID with you on Election Day. If you forget your identification or choose not to show it, you may vote without it by signing a "challenged voter affidavit."
If you do sign a "challenged voter affidavit," following the election, the Secretary of State's Office will send a request to you asking for confirmation that it was you who voted and that you are who you say you are. (Note: If, within 90 days, you fail to respond to the Secretary of State's request for confirmation, the matter will be turned over to the Attorney General's Office for investigation.)
For more information: The website for the New Hampshire Secretary of State (sos.nh.gov) includes, among others, pages on: the voter ID law, voting as a college student in New Hampshire, and voter registration.
Todd Selig is the town administrator for Durham.
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