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Election tourism: Out-of-state voters swamp NH

February 15. 2017 6:36PM

A Bedford voter emerges from the voting booth at Bedford High School in this 2013 photo. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER FILE PHOTO)

We’re happy to welcome tourists from around the world to watch New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary every four years. But it is a spectator sport.

People who happen to be in New Hampshire on Election Day should not be voting here. Students voting in New Hampshire college towns should live up to the commitments of New Hampshire residency, like signing up for Granite State driver’s licenses and registering their cars.

The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office recently released data from the 2016 election showing 6,540 people registered to vote on Election Day using identification issued by another state. 6,033 voted without any proof of a New Hampshire domicile.

This does not prove that out-of-state voters are improperly casting New Hampshire ballots. But it should alarm anyone concerned about election integrity. A drive-by voter can cast a ballot with nothing more than an out-of-state ID and a smile.

Four hundred ninety-one voters used out-of-state IDs to change their registration from one New Hampshire town to another. The Attorney General’s office hasn’t even bothered to investigate suspicious voter registrations since before the 2012 election, citing a lack of funds.

Republicans have been trying for years to clarify New Hampshire’s confusing residency requirements. With a Republican governor, it is time to put some guardrails around our voting booths to make sure only people who actually live in New Hampshire can vote here.

Crime, law and justice Elections State Government Editorial

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