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Automatic voter registration


December 04. 2017 11:45PM




To the Editor: This fall, I wrote my House and Senate representatives asking a bill be introduced for automatic voter registration in New Hampshire. Ten states already have such legislation and 32 are in the process of enacting such. The House submission deadline had passed but not the Senate. Recently I received a response from my senator stating that the chair of the Election Committee thought voting was a “special privilege”, indicating no such legislation would be introduced.

I was shocked and dismayed at the chair’s response. Voting is not a privilege. It is a right. In 1920, after 75 years of nonviolent struggle, U.S. women obtained the right to vote. In 1968, after hundreds of years of struggle, Americans of African descent — after suffering multitudes of deaths — obtained the right to vote. (For the record “A privilege is a certain entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. ...By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth.”) National and local attempts are being made to limit that right. This is simply undemocratic.

In America, voting is an honor, an obligation to maintaining our democracy and a right. Exercise your right to vote. Contact your representatives, educate them on this critical matter, and encourage them to initiate legislation to enact automatic voter registration in New Hampshire.

SUSAN McKEVITT

Bradford


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