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Voting Q&A: Clearing up the confusion

April 28. 2018 5:52PM

Raymond residents cast their votes in March 2017. (JASON SCHREIBER/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

Can students from other states attending college in New Hampshire register to vote in New Hampshire?

Yes. Full-time students living in New Hampshire may request an absentee ballot from their home towns, or may register in New Hampshire.

Do I have to register ahead of time?

No. New Hampshire has same-day voter registration, which means voters may sign up to vote at the polls on Election Day.

How long do I have to live in the district before I can vote?

A recent change in state law presumes that people who have lived in their district for fewer than 30 days are here temporarily, unless they have taken steps to make it their permanent home. New voters may provide a wide range of evidence to prove their eligibility, including a rental or lease agreement, a New Hampshire motor vehicle registration or driver's license, or a note from a college official.

Voters without ID or proof of domicile may sign a Qualified Voter Affidavit, and will be allowed to cast a ballot.

Do I need to get a New Hampshire driver's license in order to vote?

No. Current law does not require residency in order to vote, and the state's licensing and car registration statutes are tied to residency, not domicile.

A bill before the Legislature, HB 1264, would change the definition of domicile to include residency.

If passed, voters would establish residency when they register. They would be required to transfer their out-of-state licenses, and register motor vehicles in their names that are in New Hampshire. This is the same law that applies to longtime New Hampshire residents when they move from one town to another.

However, failure to transfer an out-of-state license or car registration would not prevent anyone from registering or voting in New Hampshire.

Why are New Hampshire Democrats claiming that HB 1264 would disenfranchise college students?

Good question.

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