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State Senate passes bill defining residency for voting purposes

By Union Leader staff
May 02. 2018 9:43PM
Gov. Chris Sununu stopped in the hallway of the State House to chat with opponents of election-related bills on Wednesday. (Dave Solomon/Union Leader)

CONCORD — The state Senate on Wednesday passed the second of two House bills defining residency for voting, HB 1264, in 14-10 party line vote.

The bill defines residency and makes clear that only New Hampshire residents who meet the new definition can vote in Granite State elections.

Another bill, HB 372, says essentially the same thing, but was amended in the Senate.

Senators added a lengthy preamble designed to inform any judges who might review the law in the future that the Legislature’s intent is that only residents get to vote.

The House declined to agree with those changes, and a conference committee of representatives and senators will convene to work out a compromise.

Now that both election-related bills have passed the House and Senate, the most likely outcome is that they will be combined into a single bill that will go back to both chambers, probably on the final day of the session.

Gov. Chris Sununu has said previously he has concerns about both bills, particularly as they relate to college student voting.

“The governor’s position has not changed,” said his spokesman, Ben Vhistadt, after the vote.

“He has serious concerns with both HB 373 and HB 1264, and does not support either bill in their current form.”

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