College students attend hearing to oppose voter registration bill

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These UNH students were among attended a public hearing on HB 1264 Photo/Laura Aronson

CONCORD, NH – Students from Saint Anselm College, Dartmouth College, University of NH, and other colleges gathered in Concord Tuesday to object to HB 1264, which was being considered by the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs committee. The bill modifies the definition of who is a resident for voting registration purposes. Like HB 372, which is still under consideration, HB 1264 would require voters from other states, within 60 days of voting, to pay the motor vehicle fees to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license and car registration.

Critics deride the bill as “voter suppression” and a “poll tax” on any voter in New Hampshire who has an out-of-state driver’s license and auto registration, which disproportionately includes college students and newly-relocated workers.

Saint Anselm student Emily Provencher says HB 1264 would penalize her with extra fees. Photo/Laura Aronson

Emily Provencher, from Leominster, MA, is a student at Saint Anselm College of Manchester, where she lives in a dormitory. Her majors are political science and communications. She said, “It would make it more challenging for me to vote. I would have to pay extra fees to register my car and get a driver’s license.”

Provencher teaches civics to students of Manchester public high schools who go to Saint Anselm College for that class. She said, “I have worked to make myself a contributing member of this community by helping students see the challenges they face. I feel it is unfair to make me pay these fees in order to vote here.”

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