Letters: HB 1569 is harmful to our voting rights

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To the Editor:

Our right to vote is enshrined in the Constitution. Thanks to the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments we’ve made progress. Poll taxes, proof of literacy, and land ownership are no longer requirements to cast a ballot and voting rights for African Americans, Native Americans and women have finally come due.

For many the freedom to vote is still aspirational and unattainable. A recent example in Ukraine shows Russian soldiers armed with bullets and ballot boxes requiring neighborhoods to exercise their ‘right’ to vote. The outcome of this corruption and coercion is tyranny.

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Author Ann Podlipny and friend outside the statehouse.

In NH, HB1569 would curtail our current voting system of allowing affidavits. Instead, proof of identity, age and domicile plus a birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers would be required every time someone registers to vote even when updating their registration or if they’ve been removed unknowingly from voter rolls. Notably, affidavits are powerful legal documents with serious consequences if found fraudulent and have time and again shown to be safe and secure.

Governor Sununu has stated unequivocally ‘our system works well. I’m not looking to make any changes’. Dave Scanlon, Secretary of State, concurs that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and refers to HB 1569 as legislation in search of a problem. A UNH poll states 93% of voters believe their vote was accurately counted.

Clearly, this bill would create an undue burden on the electorate and result in disenfranchisement. Oppose HB1569 and uphold the right for each one of us to have a voice in our democracy.

Ann Podlipny, Chester


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