CONCORD, NH – On a partisan split vote, 171-144, the House passed a voter registration bill, HB 1264 that modifies the definition of resident for voting registration purposes. Like HB 372, which is heading to a committee of conference this month, HB 1264 requires 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.
College students have strongly objected to the bill. The UNH Student Senate voted unanimously in March to send a message to the New Hampshire Legislature in opposition to voting bills they say target students.
On its website, ACLU of New Hampshire stated, “This bill is a post-election poll tax and is aimed at deterring college students from voting – this is voter disenfranchisement in action.”
Liz Wester, Director of America Votes NH, said the bill would require individuals to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license and car registration after they vote, effectively implementing a post-election poll tax that will disproportionately impact citizens including snow birds and medical residents, and especially the state’s college students.
“With the decision to advance HB 1264 with a pushed back implementation date, Granite State conservatives are proving that they have been so focused on limiting eligible voters’ access to the ballot that not only are they moving identical bills forward, but they haven’t even figured out how to enforce these bills,” said Wester in a prepared statement. “Lawmakers must shift their attention to addressing the many real threats to the security of our electoral system ahead of the midterm elections. Governor Sununu must remain steadfast in his opposition to these damaging measures and veto both bills when they reach his desk.”
Saint Anselm Sophomore Olivia Teixeira released the following statement, via New Hampshire Young Democrats:
“We look forward to Governor Sununu keeping his word and vetoing HB 1264 and its twin HB 372 as soon as they reach his desk.”
The Governor said he was opposed to these bills, but it is not certain whether he will veto HB 1264.