Earlier this year, the state Senate passed Senate Bill 3, an innocuous measure aimed at ensuring that a new voter has taken the steps necessary to make New Hampshire “the one place, more than any other, from which he or she engages in the domestic, social, and civil activities of participating in democratic self-government.” . . . To accomplish this, SB 3 tightens the state’s voter eligibility requirements. Under the proposal, someone registering to vote within 30 days of an election must “identify and provide evidence of a verifiable action” taken to maintain a domicile in the state.
Just what are those “verifiable actions?” The bill establishes a wide-ranging list, including renting or purchasing a home in the state, obtaining a driver’s license, enrolling a child in a public school, attending a college or university, or obtaining a state-issued hunting or fishing license. Residence at a homeless shelter would also be sufficient.
Eager to ensure that the new law would in no way hinder the lawful casting of ballots, lawmakers make clear in the legislation that nearly any document – ranging from a lease, deed or utility bill, to a government form verifying the voter’s claimed address – would be accepted as documentation. . . .
SB 3 goes further still, allowing (as under current law) for same-day voter registration even if applicants do not have the required proof on hand. Applicants must sign an acknowledgment asserting their residency under penalty of voter fraud, and agree to provide the required proof to city officials within 10 days. That deadline is extended to 30 days in towns where clerks’ offices are open only part time.
So, who will be removed from New Hampshire’s voter rolls? Only those who cannot, or will not, provide even a shred of evidence to support their claim of residency.New Hampshire Democrats are saying those who support SB 3 are trying to suppress voters, attack "the legitimacy of our elections," and impose a literacy test, completely (and unfortunately predictably) resisting any effort to protect the integrity of elections and election results. The Democrats' overreaction is particularly ridiculous in this case, as enacting this law would only bring New Hampshire in conformity with nearly every other state, which require some proof of residency in the state prior to registering to vote.