The New Hampshire House is considering a bill that will make registering to vote more difficult for students and low-income people. It would also impose harsher penalties for those who violate voter registration requirements. This bill has already passed the NH Senate and is quickly moving its way through the NH House.
Specifically, Senate Bill 3 establishes stringent eligibility criteria to vote in New Hampshire and harsh penalties for eligible voters who do not or cannot comply. In addition to living in New Hampshire, new voters would be required to prove that they intend to stay at their current address by showing documentation that is costly to some. Voters who do not have or fail to provide domicile documentation on Election Day would be required to return to a government office shortly after the election or mail the documents. If voters do not provide documentation, they would be considered guilty of voter fraud and subject to a visit by law enforcement and fines up to $5,000.
At the very least, the bill has the potential to cause confusion at the polls on Election Day.
Further, SB 3 proposes steep penalties and issues the threat of criminal investigations that can deter or intimidate voters—especially those who may not have physical proof of domicile because they recently moved—from registering and voting. Voters who do not show proof of residence after the election would be automatically purged from the rolls.
To learn more about SB 3 and ways to take action, visit www.opendemocracynh.org.