ELECTION LAW

Another Attempt To Shut Out Voters

In action aimed at college age voters, the House of Representatives voted 171-144 Wednesday March 7 to pass HB 1264, which changes the statutory definition of “resident,” “inhabitant,” “residence,” and “residency” in New Hampshire. Despite hundreds of references to those terms in New Hampshire law, supporters made clear that the intent of the change is to affect voting eligibility.

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff said, “this bill represents the latest chapter in an ongoing series of bills designed to restrict the constitutional rights of college students living in New Hampshire. As former House Speaker Bill O’Brien first stated in 2010, disenfranchising college students benefits Republicans because they are less likely to align with the conservative Republican mindset.”

“New Hampshire college students live in this state for at least three-quarters of the year, paying taxes, renting apartments, making contributions to the community, and complying with our laws and local ordinances. Students represent the future of our state – the very people that our business community will rely on to move our economy forward.”

“The new Republican Party motto has unfortunately become clear – ‘if you can’t beat them, disenfranchise them.’ Attempting to shut voters out of the process is no way to appeal to their interests and concerns, a lesson that Republicans will continue to learn the hard way.