Republican N.H. Senators Pass Legislation to Make Voting More Difficult

Matt Murray Founder, NH Labor News

On a party-line vote, New Hampshire Senate Republicans voted last week to pass the voter suppression bill HB 1264, sending it back to the House for further consideration. This bill and its identical twin HB 372 both seek to create modern-day poll taxes that would specifically target young legal voters in New Hampshire, making it harder for them to vote.

Sununu has said he “hated” HB 372 and that he couldn’t support HB 1264 “in its current form,” but has refused commit to vetoing these bills and has largely walked back his opposition in recent months, even suggestively asking today “[w]hy not require residency when Maine and Mass[achusetts] do it already?” Over the past two years, Sununu has largely been supportive of voter suppression efforts. During his gubernatorial campaign, he spread a lie about Massachusetts residents voted in New Hampshire, which created a pretext for New Hampshire Republicans’ voter suppression law SB 3. He has also stated support for President Trump’s since-disbanded sham Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.

“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,” said St. Anselm Sophomore Olivia Teixeira.

Following the vote, Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D-Whitefield) released the following statement:

“This legislation has one purpose, to deter and disenfranchise voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote in New Hampshire, where they live. House Bill 1264 goes against everything this state stands for as the “first in the nation” primary state, and is a solution in search of a problem. That is why we expect Governor Sununu to keep his promise, and veto HB 1264 and HB 372 when they land on his desk.”

NHDP Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement:

“Governor Sununu has been inching toward support for yet another voter suppression bill after saying he hated it in December. Apparently, the controversial and wide-ranging voter suppression bill he signed into law last July wasn’t enough. With both HB1264 and HB372 being considered further, Sununu will have to choose whether he needs to disenfranchise young eligible voters in order to win or whether he will remain true to his word.

History suggests Sununu will abandon his word in favor of partisan politics while he continues to perpetuate voter fraud myths to advance his own interests. By supporting more voter suppression legislation, Sununu would prove that he is merely paying lip service to young people without their interests at heart. Governor Sununu needs to commit to a veto on both bills.”

Let America Vote President Jason Kander released the following statement:

“Republican politicians in New Hampshire have become completely shameless in their efforts to take voting rights away from young people. HB 1264 is politically-motivated, unnecessary and un-democratic. Governor Sununu has already said that he “hates” HB 372, a nearly identical bill with the same purpose of disenfranchising student voters. Governor Sununu now needs to follow through, commit to vetoing this bill and end the assault by Republican politicians on voting rights in New Hampshire. An attack on democracy anywhere diminishes the integrity of elections throughout our country, and Let America Vote will work to defeat New Hampshire politicians who try to stop eligible voters from voting.”

NH Campaign for Voting Rights is urging Sununu to protect the rights of student voters by vetoing HB 372 and HB 1264.

“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 America Votes New Hampshire State Director Liz Wester. “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.”

“HB 1264 would disproportionately impact eligible voters who live in New Hampshire, including college students and other individuals who know that they will be moving from New Hampshire at a later date. These Granite Staters actively participate in local affairs – they volunteer in our schools; hospitals and soup kitchens; work for local employers; spend money in local stores; and pay rent to local landlords. They are stakeholders in our communities and should be able to exercise their constitutionally-protected right to vote without having to pay fees as a condition of exercising this sacred vote,” said American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire Legal Director Gilles Bissonnette. “This bill is bad policy and it intimidates eligible NH voters. This is not the attitude for which our First-In-The-Nation state should become known. We encourage the Governor to veto this bill, as he has publicly stated his opposition to this bill.”

Sign the petition to Governor Sununu to Veto the bill.

Gubernatorial candidate, Molly Kelly released a statement making it clear she would veto this bill.

“Governor Sununu should put an end to the legislature’s efforts to restrict voting rights for college students by declaring these bills dead on arrival — in any form. These bills are unacceptable, period. As Governor, I would reject any attempt to roll back voting rights and silence our young people.”


Reposted from NH Labor News

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