Forum Thread

How could New Hampshire's residency law impact upcoming elections?

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 5 Posts
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    Heated debate as gone on over state laws which some consider to be ways to combat voting fraud, and others believe hamper the youth vote. This of course isn't new to voting in the United States. Limitations of student IDs, the restriction of polling locations on or near college campuses, and the classic gerrymandering have been called into question. What are considered to be the main battle ground states over these issues are Wisconsin, Florida and New Hampshire.

    Two years after the 2016 Presidential election, New Hampshire Republicans moved to pass a law requiring voters to comply with residency requirements such as getting a New Hampshire driver's license and vehicle registration. Voting rights advocates argue that such a law would weaken the electoral might of young voters, which is an increasingly left-leaning voting bloc.

    Yet proponents of the law argue that it was intended to combat fraud in the state. At the time NH was the only state that didn't require voters to be legal residents.

    “We have a group of people who say, ‘This is where I live, but don’t have to register my car here. I don’t have to get my license like everyone else in this room has to do,’ ” said Sharon Carson, a Republican senator from Londonderry, N.H., during debate on the measure. “And yet we allow them to vote here.”

    Opponents such as the ACLU claimed that such requirements were essentially a poll tax:

    "Residents who move to New Hampshire are required to switch over their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations within 60 days. The penalty for not doing so can reach $1,000. The cost of a new license is $50 and vehicle registration can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the car, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles."

    One of the reasons why New Hampshire is considered to be such a pivotal battleground over the youth vote is because of higher voting turnout rates for ages 18 to 29, and how that affects narrow electoral margins.

    The 2018 midterm elections saw a turn out rate for college-age students which was a little more than half that of voters overall. Such an upswing added two percentage points to the popular vote for Dems during the midterms. Ten Democratic seats were won by less than two points.

    "In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the state by fewer than 3,000 votes, or three-tenths of a percentage point. Democrat Maggie Hassan unseated Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) with a victory margin of just 1,017 votes."

    It was argued by state Republicans that college students from out of state had swayed the outcome.

    The new law hasn't been implemented yet due to lawsuits made by the opposition. Yet, if a repeal of the law is implemented, New Hampshire's governor has said he would veto it.

    Since the data cannot be ignored regarding the increasing electoral power of the youth vote, and how that affected elections in the past for New Hampshire, how could this impact such a swing state? Are there similar examples from other states we could look at to draw some conclusions?

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    I can see where it would definitely impact New Hampshire if the law goes into effect. It's such a small state, but a powerful one at that. If indeed the college vote makes up such a percentage of voters, and it has been proven to have an impact on past elections, this could be a mixed bag for New Hampshire. The local residents will feel more secure that their votes aren't getting cancelled out by out of state voters, and what as seen as a powerful voting bloc gets nerfed greatly.

    I think overall it's a bad move that extends beyond the state lines. It says something about the country. I've heard opinions that the Democrats haven't been able to understand or harness the youth vote - perhaps until now. One would think instead of creating more opposition for themselves, the Republicans would try to reach out and yoke the strength of the youth vote.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Seems like just another attempt to suppress certain votes in the name of fraud. When its been widely understood by most that voter fraud is negligible at best; hardly ever happens. Voting in general should be made easier for all, not harder. We already have a problem with voter turnout so this just smacks of gamesmanship to me.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Can't anyone go to the City Hall and request an ID? I believe you can in MA - elderly do it because they don't have a car..
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Should be easy but also should have ID! You can't even buy wine or cigs at Stop and Shop without proof of age. Social Security card.. is that proof enough?