NH Legislature to return to deal with vetoes

June 25, 2012

Kathy McCormack, Associated Press

New Hampshire’s Republican-led Legislature returns next week to take up bills vetoed by Democratic Gov. John Lynch, including ones on voter identification and registration, partial-birth abortion, and a “right to publicity’’ bill pushed by the family of author J.D. Salinger.

The Legislature was set to meet Wednesday to attempt to override Lynch’s vetoes. Doing so requires a two-thirds majority.

Two of the vetoed bills deal with voting. One required a voter to present a valid photo ID. The other required people registering to vote to sign a statement saying they declare New Hampshire is their home state and that they are subject to state laws, such as registering their cars in the state.

Under the bill, a wide range of identification would have been acceptable this fall — including student IDs — but in later elections, only driver’s licenses, state-issued non-driver’s identification cards, passports or military IDs would be allowed. Those without photo identification would sign an affidavit and be photographed by an election official.

Lynch said he would have been OK with a bill that stuck with allowing many types of IDs to be used, but the final version was far more restrictive than necessary. He also said the affidavit provision would cause confusion, would slow the voting process and could prevent eligible voters to cast their ballots.

Supporters of a photo ID say it will provide more integrity and security in state elections. “We need to protect the integrity of the ballot box and guarantee that the `one person, one vote’ principle is not diluted by dishonest votes,’’ House Speaker William O’Brien said.

But opponents say it would infringe on a person’s right to vote. “The Constitution prohibits the denial or abridgment of the right to vote,’’ said Derrek Shulman, New England director of the Anti-Defamation League. “Legislative attempts to alter the process and disenfranchise voters need to be challenged.’’

State Sen. Peter Bragdon said there are concerns about some particulars of the bill regarding the affidavit. “It’s a matter of which form to use, and what people are most comfortable to use,’’ he said.

To read more, visit: http://articles.boston.com/2012-06-23/news/32384064_1_disenfranchise-photo-identification-voting-process

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