Senate Passes Voter Photo ID Bill

The plan now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

One would have to flash a photo identification card before voting under a bill the state Senate passed today.

Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 289. Sponsors noted the bill has the support of Secretary of State William Gardner and the NH City and Town Clerks' Association.

Here's the roll call and docket for the bill.

Republicans hailed the bill as overdue action, citing the James O'Keefe during the New Hampshire Presidential Primary in January.

"Voters are rightly outraged by the reports of voter fraud during our First-in-the-Nation Primary," said Wayne MacDonald, chairman of the Republican State Committee. He criticized Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, for vetoing a photo ID voter bill in 2011.

Groups, such as the League of Women Voters, this latest legislation, though bill sponsors say they are working to build bipartisan support. LWV, for example, maintains the bill would represent a barrier to the constitutional right to vote, especially for elderly and disabled.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a co-sponsor, said the bill would not disenfranchise any voters, nor create a barrier.

Sen. Ray White, R-Bedford, who represents Merrimack said the bill makes sense. "I believe it is well thought out and has no barriers," he said in a statement. "Voting is a precious commodity. People get excited to vote when they know their vote counts. People get discouraged if they think voter fraud will cancel their vote. SB 289 gives voters confidence that their vote counts."

WHAT Do You Think? Should New Hampshire join the 31 states that require some form of photo identification in order to vote? Comment below.

john b corcoran March 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Your examples only prove the point that requiring a photo I.D. at the ballot box would not have prevented a single instance of fraud. Nobody is disputing the fact that there is voter fraud; the dispute is with the solution offered. A photo I.D. only prevents impersonation at the polls. An easily obtainable fake I.D. solves that problem. Your examples had to do with absentee ballots which is a common form of voter fraud and which, ironically, the photo I.D. laws don't address.
Clifford Ledoux March 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Most fraudulent voters won't go through the trouble and expense to obtain a fake photo ID. Then again, democrats are probably quite willing to organize and fund the entire operation (so John B. Corcoran is probably right to a large extent.) Still, requiring a state-issued photo ID can and should help reduce voter fraud.
BrendaTate March 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM
yes we need it what does poor elderly or disabled mean you need ID for welfare,food stamps,medical help. Jobs schools so whats up with this It does not bother me to show ID. Unless your crooked you dont want this law to pass. Les get all states to sand together on this..
Se Dudman March 16, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Good job NH! We need this bill as do the other 49 states!
George March 16, 2012 at 08:27 PM
If youre going to commit fraud and dont have an ID - whats preventing you from signing a affidavit??


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