Controversial voter residency law will apply to Nov 6 election

Nov 02, 2018

BY: Citizens Count

SB 3, a controversial 2017 law that required voters to provide more proof of their intent to stay in New Hampshire long-term, was recently blocked by a New Hampshire superior court judge. This caused a great deal of confusion on the eve of the mid-term elections. State officials, including Secretary of State Bill Gardner, contested the ruling, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court decided that SB 3’s more stringent proof of domicile requirements would stay in place through the November 6 election. Once the election is over, a final ruling will be made on the fate of SB 3.

What does this mean for voters? Those who register on the day of the election must prove that they intend to stay in New Hampshire long-term. Voters who register without such proof must sign an affidavit. Then, after the election, they must submit the proof to their local clerk’s office or risk being investigated.

Those in favor of allowing SB 3 to stand during the election argue it is too close to voting day for such a dramatic change. Towns have been preparing for SB 3 procedures for months. The attorney general’s office released a statement saying: “Senate Bill 3, like any statute, is presumed to be constitutional. The Department of Justice will defend it vigorously and we are confident it will be sustained.”

Opponents feel the law should be blocked immediately to keep from confusing and intimidating would-be voters. They feel SB 3 is likely to be struck down as an undue burden on those wishing to vote. Either way, they feel its fate should be decided once and for all before the law is applied to an election.

Learn more about the debate over voter registration restrictions in New Hampshire

What do you think? Should SB 3 apply to the 2018 mid-term election? Share your opinion in the comments below.

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