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When New Hampshire voters went to the polls this year they were asked to show an ID due to the new Voter photo ID bill. On September 1, 2013, that law changes and becomes more restrictive by limiting the list of ID’s that will be accepted in order to cast your vote. The law removes the ability to use most forms of photo ID including those issued by a state, county or municipal government, a valid student ID, an ID determined to be legitimate by local election officials, and simple identity verification by local town officials. Voters without acceptable ID’s will not only have to sign an affidavit but will be required to have a poll worker take their photo before being allowed to vote. The poll workers will then have to print a color copy of the photo in real time and affix it to the voter’s signed affidavit. Not only will the number of individuals who get caught up in the process increase but so will state expenditures to implement the changes.  How much more will this cost the state? Roughly a quarter million dollars was requested by the Secretary of State’s office for FY14 & FY15.

America was founded on the principle that we’re all created equal.  Inside the voting booth, all Americans have an equal and unencumbered voice in our democracy. But instead, some want you to believe it’s a privilege to vote and not a right and those people are willing to make it harder for some to cast their ballot. That’s the real reason why they want to limit the number of ID’s that are acceptable. They will try to convince you that voter impersonation is rampant in New Hampshire, but we know from thorough investigations that this just is not the case. There have only been three cases of voter fraud according to fraud reports issued by the SOS and AG’s office since 2006. The most recent case at the polls in NH was that of James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who was attempting to make a point that voter impersonation is possible, but fell short of proving anything about actual voter impersonation; instead all he proved was his unfamiliarity with New Hampshire voting law, landing himself in hot water. We all agree that protecting the integrity of our elections is vitally important—that’s why we already have strict laws and protections in place.

Proponents of Voter photo ID will also try to convince you that Voter ID laws are no big deal – that you need an ID to get on an airplane or buy a beer. The problem is that neither of those actions is enshrined in our Constitution – voting is. And contrary to their belief, not everyone does have an ID. Just this past election 5,424 people in New Hampshire didn’t have an ID to vote. That’s 5,424 people who might not  cast a vote next election year because they lack ID – no matter who they are, where they come from, what they look like and who they vote for, that’s 5,424 too many.

If those reasons alone don’t give you pause to think twice about the real implications of voter photo ID, then I hope the financial implications will. It is just too expensive to implement when there have only been three cases of voter fraud as reported by the Secretary of State’s office and the Attorney General in the last 8 years. More people get struck by lightning than impersonate another voter at the polls. Is a quarter of a million worth those odds? I think not.

Jess Clark
Political and Field Director
America Votes

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Comment Preferences

  •  Jess - help me understand (3+ / 0-)

    In the first paragraph you state:

    "The law removes the ability to use most forms of photo ID including those issued by a state, county or municipal government"

    What specific photo IDs issued by local, county or state governments would not be acceptable?

    What photo IDs are acceptable?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:35:51 AM PST

    •  NH Voter ID law (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NH LABOR NEWS, Sandino

      Thanks for asking!  So you can see the current and future laws, we suggest you take a glance at the National Conference of State Legislatures' succinct breakdown: http://www.ncsl.org/....  Please let us know if you would like any more info!

      •  The succinct breakdown doesn't answer (0+ / 0-)

        my first question.

        It does answer the second question:

        Drivers license.
        State issued ID.
        Passport.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:03:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry for the delay (0+ / 0-)

          We're on the road and will get back to you in a few hours.  Thanks for your patience!

        •  Answers to both your questions (0+ / 0-)

          The existing language that will no longer be part of the 9/1/13 law as acceptable is: "Any other valid photo identification issued by federal, state, county, or
          municipal government." There's no further description.

          Per the new law:  

          "II. A valid photo identification shall show the name of the individual to whom the identification was issued, and the name shall substantially conform to the name in the individual's voter registration record; it also shall show a photograph of the individual to whom the identification was issued; and it shall also have an expiration date that has not been exceeded by a period of more than 5 years from the current date. The following forms of identification bearing a photograph of the voter shall satisfy the identification requirements of paragraph I:
          (a) A driver's license issued by any state or the federal government.
          (b) A nondriver's identification card issued by the motor vehicles division, department, agency, or office of any state.
          (c) A United States armed services identification card.
          (d) A United States passport.
          (e) A qualified voter affidavit in accordance with subparagraph I(c)."

          http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/... - page 7

  •  Voter ID = voting for property owners only (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NH LABOR NEWS

    because they are the only people worthy to vote. Don't own ID, then clearly that person is not deserving to vote.

    It excludes a lot of people is just the way the framers wanted it. "We the people" is an exculsive club doncha know.

    tipped and rec'ed

  •  The whole thing is a scam by the makers and (0+ / 0-)

    sellers of the phote equipment to have a steady recurring revenue stream. Why the makers of electronic equipment and cameras keep having to suckle at the public teat is a mystery. Remember all those highway way stations we built to weigh trucks and take their pictures? Most are now defunct, sitting on the sides of highway, collecting litter and needing to be patrolled by police to intercept various illegal acts.
    In the seventies it was audio visual equipment that was sold to schools and then stored in storage buildings to over-flowing. After that, it was new public buildings, including libraries that were outfitted with cameras and monitors that nobody ever watched.

    People fixated on superficial optics should be discouraged from making public policy. What people look like is not indicative of anything much.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:29:15 AM PST

  •  If it were up to me, they'd be fingerprinted too (0+ / 0-)
    Voters without acceptable ID’s will not only have to sign an affidavit but will be required to have a poll worker take their photo before being allowed to vote.
    and maybe sent to Gitmo for good measure.

    OK, not maybe, for sure.  What's up with people these days thinking they can get by with sketchy ID?

  •  Voting is not just a right, it is the duty of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NH LABOR NEWS

    citizens to vote.  

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 11:26:17 AM PST

  •  Can't Democrats undo it (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't Democrats win back the legislature and governor in 2012?

    In terms of beating it, we pulled off a huge upset in Minnesota where a photo ID amendment to the state constitution looked sure to pass. Partly, admittedly, one of the successful arguments was that a specific procedure shouldn't be in  the constitution, an another was that this particular implementation just left too many problems and wasn't ready. However, rural areas went heavily against it because of the costs to small municipalities. Seniors went heavily against it because they figured out they would be more screwed over than anyone else. The anti-amendment campaign won the Twin Cities and rural areas, lost the suburbs. I realize you in New Hampshire are trying to overturn a statute, not defeat an amendment, but hopefully our experience helps a bit

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