Legal issues with SB 3 include:
- Registering to vote requires a “verifiable act” to demonstrate intent to be domiciled in the state
- Legitimately domiciled voters could be denied the right to register by failing to present the new paperwork more than 30 days out from Election Day
- A different, more lengthy registration form is required to be signed under penalty of voting fraud within 30 days of Election Day, opening themselves to investigation or being forced to provide documentation after an election
These burdens fall disproportionately on young, low-income and minority groups who are more likely to be transient or register closer to election day, creating arbitrary and differential treatment of eligible New Hampshire voters. These undue burdens serve as deterrents for voters and make it more difficult for election officials to efficiently register voters.
“New Hampshire Republicans have created a solution in to a problem they have no evidence exists. This is the latest in a long line of voter suppression efforts the Republican Party has engaged in around the country,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Unfortunately, the myth of voter fraud has been spread by Republican leaders at every level, from President Trump to Governor Sununu and within the New Hampshire legislature, as a false pretext for restricting access to voting. The First in the Nation primary state should work to make voting more accessible and efficient to eligible voters rather than driving down turnout and changing the rules to shape their desired outcome.”
SB 3 is the first voter suppression bill passed in the country since the election of President Trump. In November, Governor Sununu falsely claimed that Massachusetts residents were being bused into New Hampshire to commit voter fraud. President Trump parroted the same lie just after his inauguration in January. New Hampshire has a proud tradition of strong voter turnout, with among the highest turnout percentages of any state in the country.
House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) released the following statement after the lawsuit was filed:
“I am in full support of the NHDP lawsuit to block implementation of SB 3. As we heard throughout the legislative process, enacting this bill will do nothing but confuse and intimidate new voters and complicate the work of election officials.”
“SB 3 requires anyone who registers to vote within 30 days of an election and on Election Day to read, and affirm to understand under penalty of fraud, an overly complex registration form outlining new requirements to ‘verify’ domicile. The bureaucratic requirements established by SB 3 are so cumbersome that the unnecessary complexity appears deliberate.”
“Republicans in the legislature have erroneously claimed that this bill is needed to combat ‘voter fraud.’ Investigations that have been conducted following every New Hampshire election since 2006 show that voter fraud is practically nonexistent in our state.”
“It is embarrassing that the Republican Party continues to push President Trump’s discredited myth that New Hampshire’s elections have been wrought with fraud. The election officials in our cities and towns deserve more credit for the hard work they do preserving the integrity of our elections.”