House Democrats Statement on Passage of Legislation Establishing 30-Day Residency Requirement for Voting

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative David E. Cote, ranking Democrat on the House Election Law Committee, released the following statement after House Republicans voted to pass SB 179, which requires an individual to be domiciled in New Hampshire for 30 days prior to voting in an election.

“Denying people the right to vote by enacting an arbitrary probationary period represents a blatantly unconstitutional invasion of voter rights under the U.S. Constitution.  There is no administrative purpose for the 30-day residency requirement contained in this bill as required by the U.S. Supreme Court.  In fact, New Hampshire’s same-day registration law shows that there can be no administrative justification for this proposal.

With penalties for providing false information on the registration form no different than those contained in current law, it is obvious that this bill will do nothing to prevent the fraud that its sponsors claim it is intended for.  Instead of stopping those who would seek to break the law, this bill will only deny the fundamental right to vote to honest individuals.

As a state that prides itself on exceptional voter turnout, using high levels of voter participation to promote New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary, it is appalling that a major political party would strongly back such an arbitrary roadblock.  Unfortunately, that is what the Republican party has done here today.”