NH House passes bills tightening absentee voting and ID requirements for Election Day registration

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Bills requiring verifiable photo ID for all people who register to vote and for some who mail in applications to vote by mail passed the House on Thursday. if they ask their city or town clerk to return the absentee ballot to them at an address other than the address registered with the city or town as their domicile. Another option under the bill would be to have the signature notarized on their request. The bill passed the House by recorded vote of 198-174.Bill 523 would require a person who registers to vote on Election Day but does not have identification with photo has a photo taken at the polling place. The bill would remove a religious exemption that currently allows some people who do not show photo ID to register without having their photo taken. It passed the House on a 197-172 vote. Both bills were described by Republican supporters as simple, non-intrusive steps to ensure that people who register to vote on Election Day balloting and voting by mail are what they claim to be, and therefore instill confidence in New Hampshire elections. But Democratic opponents said the bills tried to make it harder for people to vote, including seniors and people with disabilities. Such barriers would not make state elections any safer, but would disenfranchise several groups of voters, they said.

Bills requiring verifiable photo ID for all people who register to vote and for some who mail in absentee ballot applications passed the House on Thursday.

House Bill 292 would require voters who request a mail-in ballot to include a copy of photo identification if they ask their city or town clerk to return the mail-in ballot to them at an address other than the address registered with the city or town as their home.

Another option under the bill would be to have their application signature notarized.

The bill passed the House on a 198-174 roll call.

House Bill 523 would require that a person who registers to vote on election day but does not have photo ID be photographed at the polling station.

The bill would remove a religious exemption that currently allows some people who do not show photo ID to register without having their photo taken. He passed the House on a vote of 197-172.

Both bills have been described by Republican supporters as easy, non-intrusive steps to ensure that people who register to vote on Election Day and vote by mail are who they say they are. and therefore instill confidence in New Hampshire elections.

But Democratic opponents said the bills tried to make it harder for people to vote, including seniors and people with disabilities. Such barriers would not make state elections any safer, but would disenfranchise several groups of voters, they said.

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