Voter ID Issue Continues To Play Out

The saga of the state’s new voter ID law has continued to play out over the last few weeks, with a major legal decision altering plans and the state offering vouchers to get a free voter ID.

The new law, which was passed this year, will ultimately require that residents present one of several valid forms of ID in order to obtain a ballot. Any voter who does not have an acceptable ID can still vote after signing a “challenged voter affidavit” at the polling place.

Certain language in that affidavit was barred by the state Supreme Court, because some feared it would exclude voters such as out-of-state college students, by requiring that they register a vehicle and acquire a N.H. driver’s license within 60 days of voting. This decision was the result of the main legal challenge in the case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. In issuing that decision, the high court said it wouldn’t consider the case until after a lower court had issued its opinion.

In the meantime, voters on Nov. 6 are still expected to have one of the acceptable forms of ID listed here:

  • A driver’s license from any state, even if expired;
  • A non-driver photo ID issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles;
  • A U.S. military ID;
  • A U.S. Passport, even if expired;
  • A valid student ID; a valid photo ID card issued by federal, state, county or municipal government;
  • Any photo ID deemed legitimate by a supervisor of the checklist, town or city clerk, or moderator; or verification of identity by a supervisor of the checklist, town or city clerk or moderator.

Recently, the state offered vouchers for free voter ID cards, though the process to obtain it, especially for seniors who don’t drive, isn’t all that simple. Voters who need a voter ID card must first visit their town or city clerk to obtain a voucher.  Afterwards, voters must take the voucher to any DMV licensing office for processing. At the DMV, they’ll receive a temporary paper ID; the permanent ID will come in the mail several weeks later.

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