House Passes Measure Adversely Targeting Seniors, Snowbirds, and Nursing Home Voters

4-08-2021

Bill would add cumbersome roadblocks for seniors who wish to safely vote by absentee ballot

CONCORD—Today, the New Hampshire House passed HB 292, a measure which creates confusion and potentially curbs the freedom to vote for seniors, snowbirds, and people in nursing homes. At the current time, voters who live in nursing homes or adult living facilities may continue to vote from their former address. If HB 292 were successful, it would create additional burdens for our elder, disabled, home-bound, and snowbird populations, as it would require a person whose absentee ballot is to be sent to an address other than their address on the voter file to either show up to the town or city hall in-person or have their signature notarized. The New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights released the following statement:
“Despite a record-breaking turnout last fall thanks to expanded access to absentee ballots, conservative politicians continue to build barriers to the ballot box that roll back progress and chip away at the freedom to vote. Today’s vote could possibly disenfranchise older Granite Staters, especially those who live in nursing homes, who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Asking these senior voters, among other things, to get their signature notarized on their absentee ballot application, an added cost which could be considered a poll tax, is needless and unconscionable. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or an independent, every voter's right to vote is guaranteed by the Constitution. If politicians are looking for ways to strengthen our system, they should focus on reforms that utilize modern technology to make voting more accessible for all including electronic poll books, new processes to cure ballots for absentee voters, and implementing long overdue improvements to our outdated registration system.”

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The New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights is a coalition of state and national advocacy organizations, voters, attorneys and watchdog organizations working to ensure and preserve the right to vote for every Granite Stater, and is a project of America Votes New Hampshire.