Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee Passes Most Extreme Anti-Voter Bill Since SB3

3-14-2022

Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee Passes Most Extreme Anti-Voter Bill Since SB3
SB418 would require the use of provisional ballots, violate federal UOCAVA laws and put New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Status at Risk

Concord, NH - Today, on a 3-2 party line vote, the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs committee passed SB418, an aggressively anti-voter bill that would require provisional ballots. The bill would mandate provisional ballots cast by citizens who forgot their ID at home or who might not have proof of domicile paperwork with them when they register on Election Day. That ballot would not be counted if a state packet is not returned by the voter to the Secretary of State’s office within 10 days.

The version that was passed today also failed to fix a known issue with UOCAVA ballots to overseas military personnel, which are required to be sent 45 days in advance of the general election. This bill would cause New Hampshire to miss that deadline, potentially robbing overseas military of their right to vote. Because, under this proposal, ballots can be thrown out up to 10 days after Election Day, there could be changes to election results two weeks after an election is complete. Not only would this cause confusion, it would inject doubt about the validity of elections to everyday Granite Staters. The New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights released the following statement:

“Today the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs committee members who voted to advance this bill sent three clear messages. To our military serving overseas they sent the message that they don’t care if you get your ballot in time. To Granite State voters, they eliminated privacy in the voting booth by instituting an election system where the government can track your ballot and know how you voted. Lastly, to the Democratic and Republican Parties who run our presidential primary system they jeopardized New Hampshire’s standing as First in the Nation. Under this system New Hampshire will not be able to definitively announce a winner of an election until two weeks after the polls have closed— a sure recipe for New Hampshire to lose our most cherished First in the Nation primary tradition.

Our current election systems have been praised by Governor Sununu, former Secretary of State Gardner, current Secretary of State Scanlan and everyone in between; at Town Meeting day last Tuesday, voters rejected conspiracy-led efforts to get rid of ballot counting machines. People know that feeding the Big Lie narrative and dramatically changing the way New Hampshire runs elections is an offense to every Granite Stater. The full Senate must reject this bill. “

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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.