CONCORD, NH (AP) — Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday signed a bill that creates a new type of “voting under oath” for new voters in New Hampshire who lack the required documents.
Under current law, those voters complete affidavits promising to provide documents within 10 days, and those who don’t can be investigated and charged with fraud. But the votes themselves remain valid.
Under the new law, which will take effect in 2023, ballots cast by voters who fail to provide proof of their identity and residence seven days after an election would be discarded. Municipalities would report total votes, minus unqualified affidavit votes, to the Secretary of State no later than 14 days after an election.
House Democratic Leader David Cote of Nashua said the measure jeopardizes the rights of foreign voters, especially those serving in the armed forces. He said Sununu, a Republican, should have sought the opinion of the state Supreme Court on its constitutionality.
Sununu said Secretary of State David Scanlan “has given me full assurances that this bill does not affect the state’s ability to release military ballots on time, and that our processes will work without delay or obstacles with its adoption”.
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The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Giuda, R-Warren, said he heard voters say they had stopped voting in the face of increased fraud. State election officials say there is no evidence of widespread fraud.
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