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Nashua;76.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nbkn.png;2014-09-03 03:02:09
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

About 1 percent of NH voters didn’t show ID on election day; letters to be sent out

About 1 percent of New Hampshire voters didn’t have, or wouldn’t show, a photo ID in the presidential election, a much smaller percentage than during the primary in September.

As a result, the state will have to make follow-up contacts with approximately 7,000 people as part of the new voter ID law, far fewer than many expected. ...

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About 1 percent of New Hampshire voters didn’t have, or wouldn’t show, a photo ID in the presidential election, a much smaller percentage than during the primary in September.

As a result, the state will have to make follow-up contacts with approximately 7,000 people as part of the new voter ID law, far fewer than many expected.

“We won’t know for probably another couple of weeks,” said David Scanlan, deputy secretary of state, who oversees elections.

“Anecdotally, it was 1 percent or less.”

This was the first general election in which voters were asked for identification when they voted. Those who lacked it or didn’t want to show it had to fill out a short “challenge application” form, attesting to their identity.

As part of the voter ID law passed in the spring, the secretary of state’s office must write letters to each of those people to confirm that they voted. Those who don’t respond to the letter must be contacted in person.

In the September primary, abut 7 percent of voters didn’t have an ID. Many officials expected the percentage would be as high or higher in November, because presidential elections bring out people who otherwise pay little attention to elections, and who were expected to balk at the ID requirement. This led to concern that the state would have to contact tens of thousands of voters within 60 days of the election, as required by law.

However, as was reported in The Telegraph and elsewhere, the ID issue caused relatively little issue Nov. 6.

Polling place lines were long, but that was due to heavy turnout (718,788 ballots cast, almost a record); a complicated ballot; and particularly the huge number of people – more than 99,000 – who registered to vote on polling day.

Local election officials must enter the names of everybody who voted without an ID into a statewide database, which will be used to generate contact letters, Scanlan said.

Those letters must be mailed by Jan. 2.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashuatelegraph.com. Follow Brooks’ blog on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).