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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Young Democrats, Republicans align to ask for change to voter ID

CONCORD – An unusual alliance of New Hampshire young Democratic and Republican leaders have joined to urge the state Senate to change its voter identification bill and expressly recognize student ID cards at the polls.

The joint letter from those young partisans and their counterparts at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown comes as the Republican-led state Senate considers this week striking student ID cards from the list of recognized papers at all future elections. ...

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CONCORD – An unusual alliance of New Hampshire young Democratic and Republican leaders have joined to urge the state Senate to change its voter identification bill and expressly recognize student ID cards at the polls.

The joint letter from those young partisans and their counterparts at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown comes as the Republican-led state Senate considers this week striking student ID cards from the list of recognized papers at all future elections.

With the proposed Senate bill, students from the public University System of New Hampshire would be allowed to vote because the amended bill (HB 595) recognizes a non-
drivers identification card from any “department, agency or office of any state,” noted State Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett.

Those attending private school could use their photo cards as long as they are accepted as valid by the moderator in each private school city or town, Boutin said.

In their letter, New Hampshire Young Democrats President Theo Groh and New Hampshire College Republicans Chairman Jake Wagner said that wasn’t fair.

“The currently proposed amendment to New Hampshire voter ID has caused much concern among many young voters across the Granite State, as those attending a private college in New Hampshire would be unfairly treated differently than those who attend a public university,” the college partisan leaders wrote. “While our students who attend Plymouth State University or UNH would have no trouble using their student ID to vote, students attending Dartmouth College or Saint Anselm College would be turned away for using theirs.”

Co-signing this letter were Tara Sennick, chair of Saint Anselm College’s College Republicans and Jesse Imse, president of Saint Anselm’s Democrats.

“While we often have our differences on issues being debated in the State House in Concord or in Congress, we have nonetheless united to ensure the equal treatment of students in the New Hampshire electoral process with strong hopes that our counterparts in the State House and State Senate will do the same,” they concluded.

Under current law starting in elections after this September, those without an ID would have their picture taken and kept on file locally. This law also shrinks from seven down to four the number of ID cards that would be accepted with student cards not on the new smaller list.

The House-passed version of this bill eliminated all these new more restrictive voter ID requirements and kept in place the procedure used last November. The changes the Senate panel endorsed would delay this second phase of the law with cameras being used from taking place until Sept. 1, 2015.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).