Repeal second phase of NH voter ID law

New Hampshire’s secretary of state indicates that taxpayers will be on the hook for close to $350,000 to finance the purchase of cameras, printers and attendant supplies for installation at each voting location.

Why would our polling locations need cameras, we should ask, and to what end?

Per last year’s voter ID law, very restrictive measures will be implemented starting Sept. 1. Proponents present these measures as solving a problem of fraud.

But according to our attorney general office’s reports, only one conviction for impersonation fraud has occurred since 2004 – one, more than eight years ago.

Under former House Speaker William O’Brien’s leadership, these measures will impede substantially ballot-box access by restricting the number of IDs considered valid for voting.

Additional restrictions: those without an acceptable ID will have to step out of line, submit to a mug shot, and complete an affidavit.

Such requirements of otherwise-eligible voters will cost our state and towns additional money for staff. They also will delay and discourage voting.

Taxpayers cannot afford to waste $350,000 on what is not a problem. The problem is creating the appearance of one at each taxpayer’s expense to disguise obstructions to our right to participate in representative democracy.

I urge legislators to stop such waste by passing HB 595. Repeal implementation of these unnecessary voting restrictions and promote participation.

Ellen Westbrook

Strafford