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Phyllis Hanavan of Goffstown shows her ID to poll workers at Goffstown High School on Tuesday, Sept. 11. (Kathy Remillard Photo)

Voter ID law gets trial run at local polls

A new state law requiring voters to show a photo ID will take effect in the general election Nov. 6, but towns tried it out during the primary vote Sept. 11. Though most voters were aware of the law and came ready with their ID, some were not. Others refused to show them, unhappy with the new law.

In Goffstown, out of the 2,865 voters that turned out for election day, 150 did not present an ID, either because they didn't have one to show or chose not to show one, said Town Clerk Cathy Ball. In Hopkinton, 182 voters turned out with no ID.

Ball, New Boston Town Moderator Lee Nyquist and Hopkinton Town Clerk Chuck Gangel said some voters voiced objections to the law.

'I'm positive some people came in with their IDs, ready to voice their protest or disapproval,' said Gangel. 'I stressed to everyone, 'We're asking for IDs, but if you're a registered voter, you can vote.''

'I think that people shared their opinions,' agreed Ball, 'but everyone did get to vote.'

Wanting to be sure enforcement of the voter ID law went off without a hitch, Nyquist said New Boston Town Clerk Irene Baudreau and Deputy Town Clerk Cathy Strausbaugh were authorized by selectmen to spend the entire day at the polls. In the past, the two have only spent a half day at the polls on election day.

'For the most part, people came with their IDs or were happy to learn the information about the requirement,' said Nyquist.

Ball, Gangel and Nyquist said even if people did not present identification at the polls on Sept. 11, they were still allowed to vote, but were given information from the Secretary of State's office to educate them about the law, which will take full effect in November. During the general election in November, voters without a photo ID will be required to fill out a challenged voter affidavit.

Ball suggested that residents contact their state representatives if they are unhappy about the law, and was neutral about whether or not she agreed with it.

'My job is to carry out the law,' said Ball.

- Kathy Remillard contributed to this story.

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