Voting in NH: Not just for NH residents
Justice Brian Tucker of the state Superior Court did an admirable job on Friday of explaining the absurdity of New Hampshire voting laws while ruling against a change to those laws. If you do not understand how out-of-state residents can legally vote in New Hampshire, Justice Tucker’s ruling lays it out.
“Simply put, a citizen must be a domiciliary but not necessarily a resident in order to vote here,” Tucker explained. “The basic difference between the two is that a resident has manifested an intent to remain in New Hampshire for the indefinite future, while a domiciliary does not necessarily intend to remain in New Hampshire indefinitely.”
You read that right. Anyone who happens to be living here momentarily, with no intent to stay, may legally vote here. This is how out-of-state campaign staffers legally vote in every New Hampshire election.
Democrats want out-of-staters (namely college students and campaign volunteers) to vote in New Hampshire elections. Republicans don’t. In 2012, Republican legislators wanted to change the legal definition of domicile to match the legal definition of resident. When they could not achieve that, they settled for changing the voter registration form to imply that one had to be a legal resident of the state to vote here. That was not consistent with the statute, and it has failed in court twice, most recently on Friday.
So in the upcoming mid-term election, college students, campaign staffers and anyone else who resides in another state but moves to New Hampshire for the sole purpose of participating in our elections may legally vote. This is an outrageous manipulation of our elections and should be changed. Voting in New Hampshire elections should be reserved for New Hampshire residents.