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Defining residency: More voter suppression myths

December 13. 2017 12:10AM

Gov. Chris Sununu says “I will never support anything that suppresses the student vote. End of story.”

So he should not have a problem signing HB 372 should it come to his desk.

The bill would align the state’s definition of domicile and residence, providing clarity on the rights and responsibilities of people living in New Hampshire.

Last year, the Legislature passed a law requiring new voters to establish residency for 30 days before voting, which Democrats claimed would suppress the student vote. It doesn’t. It merely brings New Hampshire in line with the majority of states that require people to demonstrate some actual ties to the state where they wish to vote.

Clarifying the definition of domicile would not prevent a single person from voting. Current law already requires people who move here to transfer their drivers’ licenses and car registrations to New Hampshire. Failing to do so brings a fine, but no one is locked out of the voting booth.

Perhaps Sununu has yet to see the amendment proposed by the Senate Election Law Committee. It removes language requiring residency “for the indefinite future,” which Democrats claimed was aimed at college students.

Nonresidents should not be voting in New Hampshire. College students may become New Hampshire residents, and vote here. Nothing in HB 372 would suppress the student vote. If the Senate amends the bill as planned, Sununu should sign it.

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