NH House Leaders Comment on Passage of Voter Reform Bills

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader Pete Silva (R-Nashua) released the following statement on the passage of committee of conference reports on two voter reform bills, Senate Bill 289 and Senate Bill 318. SB 289 will require photo identification to vote. The conferees settled on an agreement that will essentially enact both plans sequentially – starting with the Senate’s plan during the first 15 months and then transitioning fully to the House plan on September 1, 2013.  The Senate version called for allowing for eight forms of identification and allowing voters to fill out an affidavit if they have no ID.  After the initial introductory period the law will evolve to the House amended version of SB 289, which brings the number of valid IDs down to four and requires a photograph be taken with an affidavit if a voter does not have identification at the polls. SB 289 passed 255 to 103.

Senate Bill 318 reverts voter registration to pre-2007 forms, which clears up state law to make it clear that only domiciled New Hampshire citizens can vote in our elections. SB 318 passed 260 to 101.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“We must ensure that our elections are as pure as possible, and free of corruption. For years, clean election advocates have been warning the Attorney General and the Legislature about both the opportunity for fraud and evidence of electoral fraud. We saw evidence of this problem firsthand in the New Hampshire primary this year. Government integrity begins at the ballot box.  New Hampshire citizens deserve the right to have their vote counted rightfully, and not diluted.  This compromise is a testimony to both the House and Senate’s willingness to have clean, honest elections.”

House Majority Leader Pete Silva

“Republicans have been working hard over the two year session to pass a voter ID bill to improve New Hampshire’s lax voter registration and balloting laws. As the resident of a border community, I know full well the opportunities for voter fraud, and having stood at the polls all day, seeing cars with Massachusetts plates come through the parking lot, I know that that these common senses laws are needed. These actions will help improve the validity and equality of our election system while we join the 30 other states who have voter ID laws.”