NHDP - NH House Speaker on Hardball with Chris Matthews

O'Brien's reckless statehouse circus continues drawing national attention.


Concord, NH - Speaker O'Brien's reckless attempt to take away New Hampshire citizens' right to vote with HB 176 continued to be a national embarrassment for the Granite State on Chris Matthews' Hardball last night.  The bill would unconstitutionally deny active duty military personnel and college students the right to vote in New Hampshire elections, including the first in the nation Presidential Primary. 


At a recent 9/12 event, O'Brien voiced support for the bill saying that college students were "foolish," "voted their feelings," and were "voting as a liberal."  He also stated that this irresponsible attempt to infringe on individual rights would be part of the 'House Republican agenda' this year.


"Speaker O'Brien and his reckless unconstitutional agenda to strip New Hampshire citizens of their right to vote has become a national embarrassment," said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.  "It is anti-American to deny citizens the right to vote because of the way they vote.  In the United States, voters choose their elected officials, not the other way around."


In 1972, the United States Supreme Court ruled that limiting the right to vote for college students as HB176 does was unconstitutional.  The lead case, Newburger v. Peterson, actually originated in New Hampshire and the plaintiff was a student at Dartmouth College.


"People voting their feelings are going to be a major problem for O'Brien in 2012," continued Kirstein.  "He shouldn't be surprised when New Hampshire voters feel like throwing him and the rest of his party out of office."


HB176 is being voted on today in the New Hampshire House Election Law Committee.  During a public hearing last month, New Hampshire college Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians united in opposition to the reckless bill.