Media Contact

Gilles Bissonnette, ACLU Legal Director, gilles@aclu-nh.org, 603-224-5591 
Paula Hodges, America Votes NH State Director, phodges@americavotes.org, 603-361-2685 
 
June 11, 2016
Concord, NH – Concord, NH—Local election authorities, lawmakers, and civil rights groups along with affected voters came together Thursday morning to call on Governor Hassan to veto SB 179 and end the rollback on voting rights. SB 179 will require voters to live at the same address for 30 days before registering to vote, chipping away at the state’s same day registration law, and furthermore open up public access to private voter information at the local level. This bill is the latest in a long line of attacks on voting rights in the Granite State. 
 
“SB 179 adds onerous burdens on the right to vote in violation of the New Hampshire and Federal Constitutions.  The New Hampshire Supreme Court recently made clear that unjustified restrictions on voting rights are unconstitutional, said Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director for the ACLU. We strongly urge the Governor to veto this unconstitutional piece of legislation.”
 
“Just two weeks ago the New Hampshire Supreme Court told Secretary of State Gardner he was wrong,” said Senator David Pierce.  “As a parent, as a legislator who represents many students and as a lawyer I am telling him he is wrong again. SB 179 is unconstitutional and he shouldn’t push for unnecessary voting restrictions of our young citizens. Between the polling place camera mandate going into effect this fall and now an attempt to disenfranchise classes of voters, I urge the Secretary of State to stop the rollbacks and join us in bringing New Hampshire into the 21st Century of election modernization.”
 
State Representative and Plymouth State University student Travis Bennett added “engagement of young people should be the foundation of our state’s future.  We want our voice to be heard on a number of issues, specifically around my generation’s role to stop climate change.  My vote matters, the votes of my student body around the rising cost of energy and investment in renewable energy is important to me.  Believe it or not, young people have opinions and we should be valued, not just left in a world with no choices to make a positive difference.”  
 
“I am troubled that in the wake of Black Lives Matter and the devaluation of people of color across this country, the New Hampshire legislature continues to put up barriers to democracy.  Intimidation tactics like voter registration wait period and polling place mug shots are part of a scary trend.  The Granite State prides itself on free, fair, nationally positioned elections.  It’s how we hold our politicians and each other accountable” said Manchester moderator and President of the Manchester NAACP Woullard Lett.  “We urge the Governor to veto SB 179 and work to end the rollbacks.” 
 

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