There’s an election law on the books in New Hampshire about which everyone is talking. There’s even a lawsuit to block or repeal it. But the town clerk in Hanover says, “The voting process (for students) is not impeded by [HB 1264].”
[T]he New Hampshire secretary of state’s office indicates on its website under the Frequently Asked Questions page of the “How to Register to Vote” section that college students are allowed to register to vote in the state. This page states that voting is restricted to “New Hampshire inhabitants who will be 18 years of age or older on the day of the next election, and a United States citizen.” It adds that “there is no minimum period of time you are required to have lived in the state before being allowed to register. You may register as soon as you move into your new community.”
The article goes on to observe a lack of clear guidance from either the AG or the Secretary of state. Then there is this.
“[all] elections are to be free, and every inhabitant of the state of 18 years of age and upwards shall have an equal right to vote in any election. Every person shall be considered an inhabitant for the purposes of voting in the town, ward, or unincorporated place where he has his domicile.”
[New Hampshire League of Women Voters voter service representative and Newbury town moderator Nancy] Marashio pointed out that the law does not only affect college students, but also members of the military who are assigned in the state and interns for businesses, who she argued often don’t maintain a permanent residency with their parents in another state, as many college students do.
Two quick points before you contact Bill Gardner at the NH Sec-o-State’s office. First, out of state students with licenses and a legal address (from where they file federal taxes, for example, or that place that makes you ineligible for in-state tuition as another) are not ‘domiciled in New Hampshire for any purpose from getting a dog license to voting. This leads to point two.
Anyone not able to vote at the precinct where they are domiciled on election day, including military or business persons (or students) can vote absentee from wherever they are on the planet, even if it happens to be in New Hampshire. No one has no permanent address. The defining example for our purposes is a driver’s license, which is evolving into REAL ID. That’s your domicile. That is the address from which you vote. Period.
Okay, now you can contact Bill Gardner at the Secretary of State’s Office. Find out what the hell all the fuss is about over the law if it does nothing or why clerks and moderators are saying college students are still permitted to steal your state and local elections.