Read

User menu

Search form

New Hampshire Law Illegally Targets Young Voters Ahead of 2020 Primary

New Hampshire Law Illegally Targets Young Voters Ahead of 2020 Primary
Fri, 2/22/2019 - by Julie Ebenstein
This article originally appeared on ACLU

The New Hampshire 2020 primary is still almost a year away, but state legislators are already working to disenfranchise voters. HB 1264, a law set to go into effect in July 2019, will change the definition of what it means to be a “resident” of New Hampshire, forcing people with out-of-state driver’s licenses or car registrations to switch to the state versions if they register to vote.

While it may sound like an archaic DMV issue, it’s actually a burden on the right to vote. In New Hampshire, students are lawfully permitted to vote in the town where they live while attending school.

By requiring people to pay up to hundreds of dollars in vehicle registration fees if they register to vote, the law unconstitutionally restricts voting rights and, in particular, targets New Hampshire’s students and young people to dissuade them for voting. That’s why we just filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Dartmouth College students, both of whom were eligible to vote in the 2018 elections but now would be forced to update their driver’s licenses if they participate in 2020.

For our plaintiffs, this fight is about having a voice in the issues that matter most to them. Caroline, a sophomore, is heavily involved in get-out-the-vote efforts on her campus. She’ll be living in New Hampshire until at least 2021 and wants to make sure her voice will be heard by legislators in New Hampshire on the issues she cares about.

Maggie, another student in our case, wants to vote for candidates who will act on climate change. As she puts it, “I spend more of my time [in New Hampshire] than anywhere else, and these state and local politicians can affect anything from my access to health care to the quality of air I breathe.”

Stretching back to the passage of the 26th Amendment — which lowered the voting age to 18 in 1971 — New Hampshire has repeatedly tried to exclude students from its elections. In the early 1970s, New Hampshire disqualified citizens from voting in a municipality if they had a “firm intention” of leaving that town at a fixed time in the future. In 1972, a federal court struck the law down because it explicitly targeted college students.

That didn’t stop state legislators from trying other tricks to stop students from voting.

In 2012, the New Hampshire Legislature enacted a law that amended the voter registration form to suggest, inaccurately, that voters would be obligated to apply for New Hampshire driver’s licenses if they register to vote. The law was clearly passed with partisan intent.

In fact, in September of 2012, the New Hampshire Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien described the language as necessary because college students were “[v]oting as a liberal. That’s what kids do.” The ACLU of New Hampshire challenged the 2012 law, and a court struck it down as unconstitutional.

New Hampshire should have learned its lesson. Instead, following the 2016 election, legislators went back to the drawing board to target young voters.

The process by which HB 1264 was passed alone reveals it to be a partisan attempt to restrict students’ right to vote. Despite the fact that the law changes the definition of a New Hampshire resident for motor vehicle purposes, the bill was considered by the Election Law Committees of both houses of the state legislature.

One of the chief advocates for the law was the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office — the agency in charge of administrating elections. The Division of Motor Vehicles did not even take a position on this legislation, nor did it offer a cost estimate. And legislators supporting the law made known their intention to dissuade students from voting.

Young people can and should play a leadership role in our country’s democracy. States that put unnecessary and unjustified barriers in the way of young people voting are violating the Constitution and doing a disservice to the democratic process.

New Hampshire is a repeat offender when it comes to suppressing voting rights. We will see them in court to protect students’ right to vote.

 

Originally published by ACLU

Sign Up

Article Tabs

youth climate strike, climate protests, climate walkouts, strike for climate, Greta Thunberg, global youth protests

The global Youth Climate Strike will have its official coming out party this Friday, March 15, when tens of thousands of young people worldwide skip school to protest climate inaction.

In this week's special episode, we sit down with two women from Colombia to hear about the violence and oppression that they face, and the connection to US foreign policy and corporate malfeasance. Meanwhile, the Colombian president sets his sights on Venezuela

Brexit, Brexit failure, Irish border, Theresa May, UK borders, Leave campaign, second Brexit referendum

On Tuesday, U.K. Parliament rejected – by a whopping total of 149 votes – Prime Minister Theresa May's last-minute compromise plan with the E.U. on the proposed deal, possibly spelling the end of Brexit.

Amazon cloud storage, Rekognition, Amazon Web Services, facial recognition software, face collection, surveillance state, surveillance tools, FBI monitoring, dragnet

The potential abuse of this software for surveillance and data harvesting purposes is so troubling that some of Amazon’s shareholders have pleaded with the company to forgo selling its facial recognition technology to the government.

Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index, European parliamentary elections, European Parliament, Europe's rightward shift, right-wing parties, extreme right views, right-wing populism, populist parties

Right-wing authoritarian parties have grown at least 33% compared to 2018, with at least 26% of voters supporting them across the European Union, according to the latest findings.

billionaires, abolish billionaires, extreme wealth, wealth inequality, income inequality, tax the rich, wealth redistribution, wealth tax

America’s billionaires have suddenly realized they just may be facing an existential crisis: A good chunk of the American people, they now understand, would rather billionaires not exist.

youth climate strike, climate protests, climate walkouts, strike for climate, Greta Thunberg, global youth protests

The global Youth Climate Strike will have its official coming out party this Friday, March 15, when tens of thousands of young people worldwide skip school to protest climate inaction.

The top five countries most affected by threats were all found to be in south-east Asia. Malaysia was the most affected, followed by Brunei and Singapore. Photograph: Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

Scientists say that nearly a quarter of the animals they assessed globally were affected by threats across more than 90% of their distribution.

In this week's special episode, we sit down with two women from Colombia to hear about the violence and oppression that they face, and the connection to US foreign policy and corporate malfeasance. Meanwhile, the Colombian president sets his sights on Venezuela

Brexit, Brexit failure, Irish border, Theresa May, UK borders, Leave campaign, second Brexit referendum

On Tuesday, U.K. Parliament rejected – by a whopping total of 149 votes – Prime Minister Theresa May's last-minute compromise plan with the E.U. on the proposed deal, possibly spelling the end of Brexit.

young voters, lower voter age, voter access

Oregon may become the first state to lower the voting age to include youth in all local and statewide elections.

Posted 6 days 12 hours ago

In this week's special episode, we sit down with two women from Colombia to hear about the violence and oppression that they face, and the connection to US foreign policy and corporate malfeasance. Meanwhile, the Colombian president sets his sights on Venezuela

Posted 5 days 55 min ago
Photo illustration: Soohee Cho/The Intercept, Getty Images

The previously unreported Project Maven contract could be a boon for Anduril Industries, which wants to remake the defense contracting industry by incorporating the latest innovations of Silicon Valley into warfighting technology.

Posted 5 days 20 hours ago
Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index, European parliamentary elections, European Parliament, Europe's rightward shift, right-wing parties, extreme right views, right-wing populism, populist parties

Right-wing authoritarian parties have grown at least 33% compared to 2018, with at least 26% of voters supporting them across the European Union, according to the latest findings.

Posted 6 days 12 hours ago
Amazon cloud storage, Rekognition, Amazon Web Services, facial recognition software, face collection, surveillance state, surveillance tools, FBI monitoring, dragnet

The potential abuse of this software for surveillance and data harvesting purposes is so troubling that some of Amazon’s shareholders have pleaded with the company to forgo selling its facial recognition technology to the government.

Posted 5 days 20 hours ago
Facebook, Google, Amazon, Big Tech, breaking up monopolies, antitrust laws, Big Tech breakup, Elizabeth Warren, presidential candidate

The presidential candidate's new plan to break up the world’s biggest tech firms provides the rarest sign that someone seeking power wants to use that power to weaken Silicon Valley.

Photo illustration: Soohee Cho/The Intercept, Getty Images

The previously unreported Project Maven contract could be a boon for Anduril Industries, which wants to remake the defense contracting industry by incorporating the latest innovations of Silicon Valley into warfighting technology.

The top five countries most affected by threats were all found to be in south-east Asia. Malaysia was the most affected, followed by Brunei and Singapore. Photograph: Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

Scientists say that nearly a quarter of the animals they assessed globally were affected by threats across more than 90% of their distribution.

Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index, European parliamentary elections, European Parliament, Europe's rightward shift, right-wing parties, extreme right views, right-wing populism, populist parties

Right-wing authoritarian parties have grown at least 33% compared to 2018, with at least 26% of voters supporting them across the European Union, according to the latest findings.

Amazon cloud storage, Rekognition, Amazon Web Services, facial recognition software, face collection, surveillance state, surveillance tools, FBI monitoring, dragnet

The potential abuse of this software for surveillance and data harvesting purposes is so troubling that some of Amazon’s shareholders have pleaded with the company to forgo selling its facial recognition technology to the government.