Senator Carson Applauds Decision That Voter ID Law is Constitutional

Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, issued the following statement following the decision issued by the U. S. Department of Justice finding the state’s new Voter ID law to be constitutional:

“Our right to vote is fundamental, but it also needs to be protected. That’s why we worked so hard to carefully craft our Voter ID law (SB 289) in a way that ensures the integrity of our election process.  I am thankful the U.S. Department of Justice found our Voter ID law to be constitutional after giving it a full review.  When New Hampshire citizens head to the polls next week and then again in November, they can cast a ballot feeling confident that our voting process has been strengthened and that their vote truly counts.”

The Voter ID Law, as it’s been properly called, will require that during any election prior to September 1, 2013, voters will be asked to provide a form of photo ID.   Between November 1, 2012 and September 1, 2013, voters without proper ID will be permitted to vote after executing a “challenged voter affidavit.”

Voters who fill out the affidavit will receive a letter of verification from the Secretary of State requesting confirmation of voting in the election. If the voter does not respond in writing within 30 days of the date it was mailed, the Attorney General will conduct an investigation to determine if fraudulent voting occurred.

Proper identification that will be accepted prior to September 1, 2013, includes the following:

  • Driver’s license issued by any state (even if expired);
  • ID card issued by NH DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles);
  • U.S. Armed Services ID card;
  • U.S. Passport (even if expired);
  • Valid photo ID card issued by either the federal government or a state, county or municipal government;
  • Valid student ID card
  • Other photo ID deemed legitimate by the supervisors of the checklist, the moderator, or the clerk; or
  • Verification of identity by a supervisor of the checklist, the moderator or the clerk.


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Politicians Speak out for Voter ID Bill

Three local politicians recently spoke out regarding Senate Bill 318, which pertains to the highly controversial voter identification standards in the state. The three were Republican Candidate for Governor Ovide Lamontagne, Republican Candidate for Governor Kevin Smith, and Republican Senator Sharon Carson.

Governor Lynch Vetoed the bill earlier this month.  At that time he said “We need to encourage all New Hampshire citizens to vote and to participate fully in our democracy. We also need to ensure that our election laws do not unfairly burden those voters that have recently established a domicile in New Hampshire and are qualified to vote in this state. ” With those words, he vetoed HB 1566 in 2006 because that legislation tied the constitutional right to vote to the registration of a voter’s motor vehicle in New Hampshire and thereby disenfranchised New Hampshire voters.

At the time of his veto he went on to say that SB 318 was a different bill but the end results were the same. It would disenfranchise eligible voters in New Hampshire.

“The right to participate in the electoral process is fundamental and must be protected,” said Ovide. “The bill will enhance confidence in our electoral process and make certain only those citizens who are eligible to vote are doing so, while ensuring that no rightful voter is turned away from the polls on Election Day.”

He continued, stating, “I commend Senator Prescott and Representative Bates for their hard work on crafting a bill that properly addresses these important issues. Voter ID laws are constitutional and broadly supported by the public.  It is about time New Hampshire took this important step to protect the integrity of our elections.”

Smith echoed Ovide’s thoughts. “Requiring voters to present photo identification is a common sense thing to do. If we can require someone to show photo ID when applying for a library card, then certainly it makes sense to do so to protect the integrity of our elections,” he stated.

Carson also agreed with the Governor candidates. “The purpose of SB 318 is simple and straight forward: We want to make sure those individuals who want to participate in an election are properly registered to vote.  As the home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, New Hampshire should have clear standards like the ones SB 318 provides concerning who is and who is not qualified to vote in our state.”


Senator Reinforces Need for Voter ID After Fraud Allegations

State Senator Sharon Carson

Reports of alleged voter fraud from Tuesday’s primary election that are making front page headlines across the state has a senator reinforcing the need for voters to show identification. Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, has filed a Voter ID bill that will be in front of the Public and Municipal Affairs Committee in the near future.

Carson said, “Video showing just how easy it is to attempt voter fraud here in New Hampshire is very troubling, particularly when it becomes public just one day after our first-in-the-nation primary, an event Granite Staters take tremendous pride in. I felt strongly about requiring voters to produce identification before this story broke and believe in it even more so now. I am sponsoring SB318 to help ensure that one of our most cherished rights as Americans is protected.”

She added, “What happened at polling places in Manchester and Nashua underscores the need for more oversight regarding the voting process. Requiring voters to show an ID before taking a ballot is reasonable and that’s why I filed SB 318. If we’re required to produce identification before boarding a plane, proving who we say we are when we go to vote should reach that standard as well. This issue is one of our top priorities for the 2012 session.”