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March 18, 2013

NH voters adjust to Voter ID Law

Clerks report few problems at polls

Only months after it was implemented with great fanfare, Southern New Hampshire residents have adjusted to the state’s new Voter ID Law, according to election officials.

Last week’s elections saw voters across the state casting their ballots with little difficulty for the second time since the law took effect during the presidential election in November, Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said.

“We haven’t had one call complaining about it or any indication there was a problem,” Scanlan said.

Local town clerks and a town moderator also said they didn’t experience any problems at the polls.

That’s different than in November, when formal implementation of the law coincided with one of the largest voter turnouts for a presidential election in state history.

There were numerous questions, lots of confusion and long lines at the polls as voters were asked to present IDs and many people were registering to vote for the first time.

It followed a test run during the state primary in September, when poll workers explained the new law to voters and told them what to expect in November.

Voters in some communities complained after the primary, including those from Salem, Londonderry and Pelham, according to the League of Women Voters and America Votes, a voter rights advocacy group. The league filed a lawsuit to stop the requirement, contending it discriminated against out-of-state college students who do not have New Hampshire photo IDs.

Legislation is being considered in Concord that would eliminate or amend the law.

Scanlan said late last week he doesn’t expect to receive any last-minute complaints.

“If we haven’t heard from them by now, we probably won’t hear from them,” he said.

The law requires voters to present a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, at the polls. Voters also can instead sign an affidavit attesting to their identity.

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