EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 5, 2012

N.H. will reach out to voters who didn't use photo ID

Secretary of State seeks verification

By John Toole

---- — Some New Hampshire residents have something to look forward to in the mail besides Christmas cards.

The Secretary of State’s Office is hoping to get verification notices out early next month to voters who chose the affidavit option over presenting a photo ID on Election Day.

“We’re still shooting for the first week of January,” Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said yesterday.

That was the state’s first election with the Voter ID law in effect. The primary in September was a dry run. Poll workers advised voters casting ballots then that they would be asked for photo ID when they returned in November.

The office is still awaiting information from cities, including Manchester and Nashua, that had heavy turnout and same-day voter registration, he said.

Voters will receive a postage-paid postcard to respond with their confirmation. They will have 90 days to respond.

Very few voters asked to sign affidavits instead of presenting a photo ID.

“We don’t have an exact number, but it will be less than 1 percent,” Scanlan said. “We’re looking at roughly 7,000 voters.”

More than 700,000 New Hampshire residents cast ballots last month.

If voters fail to respond to the Secretary of State’s Office, they will trigger a state investigation.

The Voter ID law requires the Attorney General’s Office to determine whether fraudulent voting occurred.

The attorney general said earlier the office would assign one investigator to the review.

Town election officials agreed the voter ID process worked well.

“It delayed very slightly the check-in process,” Salem moderator Chris Goodnow said. “But the implementation went very smoothly and there were no problems.”

The Salem town clerk’s office estimated 60 people chose the affidavit option.

Derry Town Clerk Denise Neale said about 80 voters signed affidavits.

There were no problems.

“None at all,” Neale said.

Londonderry Town Clerk Meg Seymour said about 65 voters signed affidavits and there was no trouble with those refusing to present photo IDs.

“Those who didn’t want to present an ID knew the law ahead of time and said, ‘I want to sign the form,’” Seymour said.