2020 Dems back repeal of controversial New Hampshire voting law

2020 Dems back repeal of controversial New Hampshire voting law
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopefuls are lining up behind a push by Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThis week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Open Skies withdrawal throws nuclear treaty into question GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill MORE (D-N.H.) to oppose a New Hampshire law that would require college students be permanent residents to vote.

Shaheen sent a letter on Monday asking 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls to sign a petition opposing the law, which will go into effect in July. It requires out-of-state residents like college students to pay to obtain a state driver’s license and register their cars within 60 days of casting a ballot.

Several 2020 candidates quickly backed Shaheen's effort to build opposition to the state law, which is being challenged in court, arguing it limits who can participate in the crucial early primary that will help shape the crowded Democratic field.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (D-Calif.) said on Monday that the New Hampshire law, signed by Gov. Chris Sununu (R) last year, "is intended to disenfranchise college students from."

"The New Hampshire voter suppression law is intended to disenfranchise college students from exercising their right to vote," Harris said in a tweet.

 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senators ask DeVos to adjust FAFSA form due to the coronavirus pandemic Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff MORE (D-N.J.), another 2020 candidate, added that protecting a student's "right to vote is paramount."

 

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharPolice killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick Cortez Masto says she's not interested in being Biden VP Voting rights, public health officials roll out guidelines to protect voters from COVID-19 MORE (D-Minn.), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report O'Rourke on Texas reopening: 'Dangerous, dumb and weak' Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) are also throwing their support behind Shaheen, who formerly served as governor of New Hampshire.

O'Rourke called the state law "wrong" and "must be overturned," while Gillibrand said she is supporting "efforts to amend and repeal this bill."

 

The New Hampshire House passed a bill last month to reverse the new requirements. It still needs to pass the state Senate, which held a hearing on the proposal earlier this month, before it would be sent to Sununu.

"The last time I checked people don’t want to give up their freedom to vote. We could make it even easier if we passed my bill to register every eligible young person when they turn 18!" Klobuchar added.

Currently, New Hampshire law requires that registered voters only prove "domicile" rather than permanent residency. But Republicans have stewed over the state's voter registration laws for years.

Trump, who lost the state to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTop Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP Longtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick How Obama just endorsed Trump MORE, has claimed that "thousands" of people were brought into the state from Massachusetts to vote in 2016.

"If you look at what happened in New Hampshire, where thousands of people came up and voted from a very liberal part of Massachusetts and they came up in buses and they voted," Trump told The Daily Caller last year.

A months-long investigation by New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a Democrat elected to his post by the Republican-led legislature, and the state's Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (D-Mass.), who is running for the party's nomination, called the New Hampshire law "wrong."


Shaheen, in her letter, argued that the new requirements amount to a "poll tax" that is trying to "subvert voting rights."

"They are being disenfranchised by photo ID requirements, arbitrary challenges to residency, and unfounded allegations of fraud. This new law, by effectively creating a poll tax on college students, is just the latest attempt to undermine Americans’ constitutionally-protected right to vote," Shaheen wrote in the letter to the party's presidential contenders.