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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 ShaheenBipartisan group of senators: The election is over Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 How Congress dismissed women's empowerment 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.

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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisKaty Perry and her 'Firework' close out inauguration TV special Biden's first foreign leader call to be with Canada's Trudeau on Friday Harris now 'the most influential woman' in American politics 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 BookerSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial MORE (D-N.J.), another 2020 candidate, added that protecting a student's "right to vote is paramount."

 

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats swear in three senators to gain majority Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing MORE (D-Minn.), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats torn on impeachment trial timing OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: 12 removed from National Guard inauguration security | Austin backs lifting transgender ban Biden Pentagon pick supports lifting transgender military ban MORE (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBoebert appears to carry gun on Capitol Hill in new ad 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized 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 ClintonBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader Clinton says it meant 'great deal' to hold inauguration weeks after riot 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 WarrenBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Top Senate Democrat backs waiver for Biden Pentagon nominee Consumer bureau director resigns after Biden's inauguration 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.