Senate

2020 Dems back repeal of controversial New Hampshire voting law

Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopefuls are lining up behind a push by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (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.

{mosads}Sen. Kamala Harris (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 Booker (D-N.J.), another 2020 candidate, added that protecting a student’s “right to vote is paramount.”

 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (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 Clinton, 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 Warren (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.

Tags 2020 Amy Klobuchar Beto O'Rourke college voters Cory Booker Democratic primary Elizabeth Warren Hillary Clinton Jeanne Shaheen Kamala Harris Kirsten Gillibrand New Hampshire state law

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video