Judge seeks more info before acting on lawsuit over New Hampshire voter residency law

By Sarah Downey | The Center Square

U.S. District Judge Joseph Laplante has ordered another hearing on a Republican-backed law that changes the voter-residency qualifications in New Hampshire.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit earlier this year on behalf of two Dartmouth College students who claim the law, HB 1264, unduly burdens them by requiring they get a state driver’s license at a cost of about $50.

In defense of the law, the attorneys for the state argue that HB 1264 is intended to bring New Hampshire’s residency definition in line with that of other states.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court, in a 3-2 vote, has already declared HB 1264 constitutional, with the majority saying it would not create an undue burden on new residents.

During last week’s hearing, Judge Laplante cited unresolved factual questions about how HB 1264 will work when put into practice, and said it would be advisable for the state court to address those issues prior to gauging whether the law is constitutional.

Laplante advised attorneys for the ACLU and the state to file more supporting legal briefs before he decides if the case should be referred to the state Supreme Court.

A story posted by New Hampshire Public Radio quoted Laplante as saying he intends “to issue a decision ‘well before the Primary’ on whether the law’s main provisions will be put on hold.”

The ACLU attorneys told Laplante that the law has caused confusion for municipal clerks regarding what information needs to the supplied to new registered voters.

Arguing for the state, assistant attorney general Anthony Galdieri responded that “’all of the obligations of residency apply’ when someone claims to live in the state, and that obtaining a driver’s license is simply one of them,” according to the NHPR story.

“That isn’t confusing,” he added.

The next hearing before Laplante is scheduled for later this month.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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3 thoughts on “Judge seeks more info before acting on lawsuit over New Hampshire voter residency law

  1. A Dartmouth student complaining about getting a NH driver’s license to vote? Much ado about nothing. If the student is a legal resident in NH, no big deal. More than likely, he or she comes from another state which is their true legal residency. If so, one can’t help but wonder if the individual plans to vote at home as well as NH. Last I heard that was a BIG no, no.

  2. One can’t purchase a magazine for a firearm in NH without a valid NH driver’s license. Who’s going to sue the state over that?

  3. So these two liberal snowflakes can’t afford $50 for a state-issued driver license, so they
    contact ACLU, It just goes to show what people will do for five minutes of fame and these
    clowns will one day be in charge, pretty pathetic………….

    I have two suggestions #1 go ask Daddy for the money, are you are already wasting it, or
    #2 go vote in your home state………Liberals.

    If you want to vote and your not a resident, sucks to be you.

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