Judge suspends voting bill

by Dartmouth Senior Staff | 10/22/18 11:30pm

A New Hampshire judge has issued a preliminary injunction against Senate Bill 3, a 2017 state law that required new voters to present documentation proving that they are domiciled in the area where they intend to vote.

According to Hillsborough Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown, the process of proving voters’ domicile would create long lines at polling stations and unfairly affect certain populations such as students and those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. He further wrote that the law would be more likely to dissuade legitimate voters from voting than prevent illegitimate voters from doing so. Brown also criticized SB3 as being confusing and difficult for the average voter to understand.

Brown ruled that “the burdens imposed by SB3 are unreasonable and discriminatory.”

The law went into effect last year and largely passed along party lines. Prior to the law, individuals could register to vote by signing an affidavit on their residency and following up with documentation later.

The measure will be put on hold while the merits of the court case are decided. Associate attorney general Anne Edwards, who was on the team defending SB3 before the judge, said her office is reviewing the court’s order. A full trial is expected to be held next year.

The ruling comes in favor of the plaintiffs, the League of Women Voters, the New Hampshire Democratic Party and several voters.

A full article will be published in the coming days.

Correction appended (April 16, 2020): A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the preliminary injunction as a primary injunction. The article has been updated to reflect the correct wording.