Gov. Sununu, please end the Election Day insanity and sign House Bill 1264.
For years, out-of-state college students, particularly Democrats from deep-blue states like Massachusetts, registered and voted in New Hampshire—not because it was their home, but because it was the place where their vote would really make a difference.
How much of a difference? At a town hall in Bow, NH, California billionaire and progressive activist Tom Steyer bragged about the impact he’s had on New Hampshire’s elections through his millions in campaign dollars. In 2016 he donated $56 million to his PAC NextGen Climate Action (now NextGen America), part of which made its way to New Hampshire for “Get Out The Vote” efforts on campus.
According to reporting at NHJournal.com, Steyer told the crowd that the increase in voters his group generated at just one college, the University of New Hampshire, was larger than Maggie Hassan’s margin over incumbent GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte. Given Hassan’s victory by 1,017 votes, he’s probably right.
By the way, Gov. Sununu, Steyer has already pledged to spend $1 million in New Hampshire on the 2018 elections, too.
How many of those students would have been casting their votes via absentee ballot in elections back in their actual home state—their “shared community of interest,” as the New Hampshire Supreme Court called it in their ruling—if this new law had been in place? If New Hampshire’s definition of “domicile” meant something, as it does in the other 49 states?
Voting where you reside is one of the hallmarks of a democratic republican form of government. Those who are actually residing in a community are the only ones who deserve to have a voice at the ballot box in the affairs of that community. If you are a New Yorker spending many nights in New Hampshire, you don’t share the same community of interest with people who actually are residents of New Hampshire.
In America, we are citizens of 50 sovereign states, and you have a say in the state that is yours.
Governor, without HB 1264, New Hampshire will remain the “Motel 6” election state – no matter if you are from Boston or Berkeley, the ballot-box version of Tom Bodett will leave the light on for you.
This crazy circumstance arose because domicile was not deemed to be synonymous with residency, or where you lay your head down each night. If you were a Bostonian with a Massachusetts driver’s license attending Motifs of Androgyny classes at Dartmouth, the state’s upside-down law allowed you to vote in New Hampshire.
Thankfully, the state legislature fixed that mistake and recoupled “domicile” and “residency.”
And now your state Supreme Court has greenlighted their legislation. This is good news for every law-abiding New Hampshire voter who just wants their state governed by their neighbors—not college kids from neighboring states.
Residency now has a chance to mean something – and it isn’t hard to prove. All anyone from Rhode Island needs to do if they want to vote in New Hampshire elections is to actually have a real home in New Hampshire. Go get a New Hampshire driver’s license, or register a car if you have one —you know, the things people do when they move to a new state.
There’s been a focus on the question of whether people roll across the border in buses to vote on Election Day. Please, Governor Sununu, don’t let that debate distract you. Even a wall around the Granite State wouldn’t solve the problem of a small state with a relatively large student population that (mistakenly) treats these fine young visitors as though they are residents.
Nobody’s denying anyone the right to vote. People vote via absentee ballot all the time. All this law does is bring New Hampshire into line with the other 49 states by having a voting eligibility requirement that ensures only real New Hampshire citizens are voting in Granite State elections.
Please end the insanity, Gov. Sununu. Sign this bill.