The New Hampshire Superior Court on Monday issued an injunction against a 2017 law that made same-day voter registration more difficult.
The court tossed SB 3, which placed stringent proof of residency requirements on voters hoping to register on the same day they cast a ballot. The court ruled that SB 3 placed unconstitutional burdens on the right to vote, especially on college kids and the poor, who typically swing Democratic.
Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown said in his ruling:
“Given the extraordinarily low rate of documented voter fraud in this state, it is far more likely that more legitimate voters will be dissuaded from voting than illegitimate voters will be prevented.”
Under the law, voters had to obtain physical proof of residence, instead of verbally affirming their information under penalty of perjury, as was the process before the law was enacted last year.
Brown also railed against the confusing nature of the forms required by the law and the length of time it would take to fill them out, thus creating severe delays on election day.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly took to Twitter to announce the court’s decision.
“I’m pleased that the New Hampshire Superior Court has issued an injunction against SB 3, which made voting more confusing for many eligible voters. We need a governor who will protect our right to vote, not put barriers in place to this fundamental right. As governor, I’ll repeal SB 3 and HB 1264 and expand access to voting. Voters are ready to replace Chris Sununu in November.”
I’m pleased that the New Hampshire Superior Court has issued an injunction against SB 3, which made voting more confusing for many eligible voters. As governor, I’ll repeal SB 3 and HB 1264 and expand access to voting. My full statement here: pic.twitter.com/hBvM6ZWrCU
— Molly Kelly (@NHMollyKelly) October 22, 2018
The American Civil Liberties Union also lauded the injunction, which the organization dubbed a “big deal.”
This is a big deal.
In a victory for NH voting rights, court halts SB3, one of NH's recent voter suppression laws.
ACLU-NH statement here: https://t.co/WXYyKcRR99
— ACLU of New Hampshire (@ACLU_NH) October 22, 2018
In a statement, the ACLU broke down the ruling:
“The Superior Court found that the new forms imposed by SB 3 were confusing and lengthy and could potentially contribute to significantly longer lines at some polling places. The Court also found that some populations, such as the homeless, would be disproportionately burdened by the law. Finally, the Court found that the law was not supported by the State’s claimed interests of combatting voter fraud or increasing voter confidence.”
The New Hampshire Democratic Party also commented on the court’s ruling.
— NH Democratic Party (@NHDems) October 22, 2018
“This injunction is a win for all eligible voters and sends a clear message that voter suppression tactics will not be tolerated in New Hampshire,” said state party chair Ray Buckley. “Every qualified voter should be permitted to vote without unnecessary burdens imposed upon them. Now, let’s work together to make our voices are heard on November 6th and to ensure no such bill is a viable option in New Hampshire ever again.”
.@NHDems attorney Bill Christie tells @WMUR9 – “We are very pleased with the Court’s order enjoining SB 3 in its entirety. The order sends a strong message that voter suppression tactics will not be tolerated in New Hampshire.” #nhpolitics #WMUR https://t.co/CC3Zayk5rf
— John DiStaso (@jdistaso) October 22, 2018
Liberal activists working to elect Democrats and protect the right to vote are ecstatic.
BREAKING: In a major victory for student voting rights, New Hampshire court strikes down restrictive voter registration law aimed at college students: Congrats to @prioritiesUSA and the @PerkinsCoieLLP team.
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) October 22, 2018
Good job all the way around! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— PeppermintPatty🔆 (@Peppermint_18) October 22, 2018
— LaBlue (@LaBlue3D) October 22, 2018
Statement of New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley on the Hillsborough Superior Court Injunction of SB 3: https://t.co/BMs9TJhE0t
A win for Democrats! 😎✊️💪
— Blindguy Resists! (@SmithBlindlib5) October 22, 2018
People are well aware of what’s at stake.