Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Elias, ACLU Wage Lawfare Battles to Thwart New Hampshire’s Voter ID Requirement

'The government should not know who you cast your ballot for in a state election...'

(, The Center Square) Leftist lawfare operatives have filed suits challenging a new law signed by New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu that creates a specific kind of “affidavit ballot” for voters who lack the required identification.

The law that requires people who are registering to vote in New Hampshire for the first time on Election Day to provide proof of identification within seven days of casting a ballot

One lawsuit was filed on Friday by the Washington, D.C.-based Elias Law Group, just hours after Sununu put his signature on the new legislation.

Election-integrity opponents maintain that the changes will be “significant” and have “broad, negative impacts on the voting rights of entirely lawful, eligible New Hampshire voters.”

“Many new registrants will be forced to cast an affidavit ballot and may have their affidavit ballot nullified by the Secretary of State and even become the subject of a criminal investigation, all for the ‘crime’ of not having or presenting a specific form of identification,” the lawyers—led by Democrat mega-lawyer and Steele Dossier architect Marc Elias—wrote in a 46-page complaint.

Another lawsuit, filed on Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, claimed the new law is unconstitutional because it would “diminish ballot secrecy and create an avenue to tie names to ballots, which is unacceptable.”

“The government should not know who you cast your ballot for in a state election,” Henry Klementowicz, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said in a statement. “Voting is one of the most important democratic things a person can do, and they deserve to do so privately and secretly.”

New Hampshire is one of a handful of states that don’t use provisional ballots, which are required under federal law.

The state received a waiver from the federal requirement in the 1990s in exchange for offering same-day voter registration. Under the previous law, voters could sign an affidavit attesting their identity if they were missing required documents.

Republicans who backed the creation of the new affidavit ballots said the intent was to prevent vote fraud and instill more confidence in the state’s election system.

State Rep. Ross Berry, R-Manchester, the bill’s primary sponsor, said the new law will “increase voter turnout and give people a system they can have faith in.”

“The problem with our elections is that New Hampshire voters are rapidly losing confidence in them,” Berry said in a statement. “There is absolutely nothing required of you to vote.”

Democrats opposed the changes, claiming that they were unnecessary because fraud is nonexistent in New Hampshire. They accused Republicans of attempting to suppress voters by setting ID requirements.

Last year, New Hampshire’s Supreme Court struck down a four-year-old law requiring voters to show additional proof of identity if they register shortly before an election.

In the ruling, the justices wrote that they agreed with the lower court rulings that the law “imposes unreasonable burdens on the right to vote” and that lawyers for the state failed to demonstrate that the law was related to an “important governmental objective.”

The law required voters to show additional proof of identification if they registered within 30 days of a federal, state or local election.

Democrats passed a law repealing the changes in 2019, when they had control of the Legislature, but Sununu vetoed it.

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