CONCORD, N.H. — Priorities USA is supporting and funding a lawsuit filed by 603 Forward, Open Democracy Action, and civilian plaintiffs Louise Spencer, Edward R. Friedrich and Jordan M. Thompson against New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan and New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella regarding SB418 – a bill that makes it harder for first-time voters to cast their vote. Governor Sununu signed SB418 into law today.
The bill requires voters who registered on Election Day to first fill out an affidavit ballot which will only be counted if they’re able to collect documents proving their identity and eligibility to vote within seven days of the election.
This bill was signed into law despite no demonstrated evidence of widespread voter fraud in previous statewide elections. The new restrictive requirements in this bill are likely to make voting more confusing, inaccessible and potentially lead to the criminalization of marginalized communities.
“SB418 will shut out an entire swath of voters, who are disproportionately Black, brown, low-income and immigrants, from having a voice in their own communities,” said Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA. “This bill is part of a nationwide effort by right-wing, anti-democratic forces to disenfranchise marginalized communities and entrench power of the wealthy few. Priorities USA has been fighting against these assaults on the right to vote since 2015. Our robust effort to protect voting rights in the courts has secured relief for voters across the country and I am proud that we are taking action to protect the voting rights of Granite Staters.”
“In order for New Hampshire to continue to thrive, young people must have a voice in the future of the Granite State. The restrictions in SB418 will exclude young leaders, including overseas military members, from our democracy. We will continue to fight against these anti-voter, anti-democratic efforts in order to preserve a better future for New Hampshire families,” said Molly Lunn Owen, Executive Director of 603 Forward.
“New Hampshire already has an incredibly secure voter registration and election process. SB418 is a solution in search of a problem, and will infringe on the ability of students, those moving to NH, and our overseas military to cast their votes,” said Olivia Zink, Executive Director of Open Democracy Action.