“When voter fraud occurs it should be taken very seriously … and we should have the mechanisms to make sure that it doesn’t happen,” said [Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Voting Rights and Elections Project at the Brennan Center for Justice]. “But cases where people are in a position to exploit the system are much more common than some random person pretending to be someone else.” An analysis of election fraud by the journalism studies program News21 found that more than half of all fraud convictions between 2000 and 2012 involved either election officials, campaign workers or voting registration organizations. Just 1 in 207 fraud accusations involved voter impersonation, the only type of fraud that voter ID laws prevent. “If [voter ID advocates] were really concerned about fraud there’s a bunch of other things they could do,” Perez added “Our voting machines are vulnerable. We’re asking people to vote on machines that are the equivalent of old-school flip phones. Our registration rolls are a mess.” ...
For many of...eligible voters, getting a valid ID is not a simple process. “For one, those without a driver’s license don’t have a car,” said Kathleen Unger, president of VoteRiders, a non-profit group that helps voters obtain valid IDs. “So they’re not able to just drive down to the DMV to get a license.” And while states do offer the option of a free voter ID card Unger says, “In many cases there can be a cost associated with getting a ‘free ID’. Obtaining a copy of a birth certificate or a change of name document not only costs money but requires a trip to another agency. With these laws there are so many people who just won’t vote.”
“A lot of students think they’re required to bring an ID when they’re not. They don’t know about being able to sign the affidavit,” [Chelsea Krimme] said. “And about half the out-of-state students I’ve talked to think they can’t vote in New Hampshire, when they can. It’s sad, because are so many important issues right now, from student debt to climate change, that students care about and they want to have a voice.” ...
“In the northern part of the state, it’s not like there’s a DMV on every corner, and there isn’t good public transit for people who don’t drive to be able to go get an ID. I think it’s fair to assume that the trends that exist in other states will show up here, with the poor, the elderly, and those from more rural areas being hit hardest by this voter ID law.” [Gilles Bissonnette, the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire]
The most common form of ID used to vote is a drivers license. Yet the state has only 15 DMVs to serve 1.3 million residents. Some are only open a few days a week and none with weekend or evening hours, making it even more difficult for working New Hampshire voters to obtain an ID. ...
Joan Flood Ashwell, the election law specialist with the non-partisan League of Women Voters of New Hampshire,...said she’s also seen a lot of frustration among elderly people, who may have given up driving and don’t have passports. “When they first implemented the law in 2012, I was monitoring the polls and I saw an older man yelling at the poll worker for demanding an ID from his wife, who had never driven a car,” she said. “They felt humiliated that the town she’d lived in forever wouldn’t just let her vote. And that was before they implemented the Polaroid photo provision. How are they going to feel now?”
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