Politics/Political Process

CITIZEN VOICES®

Residency requirement for student votes?

Jan 29, 2018

HB 1543, proposed for consideration in the 2018 legislative session by Rep. Brian Stone (R-Northwood), requires out-of-state college students to provide proof that they are domiciled in New Hampshire—such as a vehicle registration or drivers’ license—before they are permitted to vote. Read more about this issue

Do you support a bill that requires out-of-state college students to prove they are domiciled in New Hampshire before they are allowed to vote?

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page December 27, 2017

257 citizens responded171 citizens were in favor of additional proof of domicile for student vote36 citizens were opposed to additional proof of domicile for student vote50 citizens said other

What Participants Said

Yes: 171 citizens were in favor of requiring out-of-state college students to prove they are domiciled in New Hampshire before being allowed to vote.

  • “Yes. To vote in a state you should be a resident. To be a resident you need to change your ID, registrations, tax information, etc. If students don't want to change all of that, then they should vote by absentee ballot in their home state.”
  • “Yes.  If all that's needed is a student ID, then what's to prevent students from also voting in their home state if that is still their legal residence?”
  • “Yes. They are not residents just because they go to school here.  And most of them have no intention of making NH their home after they graduate.”

No: 36 citizens were opposed to requiring out-of-state college students to prove they are domiciled in New Hampshire before being allowed to vote.

  • “HB 1543 is voter suppression, pure and simple, and probably unconstitutional. True patriots and supporters of democracy should encourage voting and other forms of civic engagement, not try to suppress it.”
  • “No. Vote where you live, not where your parents do.”
  • “This bill imposes a poll tax on students who choose to get their college degrees in our state.  We should be looking at ways to encourage them to stay after graduation… requiring them to pay to vote is not investing in our state’s future but [is] discouraging them from participating in our state.”
     

Other: 50 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
Most of these individuals advocated for stricter rules for voting by out-of-state students than those proposed in HB 1543:

  • “Out of state students should vote in their own state. Period.”
  • “If they are out of state students they shouldn't be voting in NH at all. Who gives a rats tail where they are domiciled? They should be voting absentee in their own state.”
  • “They may be domiciled here for 4 years but they do not live here...they should vote by absentee in their home states....how do we know they do not do both?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

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Related Bill

HB 1543 (2018)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Jan 25, 2018

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