NH Judge Rules Against Voter Intimidation on State Voter Registration Form

This week, in a victory for voting rights, Strafford County Superior Court Judge Brian Tucker struck down a 2012 New Hampshire law that added unnecessarily confusing language to the state’s voter registration form, requiring people to declare legal residence in order to register. The form read, “In declaring New Hampshire as my domicile, I am subject to the laws of the state of New Hampshire which apply to all residents, including laws requiring a driver to register a motor vehicle and apply for a New Hampshire’s driver’s license within 60 days of becoming a resident.” This language failed to distinguish properly between domicile and residence, intimidating possible New Hampshire voters, especially college students, thereby preventing them from registering in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union filed a petition on behalf of four out-of-state college students and the New Hampshire League of Women Voters against New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner in 2012, arguing that this language violated both the state and federal constitutions. Applying a strict scrutiny analysis, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the language was “a confusing and unreasonable description of the law,” and “unduly restrictive,” to voters in New Hampshire. The language on the registration form incorrectly implied that residency and domicile are the same, and Judge Tucker in his order explained that a reasonable person would imply from the language that in registering to vote in New Hampshire she would also have to change her car registration or obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license. The Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) has been combatting this prohibitive voter registration language since it was introduced in legislation in 2012,...

Announcing Vote Pledge 2014!

You may have noticed we’ve been using #votepledge2014 a lot on Twitter lately. Here’s the story: We’re gearing up for the midterm elections here at Campus Vote Project, and started an action to get students excited and motivated to vote in the midterm elections. It’s calledVoter Pledge 2014 and we need you to get involved! We’re asking student voters and advocates to make a pledge to participate in the midterm elections, and share their pledges with us! We’re collecting these pledges and photos and creating a mural of the promises our supporters make. Your pledge can be anything, here are just some examples: •Pledging to register to vote •Pledging to hold a registration drive on campus •Pledging to vote for a particular issue, or; •Pledging to help educate other students about their voting rights. Remember, this pledge doesn’t have to be limited to you as an individual, you – start a GOTV event on campus and collect students’ pledges, or use this  action to start a discussion among friends or colleagues about why you are voting in the 2014 election. You can see pledges that have already been made via #votepledge2014 on Twitter.  Drop-off rates are particularly pronounced among young voters. Off-year elections are critical, and the representatives elected in November will be working on issues such as student loan debt and immigration, which have considerable impact on Millenials. It’s essential to get out and vote, and to show your representatives what issues you care about. To participate in our pledge campaign, download the pledge sheet and tweet a picture of your pledge to @campusvoteusing #votepledge2014. You can also tweet us your pledge and we’ll write it down on a pledge card for...