Voter ID law vetoed in New Hampshire

A sign at the entrance of a polling station in East Greenwich, R.I., advises voters that identification is required, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Officials say they're seeing only a trickle of voters in Rhode Island as the state holds its presidential primary. Polling supervisors are seen at a table, behind, as a voter, right, enters the polling place.
AP Photo/Steven Senne
AP Photo/Steven Senne

New Hampshire Democratic Governor John Lynch on Thursday rejected a bill requiring a driver's license to vote, saying it "would put into place a photo identification system that is far more restrictive than necessary."

The bill would have required voters to present one of a range of identifications in the coming November election. In subsequent elections, they would have had to provide a military ID, a driver's license or state-issued non-driver ID. Voters unable to comply would have had to fill out an affidavit.

"The use of this inappropriate affidavit will cause confusion, slow the voting process and may result in the inability of eligible voters to cast their vote," Lynch said.

Supporters of the bill, including New Hampshire House Speaker William O'Brien, said it would have prevented voter fraud.

"We need to protect the integrity of the ballot box and guarantee that the 'one person, one vote' principle is not diluted by dishonest votes," O'Brien said in a statement.

Lynch is the sixth Democratic governor to veto voter ID laws since 2011.

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 16 states have passed laws requiring a photo identification at the polls. Another 16 states have passed laws requiring some form of identification. Mostly Republican state legislators have increasingly taken up voter ID laws over the past two years. Opponents say the laws are unnecessary, since there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and are designed to disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for