As a person who enjoys doing the absolute bare minimum, imagine my delight when I found that a Keene lawmaker wants to make it as easy as humanly possible to vote. Representative William A. Pearson is the primary sponsor of House Bill 1772, which would allow people to register to vote online.
The Keene Sentinel reported that 37 states and the District of Columbia have implemented online registration since 2002, and Pearson said that those states see a higher voter turnout and decreased costs for elections. “For me, this is commonsense election law reform that New Hampshire probably should have done years ago,” he said.
Pearson also told The Sentinel that New Hampshire already has a pretty good track record in terms of participation, which he hopes to preserve through HB 1772. “We consistently see some of the highest voter turnout in the country, and we have a unique tradition of being really politically engaged in the state,” he said.
Similar bills have been introduced the past two years by Senator Bette Lasky of Nashua, but both were shot down in the Senate. Pearson, however, still remains optimistic that some form of online voting will be implemented soon, pointing out that the majority of voters he’s spoken with support HB 1772.
It comes at a miraculously convenient time — New Hampshire has been accused of illegally busing thousands of people here to cast their votes, and although there’s exactly no evidence of that happening, a lot of bills have been aimed at preventing this non-existent voter fraud by limiting voters’ rights. “It really is astonishing that New Hampshire manages to maintain such high voter turnout,” Pearson told the Sentinel. “I’m skeptical we’ll stay in that top bracket unless we start doing some changes that at least many of the other states have already implemented.”
I don’t think I need to stress how important it is to vote, but just in case: it’s really, really important to vote and make your voice heard, even on a smaller scale than presidential elections. Thankfully, HB 1772 makes it very easy to register.
“But I don’t want to vote,” you say. “There’s no point!”
This is where you’re wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a worse statement in my life, actually. Unless it will somehow actually kill you to register, HB 1772 would make it possible to register without getting out of bed and changing into your pair of ‘going out’ sweatpants, which I think is incredible.
It gets even better than this: once you’ve hypothetically registered online, Keene State College has shuttles to take you straight to the polls on election day. It’s like my mildest fantasies are coming true (not wildest, this is pretty awesome but let’s not get carried away).
I know that registering can be a pain: as a creature of procrastination, registering to vote gets filed under “I’ll get around to that later.” You know deep down inside that you should definitely do it, but at the same time it’s something that’s so easy to put off. HB 1772 would give you the power to register whenever it’s convenient for you, and all you need to do is put in minimal effort. It’s awesome.
Izzy Manzo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org