I have always been skeptical of any bill trying to limit votes. From Voter IDs to reclassification of domicile, I have always seen far more consequences than benefits.
However, when a state representative explained to me the Voter ID bill that the New Hampshire House was working on, I was apt to support it because it provided said IDs for free and at city clerk offices.
That being said, the new bill trying to reclassify domicile as “legal residence,” instead of where one spends the majority of their time, is a clear and blatant attack on student votes in New Hampshire.
The bill, which passed the House in overwhelming fashion last week, would say people can only vote in their “legal residences.” On the surface this bill seems like a simple reclassification, but when really thought about from all sides, the consequences are severe.
Many students, including myself, are claimed as dependents by their parents in order to receive tax credits for having a child. This means that our official “legal residence” is wherever our parents live. However, and this was a supported theory last year when the bill came up, voters have a constitutional right here in New Hampshire to vote wherever they live over 50 percent of the year.
Supporters of this bill will simply say that voters should just become “legal residents” of their voting area by acquiring a driver’s license, something I have already done.
However what they are overlooking for voters like me, is that the tax and financial incentives our parents receive may be affected by this reclassification and if so, they would be alienating thousands of voters.
If this year, with its budget cuts and “gun rights” bill, has not proved to students that voting on one’s college campus is important, I don’t know what is. If the legislature were to take this vote away, out-of-state college students would have no say over what goes on at their respective campus and essentially have no say over what rules are going to be imposed on their campus.
Instead of discouraging voting, in an age of low voter turnout, we should be doing all we could to encourage that voters get to the polls and make their voices heard.
To take this vote away from students would leave them at the mercy of the legislature and leave them without proper representation.
The fact that cities and towns count college students in their census counts and that affects how many representatives they receive should be proof that college students have a constitutional right to vote in their college towns.
To take this vote away and yet still count students in the population would not only be unethical but unconstitutional. Supporters of this bill should keep this in mind.
My only question to supporters is: What are you afraid of? Instead of limiting votes, your candidates should focus on getting said votes, not taking them away.
Jordan Posner can be contacted at