Out-of-state students may face troubles with voting if New Hampshire is going to pass the outrageous House Bill (HB) 405.

Under HB 405, only students paying in-state tuition would be allowed to vote in New Hampshire. Current state law allows out-of-state students to vote with their on-campus address. This is not fair to students who come from outside of New Hampshire; they live here for the majority of the year and should get a say in how the state is run. It would be unjust to suppress the voice of such students.

According to HB 405, “A student that qualifies for in-state tuition and provides a copy of their tuition bill from their institution of learning may lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes in the New Hampshire town or city in which he or she lives while attending such institution of learning if such student’s claim of domicile meets the requirements of RSA 654:1, I.”

Out-of-state students deserve the same voting rights as students paying in-state tuition.

Rick Green from the Keene Sentinel wrote, “Under present law, college students in New Hampshire may register to vote in the community where they live while attending school. The University System of New Hampshire, which includes Keene State College, generally charges higher tuition for students who come to the state from elsewhere.”

Out-of-state students having to pay higher tuition while also having their voting rights trampled is completely unfair. The House Election Law Committee recommended against the bill, and I couldn’t agree more. Rep. Sandra Panek, a Republican from Pelham, N.H. is a sponsor of the bill and introduced it to the committee on Feb. 7. Panek told the panel of students who come to New Hampshire, “We want to encourage our young people to vote, and this is the time of their life when learning to participate in the election process is foundational and important. At the same time, we also want the elections to be the reflection of those who reside in New Hampshire towns and who ultimately bear the consequences of the election results.”

The out-of-state students living on New Hampshire campuses would be just as affected as those who are already residents. They should get just as much of a voice as those paying in-state tuition.

Rep. Nicholas Germana, a Democrat from Keene and a history professor at Keene State, spoke in opposition to the bill.

“This has become an annual event in terms of the Republicans trying to find a way to disenfranchise college students,” Germana told the Keene Sentinel. “These students are living here usually at least six months of the year, they are contributing to the local economy, they contribute to property taxes through the rent that they pay.”

I am in full agreement with Germana. If out-of-state students are coming here to New Hampshire, contributing to the economy and paying higher tuition than those who live in New Hampshire, then they should absolutely be allowed to vote in New Hampshire elections.

Nico Brazill can be contacted at

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