Election Officials Falsely Tell New Hampshire Voters They Need ID To Vote

New Hampshire gave its new voter ID law a test run in the state’s primary Tuesday, and the results were less than reassuring.

The law, which was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature in June over Gov. John Lynch’s (D) veto, was set to be phased-in in three stages. First, voters in this week’s primary would be asked for, but not required to have, ID before voting. Second, in the November general election, those who don’t have a voter ID will be required to sign an affidavit swearing their identity before voting. Third, beginning next year, voters who don’t bring ID to the polls will not be permitted to vote.

However, in precincts around the state on Primary Day, there was widespread confusion among election officials about what was required from voters to cast a ballot. The Concord Monitor has more:

Ken Ward, a Democrat from Rollinsford running for the House, said election officials told him incorrectly he couldn’t vote without an ID yesterday morning. “I had one in my pocket, but I knew I didn’t have to produce it,” said Ward, 50.

Ward said more than half the officials knew him. Eventually, they told him to sign an affidavit, even though affidavits aren’t required yet, he said. Ward assented and said he doesn’t plan to file formal complaints.

The League of Women Voters and the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action said similar circumstances, in which officials presented misleading information, occurred throughout the state.

Voters without identification were turned away from two wards in Manchester, the groups said.

In addition, Granite State Progress sent over the following pictures, where signs incorrectly told citizens that voter ID would be required to vote:

Photo from Barrington, NH

Photo from Newmarket, NH

If this many problems occurred in a low-turnout primary, it doesn’t portend well for what’s expected to be a high-turnout election in November.