New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien (R) took to the House floor this morning to defend Senate Bill 129, which would require voters to show photo identification in order to vote. But even before the bill became law, a sign was hanging on the door of a polling station in O’Brien’s own district, demanding that voters show ID before they could vote. The progressive blog Blue Hampshire first reported the placement of the signs, which were hanging outside polling places for the special election to replace state Rep. Robert Mead (R):
Signs posted at the New Boston Elementary School, one of the five polling locations in the district, this morning read, “Per pending legislation you will be required to produce a photo ID in order to receive a ballot.” They were removed at the request of the New Hampshire Attorney General, but not before voters on their way into the polls turned saw them and turned around.
“Law abiding New Hampshire citizens were discouraged from voting this morning as a direct result of Speaker’s O’Brien terrible piece of legislation, SB129,” said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Just moments before O’Brien defended this reckless bill in Concord, voters in his own district were walking away from the polls without having cast a vote.”
ThinkProgress has documented recent efforts by legislators in as many as 22 states, including South Carolina, Florida, and Wisconsin, to disenfranchise voters through voter identification laws and other methods. Republicans often justify these proposals by spreading fear about widespread voter fraud, but voter fraud is, in fact, extremely rare. For instance, in Kentucky, which is holding statewide primary elections today, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that the state’s voting fraud hotline has not received a single call.