The NH Democrat Party has Dropped their Lawsuit against HB 1264.
Before House Bill (HB) 1264, NH was the only state that allowed voting by residents of other states.
The bill re-defined residency to close the loophole allowing residents of other states to vote here.
Democrats publicized the idea that HB 1264 was a poll tax that required one to get a driver license to vote.
The 2017-2018 Republican majority passed House Bill (HB) 1264 and Gov. Sununu signed it..
Before Sununu signed it, the NH Supreme Court reviewed the bill and ruled that it was constitutional.
Their opinion stated: “The opponents of HB 1264 also claim that it constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax …
The opponents are mistaken when they claim the bill conditions voting on payment of motor vehicle fees or taxes.”
NH Democrat Party and ACLU sued in Federal Court challenging the constitutionality of HB 1264.
They sued on behalf of two Dartmouth College students who are residents of Louisiana and California.
Plaintiffs alleged that a person could be a resident of another state but be domiciled in NH for voting.
District Court Judge LaPlante asked the NH Supreme Court to interpret state laws.
[1.] Are laws such that one with a New Hampshire “domicile” is necessarily a New Hampshire “resident”?
[2.] Is a student who claims a New Hampshire “domicile” necessarily a New Hampshire resident?
[3.] Can an individual with a New Hampshire “domicile” claim residence in any other state for any purpose?
[4.] Does an individual who claims a New Hampshire “domicile” establish “a bona fide residency”?
[5.] Are college students who reside in New Hampshire for more than six months in any year required to obtain New Hampshire drivers’ licenses if they wish to drive in the state and to register in New Hampshire any vehicles they keep in the state?
After hearing arguments, the NH Supreme Court answered questions 1, 2, 4, and 5 in the affirmative.
They considered question 3 to be not “determinative of the cause then pending.”, and declined to answer.
Click here for a copy of the Supreme Court’s answers and rationale therefore.
After reviewing the Supreme Court answers, the Democrat Party and ACLU withdrew the lawsuit.
In announcing that decision they issued this masterpiece of obfuscation, which was reported by WMUR:
“”This technical state law decision does not change the fact that if you live in New Hampshire, you can vote in New Hampshire and does not address the constitutionality of the law.
It is also important to note that you do not need a New Hampshire driver’s license to vote in the state.
We have said since the beginning that driver’s licensing and voting should not be linked, and after this decision, we have come to the decision that it is no longer necessary to pursue this case any further.”
HB 1264 limits voting to residents of the state. it doesn’t require the voter to have NH driver license.
If one becomes a resident by registering to vote, other law obliges them to later get a NH license.
Democrats long promoted a lie that HB 1264 was a poll tax that required having a NH driver license to vote.
They now justify a suit against a constitutional law because the Court answers state what we knew all along.
Of course HB 1264 isn’t a poll tax. But never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Posted by GST Chairman Ray Chadwick