O’Brien Defends Voter ID Bill in House, On the Same Day it was Discouraging Voters in Election

Poll Sign: ‘Per pending legislation you will be required to produce a photo ID in order to receive a ballot’

Concord, NH – On the same day House Republican Speaker Bill O’Brien was defending SB129, a voter ID bill, in a hearing of the House Finance Committee, a sign demanding voters show photo identification before voting was discouraging voters from entering the polls in a special election.  The election is talking place to replace Robert Mead, a Republican State Representative who resigned earlier this year.

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.”

“This abhorrent attempt by House Republicans to prevent New Hampshire citizens from voting needs stop immediately,” continued Kirstein.  “Not only is this bill a disgrace for the state that hosts the first presidential primary election every four years, but it is at odds with the core principles of our American Democracy.”

Here is a link to a photo of the sign: https://docs.google.com/leaf?i…


(Posted by Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.)

15 Responses to O’Brien Defends Voter ID Bill in House, On the Same Day it was Discouraging Voters in Election

  1. Lucy Edwards May 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    They posted this because of a PENDING BILL?!  This is completely illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, unethical and someone needs to go to jail for interfering with the right to vote.  

  2. cblodg May 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    contacts the Secretary of State’s office over this.  As Lucy said, this is completely unconstitutional and I do believe a federal offense for interfering with someone’s right to vote.

    Question though, what form of ID would they have to produce?  A driver’s license?

    • JonnyBBad May 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm #
    • Kathy Sullivan 2 May 18, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      To Bill O’Brien, the Governor’s veto is an intrusion on legislative authority, the New Hampshire Constitution is a minor irritant, and the need to actually pass a bill and have it signed into law is an insignificant formality that can be ignored.


  3. Chaz Proulx May 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    The AG can investigate along with the Sec of States office.

    You don’t have to live in the district to file a criminal complaint with the AG.

    Anyone can do it.

    Someone in New Boston should be very nervous today–but of course our NH right wing is made up of people too stupid to be nervous over violating the Constitution

  4. Douglas E. Lindner May 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    It would be ironic, if voter suppression weren’t the reason they’re doing this in the first place.

  5. Mike Hoefer May 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Would be nice to see who posted this.

  6. JonnyBBad May 18, 2011 at 12:38 am #
    • JonnyBBad May 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      Of course , of course. Email comes and tells me that it was he was who got the AG to take the sign down.

      ..now will there be an investigation of law breaking voter suppression tactics in New Boston?  

  7. calvin May 18, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    The sign doesn’t even conform to any of the pending legislation. Apparently, the Town Clerk decided that an actual law wasn’t necessary. Just start voter suppression now.

    This was brought up during today’s hearing by the the House Finance Committee on the photo ID bill (SB129). Most of the Committee just shrugged it off.  They really didn’t see anything wrong with a few people being turned away.

  8. hannah May 18, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    in our criminal jurisprudence, nor is it the starting point for a trial.  “Innocent until proven guilty” is part and parcel of the commitment to the proposition that ALL individual behavior is presumed to be good until and unless it is demonstrated to be injurious to someone else. In other words, a person is presumed to be honest and honorable in his/her behavior.  Our word is our bond.
    Conservatives prefer to negate this principle and to presume that humans are evil, unless they demonstrate themselves to be good (obedient) by jumping through the requisite hoops. It all depends on one’s preconceived notions.
    The Constitution is not in tune with conservative prejudice, especially now that the anomaly of slavery has been corrected.

  9. elwood May 18, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    It’s the SECOND sentence on the sign that’s the real problem:

    “Please have your photo ID ready before you approach the ballot clerk.”

    That clearly says the rule is in effect NOW.

    This appears to be a violation of federal civil rights law.


  10. Putney Swope May 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    This is a start, not an end to this scandal. Hopefully it will picked up by other news media.

    Landrigan: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com

    Pindell: http://politicalscoop.wmur.com

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