UPDATE: On June 17, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed Senate Bill 418 into law.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On May 12, the New Hampshire Senate approved Senate Bill 418, a bill that could result in some votes being discarded after Election Day. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who has expressed reservations about the legislation but has not committed to vetoing it.
S.B. 418 requires Election Day registrants who lack a valid photo ID to vote on a separate affidavit ballot. After the election, these voters would have seven days to mail documentation establishing their identity to the secretary of state in order for their votes to be counted. If voters fail to do so, their votes will be discarded from the official election results.
Critics contend the bill will introduce confusion and uncertainty into New Hampshire’s elections and delay election results, potentially jeopardizing New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. “There’s the potential for us announcing results on election night, and then 10 days later, depending on who’s returned information, changing the results,” said Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy (D). The bill may also be unconstitutional, as it is similar to a previous law invalidated by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in 2021.