WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, July 2, the New Hampshire Supreme Court struck down the state’s proof of domicile law, Senate Bill 3. The opinion affirmed the lower court’s decision that the law violated the state constitution by imposing “unreasonable burdens on the right to vote.” The decision is a win particularly for young, low-income and minority voters or those who have recently moved in the state — groups that are less likely to have adequate documentation for strict residency requirements.
S.B. 3, enacted in 2017, amended New Hampshire’s voter registration laws to require proof of residency — a requirement that did not previously exist. Specifically, the law required all individuals registering to vote to submit eligible evidence of a “verifiable act of domicile,” eliminated the option to submit an affidavit establishing domicile and imposed criminal penalties on those who register within 30 days of an election without proof of domicile if they fail to later present valid documentation. The New Hampshire Supreme Court’s ruling invalidates the entire law.