To the Editor:
The U.S. Constitution’s 15th Amendment guarantees all citizens the right to vote. But until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, literacy tests suppressed voting in many states.
Many hurdles for pandemic-wary New Hampshire voters promise novel forms of voter suppression.
Hooray! The Governor and Secretary of State say anyone can vote absentee—just claim a disability (fear of Coronavirus).
What about those hurdles?
New Hampshire is the only state without registration by mail or online.
The only way to register to vote is in-person at your Town Office…
…which is probably closed.
If applying (by phone, mail, email) to vote absentee, be sure to ask for two or three ballots—separate ballots—required for town elections (if yours hasn’t yet occurred), for September primaries and the November general election.
Be sure to check off: “I am unable to vote in person due to a disability.”
Sign your form!
Directions for registration and voting vary from town to town—lacking guidance from the Secretary of State to town election officials.
Cross your fingers that your town can afford additional costs for processing a mail deluge—printing, postage, envelopes, extra personnel! Your town never budgeted for these.
Cross your fingers the U.S. Postal Service is operational. Funding runs out in June.
The Secretary of State could use $15 million in HAVA (Help America Vote Again) Funds to mail absentee ballots with return postage to all registered voters, to set up online registration, and help towns with the many new costs for distance and in-person voting.
Time for our occasional reminder: to defeat pernicious Republican policies, it’s necessary to win elections by a sufficient margin to overcome Republican voter suppression.