New voter law in effect for first time


LACONIA — Representatives from the state Attorney General's office were in local polling places Tuesday to answer any questions about a new law affecting newly registered voters.

A New Hampshire judge allowed the law to go into effect Tuesday, but blocked the law's potential penalties of a $5,000 fine and a year in jail for fraud.

Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards and City Manager Scott Myers said there were no reports of problems at polling places Tuesday. Residents were casting ballots in a special election to select a new state representative and were deciding three City Council primary races.

Under the law, people who have registered to vote within 30 days of an election or on the same day as an election must provide proof of their domicile. If they don't have this proof, they could still provide it later. An investigation could ultimately be triggered if proof wasn't provided.

Edwards said the state has had a separate voter identification law for several years.

She said there have been only isolated cases in which people have been prosecuted for breaking election voting laws, and that she knows of no organized attempt to ever throw a New Hampshire election through fraud.

Edwards also said her office has investigated reports in the past of out-of-state buses being used to carry voters to polls.

The concern was that the people were coming from out of state to vote, but Edwards said in all such cases, the people were New Hampshire residents and the buses happened to have out-of-state license plates.