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War on Voting: New Hampshire Goes Over to the Dark Side, Michigan Next

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Voting booths
voting booths in New Hampshire
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

State legislatures may be taking off for the summer, but the GOP's war on voting goes on.

This afternoon, the New Hampshire Legislature successfully overrode Gov. John Lynch's veto of a voter ID law requiring voters to present driver’s licenses, state-issued non-driver’s identification cards, passports or military IDs before casting a ballot, though it doesn't come fully into force until after the November election.

In Michigan, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder looks likely any day now to sign a bill requiring volunteers to attend state-approved training sessions before they can register voters. What's wrong with that? The bill makes no provision for training sessions! Not only that, but volunteers have to have to sign an affidavit making them liable for registration offenses – offenses that aren’t specified! The bill is basically a copy a Florida law, parts of which a federal judge shot down in May, saying they had "no purpose other than to discourage" voting.

As we've reported here, since 2011 more than a dozen states have through legislation or executive actions enacted measures that making it harder for people to vote. That most of the people affected by the measures are Democratic voters, like students, minorities, the poor, isn't accidental. As Bill Clinton put it in a speech to students last year:

"One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. Why is all of this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate" – a reference to the dominance of the Tea Party last year, compared to the millions of students and minorities who turned out for Obama. "There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today."

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