New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have required voters to present a government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot.


"The right to vote is a fundamental right that is guaranteed to all citizens of this State under the United States and New Hampshire Constitutions," he said. "Our election laws must be designed to encourage and facilitate voting by all eligible voters in New Hampshire."

Lynch would have supported the legislation, but it restricted acceptable IDs to driver's licenses, non-driver's ID cards, U.S. armed services cards, and U.S. passports. Student IDs and other forms of IDs issued by state, county and municipal governments would not be accepted after the November elections.

The bill "would put into place a photo identification system that is far more restrictive than necessary," the governor said.

Georgia, Indiana, Virginia, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have all passed laws requiring voters to present a government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. The voter ID laws have recently come under fire from civil rights groups and Democrats, who claim the laws make it harder for poor and minority voters to cast a ballot.

Lynch also vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would require people registering to vote to sign a statement claiming they declare New Hampshire to be their domicile.

"This provision is overly broad and will effectively require resident seniors, as well as retirees and young persons coming from out of state, to register a car and apply for a New Hampshire license in order to vote," he explained. "There is no compelling state interest for this requirement."

[Image via Darby Duffin]