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Judge bars New Hampshire proof of residency requirement for new voters

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A New Hampshire judge on Monday put on hold a law requiring some voters to present proof of residency when they register, saying it would lengthen lines at polling places and make it difficult for students, disabled voters and others to cast ballots.

The temporary injunction against the Republican-backed law comes two weeks before U.S. Congressional elections that will determine whether opposition Democrats or U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republicans retain full control of the federal government’s legislative branch.

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The measure, which passed largely along party lines and went into effect last year, required those seeking to register within 30 days of an election to present documents proving that they live in the area where they intend to vote. Without such proof, they must agree to either send it in within 10 days or the state will seek to verify their domicile.

The law does not require proof of address when voting.

“Where the law threatens to disenfranchise an individual’s right to vote, the only viable remedy is to enjoin its enforcement,” Presiding Justice Kenneth C. Brown wrote in his decision for the Hillsborough Superior Court Northern District in Manchester.

He added that the registration form is too complicated for many people to understand.

The legislation is the subject of a lawsuit filed by League of Women Voters of New Hampshire and other groups, who said it would disenfranchise numerous groups including students, the disabled and homeless voters. The measure will be put on hold while the merits of the case are decided.

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New Hampshire Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, a Democrat, welcomed the ruling.

“This law undermines our state’s reputation for holding free and fair elections, and it hurts our democracy,” she said in a statement.

New Hampshire Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards said through a spokeswoman on Monday that the state was reviewing the court order and would soon communicate its next steps. She did not say whether that would include appealing the injunction.

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Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Editing by Richard Chang


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2020 Election

Buttigieg blasts Trump ally: ‘I’m not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh’

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg responded to two top Trump allies’ anti-gay hate this week by proudly defending his husband and his marriage.

“I’m not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh or anybody who supports Donald J. Trump as the moral as well as the political leader of the United States,” the former South Bend, Indiana mayor told Fox News Sunday, after laughing them off.

“I am in a faithful, loving, committed marriage. I’m proud of my marriage. And I’m proud of my husband,” Buttigieg declared. “America has moved on and we should have a politics of belonging, that welcomes everybody – that’s what the American people are for.”

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Activism

C-SPAN caller scorched by Muslim comedian for ignoring Jesus after she rants ‘gays are abomination to God’

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Comedian Dean Obeidallah, who is Muslim, told a C-SPAN caller that Republicans are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ even though they may oppose abortion and other policies advocated by evangelicals.

"I am independent," Pam, who called from Arkansas, told Obeidallah. "I vote according to my conscience of who would Jesus vote for if he were here on Earth. And he would not vote a group of people who believe in murdering children in the womb, on gays, which is an abomination to God, on false gods from other countries."

Obeidallah replied with a lesson on the Christian savior.

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Trump belatedly snarls at media for reporting a portion of his wall fell over — two weeks after it happened

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On what must be a slow news day for President Donald Trump, he took to Twitter on Sunday morning to attack the press for reporting that a portion of his wall on the southern border toppled over two weeks ago -- and then blamed the collapse on "soaking wet" concrete and high winds.

Falling back on his stand-by "Fake News," the president tweeted: "Last week the Fake News said that a section of our powerful, under construction, Southern Border Wall 'fell over', trying to make it sound terrible, except the reason was that the concrete foundation was just poured & soaking wet when big winds kicked in. Quickly fixed 'forever'."

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