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Old 07-13-2018, 01:29 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is online now
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Has New Hampshire just enacted a poll tax?

Poll taxes were outlawed by the 24th Amendment, at least with respect to elections for Federal office. But
Quote:
House Bill 1264 will take effect on July 1, 2019, which means the upcoming 2018 elections will be held under the existing statutes that allow people domiciled in the state to vote in the state even if they are not residents of the state.

But beginning in the 2019 municipal elections – and in the 2020 elections – people who vote in New Hampshire will be residents of the state and if, for instance, they do not have a New Hampshire driver’s license, they will be required to obtain one within 60 days of voting. They must also register their vehicles in the Granite State.
Unless there's some hairsplitting difference between taxes and fees, this certainly strikes me as an attempt to deny the right to vote "by reason of failure to pay" a tax (see below). And it clearly applies to Federal as well as state elections.

The 24th Amendment:
Quote:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Is it as slam-dunk a violation of the 24th Amendment as it looks to me, or is there something I'm missing here?
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:41 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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many states that require an ID for voting give out free photo IDs from the DMV which are not driver's licenses. That's the way they get around the idea of a poll tax. Maybe NH is planning to do that too. That's what they did here in NC before voter ID was thrown out by courts. This Nov. they have put an amendment on the ballot for voter ID for a yes/no vote to get around the ID law being thrown out by federal court.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:43 PM
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Not a poll tax.

The law does not charge a fee to vote. It simply lays out two mandates:

(1) You must be a resident of New Hampshire to vote in New Hampshire, and

(2) You cannot claim to be a resident in order to vote but then disclaim residency for other purposes, such as obtaining a New Hampshire driver’s license.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:47 PM
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More specifically, New Hampshire has a rule similar to many other states: if you are a resident, you must within a timely fashion register yourself as a driver in New Hampshire as opposed to using another state’s license.

You don’t have to get a New Hampshire license. But if you live in New Hampshire as a resident you can’t drive on another state’s license.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:47 PM
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That article makes it sound like you'll have to have a NH driver's license to vote, but when I dig a little deeper, I think that's a misrepresentation.

Here's what seems to be a clearer and more informative article on the issue. IIUC they're just trying to exclude, for example, college students who have permanent registry and driver's licenses in other states but who are (temporarily) going to college in New Hampshire.

Quote:
Each applicant [when registering to vote] should bring documents which can prove identity, domicile, citizenship and age. The law treats a New Hampshire driver’s license, non-driver ID, other government issued photo identification that lists your name and the address you claim as your voting domicile, ora vehicle registration form as presumptive evidence of your domicile. These will generally be accepted as proof of age and identity. A list of other acceptable documents can be found here. [Link is broken in the article.]
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:49 PM
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Conversely, you are free to keep your Colorado residency and merely keep a domicile in New Hampshire. But then you can’t vote in New Hampshire. You should vote in Colorado.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
More specifically, New Hampshire has a rule similar to many other states: if you are a resident, you must within a timely fashion register yourself as a driver in New Hampshire as opposed to using another state’s license.

You don’t have to get a New Hampshire license. But if you live in New Hampshire as a resident you can’t drive on another state’s license.
What if I become indigent after moving to New Hampshire? Can I not vote unless I pay money for a New Hampshire drivers license?
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
More specifically, New Hampshire has a rule similar to many other states: if you are a resident, you must within a timely fashion register yourself as a driver in New Hampshire as opposed to using another state’s license.
That only applies to people who drive. Which isn't a requirement for voting.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:43 PM
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The article did state this: "New Hampshire is currently the only state without a residency requirement for voting" so I'm not seeing the big deal about it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Not a poll tax.

The law does not charge a fee to vote. It simply lays out two mandates:

(1) You must be a resident of New Hampshire to vote in New Hampshire, and

(2) You cannot claim to be a resident in order to vote but then disclaim residency for other purposes, such as obtaining a New Hampshire driver’s license.
Since you are a textualist, I would suggest reading the actual Constitution again.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
By the plain reading of the text, it is not merely poll taxes that are forbidden, but any tax being used as a reason to deny someone the right to vote.

There would be no reason to include "or other tax" portion if only poll taxes were a problem.

Strict interpretation means that this is illegal.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
The article did state this: "New Hampshire is currently the only state without a residency requirement for voting" so I'm not seeing the big deal about it.
A residency requirement isn't the issue, as far as I can tell. It's requiring a driver's license, which is not free.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:56 PM
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What if I become indigent after moving to New Hampshire? Can I not vote unless I pay money for a New Hampshire drivers license?
Of course you can.

If you are indigent you may acquire a Photo ID card for used for voting identification only, issued by the New Hampshire DMV pursuant to RSA 260:21.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:59 PM
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That only applies to people who drive. Which isn't a requirement for voting.
Correct. And a driver's license isn't a requirement for voting.

This is not complicated.

New Hampshire says, "Look, we have a rule that if your residence is here, and you drive, you need to have a New Hampshire driver's license."

Now they have a new rule: if you claim your residence is here for voting purposes, you must also admit your residence is here for other purposes. You can't say "I'm a resident of New Hampshire," to the registrar for voting and then say to the DMV, "I don't need a New Hampshire license because I'm already licensed in Vermont."
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:01 PM
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Everyone: THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO HAVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE TO VOTE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Everyone: THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO HAVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE TO VOTE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.
Hmmmm..Let me throw this one out to you - "If I want to vote in New Hampshire, do I need to have a license to drive issued by New Hampshire?"
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:10 PM
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Hmmmm..Let me throw this one out to you - "If I want to vote in New Hampshire, do I need to have a license to drive issued by New Hampshire?"
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:13 PM
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RTFirefly, in your summary of the issue in the OP, quoting from the news article, why did you not mention that the New Hampshire Supreme Court has issued an advisory opinion that the law is constitutional? I would have thought that's an important part of the story.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Of course you can.

If you are indigent you may acquire a Photo ID card for used for voting identification only, issued by the New Hampshire DMV pursuant to RSA 260:21.
Okay. So, I am a MA resident with an MA driver's license. I spend every dime I have to move to NH. I go to register to vote. They ask me to provide a driver's license. They will not accept my driver's license from MA because NH law requires me to get a NH license to drive in that state if I claim residency there. I cannot afford to do that.

But they are not denying me the right to vote because I can get a free NH ID, I just can't drive in NH?
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:49 PM
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Here's a wild and crazy idea; let's look at the text of the bill and see what it says about driver's licences and fees.

If I've done my on-line research correctly, this appears to be the text of the bill, from the New Hampshire Legislature's web-page. Words in bold italic were added in the legislative process; words in strike-out were deleted.


Quote:
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

AN ACT relative to construction of the terms "resident," "inhabitant," "residence," and "residency."

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Statutory Construction; Resident; Inhabitant. Amend RSA 21:6 and 21:6-a to read as follows:
21:6 Resident; Inhabitant. A resident or inhabitant or both of this state and of any city, town, or other political subdivision of this state shall be a person who is domiciled or has a place of abode or both in this state and in any city, town, or other political subdivision of this state, and who has, through all of his or her actions, demonstrated a current intent to designate that place of abode as his or her principal place of physical presence [for the indefinite future] to the exclusion of all others.
21:6-a Residence. Residence or residency shall mean a person's place of abode or domicile. The place of abode or domicile is that designated by a person as his or her principal place of physical presence [for the indefinite future] to the exclusion of all others. Such residence or residency shall not be interrupted or lost by a temporary absence from it, if there is an intent to return to such residence or residency as the principal place of physical presence.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.
That's odd. It doesn't say anything at all about driver's licences and fees.

It's almost as if the bill doesn't address them!

It's almost as if proponents of the bill have been asked what the bill means by requiring a voter to demonstrate a "current intent to designate that place of abode" as their "principal place of physical presence", and the proponents have said, "well, having a New Hampshire driving permit is a good indicator that you mean New Hampshire to be your 'principal place of physical presence', but if you've got a driver permit from some other state that may mean you're not making New Hampshire your 'principal place' ".

In other words, driver permits are a fact to take into account in determining if you've made New Hampshire your "principal place".

And then opponents of the bill are taking that example of a possible factor as if it's part of the law.

Unless I'm missing something, and there's some related bill that deals with driver permits? I'm certainly open to correction.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 07-13-2018 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Okay. So, I am a MA resident with an MA driver's license. I spend every dime I have to move to NH. I go to register to vote. They ask me to provide a driver's license. They will not accept my driver's license from MA because NH law requires me to get a NH license to drive in that state if I claim residency there. I cannot afford to do that.

But they are not denying me the right to vote because I can get a free NH ID, I just can't drive in NH?
Sounds right to me. And if you literally cannot afford the fee for a driver's license in NH, yeah, you can't drive there, whether you moved from MA or lived in NH all your life. Don't most states require you to get a driver's license issued by that state when you move there permanently from out of state?
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Okay. So, I am a MA resident with an MA driver's license. I spend every dime I have to move to NH. I go to register to vote. They ask me to provide a driver's license. They will not accept my driver's license from MA because NH law requires me to get a NH license to drive in that state if I claim residency there. I cannot afford to do that.

But they are not denying me the right to vote because I can get a free NH ID, I just can't drive in NH?
UltraVires, voting issues aside, is it normally the case that a person can plead indigency and get a driver's permit without paying a fee? Because if New Hampshire is prepared to offer an indigent person a free ID, as Bricker has pointed our, that helps to demonstrate that you've made New Hampshire your "principal place" for voting puposes, I don't see how they're interfering with your right to vote.

The right to vote doesn't carry with it a penumbral right to drive, does it?

Last edited by Northern Piper; 07-13-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Okay. So, I am a MA resident with an MA driver's license. I spend every dime I have to move to NH. I go to register to vote. They ask me to provide a driver's license. They will not accept my driver's license from MA because NH law requires me to get a NH license to drive in that state if I claim residency there. I cannot afford to do that.

But they are not denying me the right to vote because I can get a free NH ID, I just can't drive in NH?
To register to vote, you may use a driver's license issued by any state or the federal government. RSA 659:13.

So where did you get the idea that "They will not accept my driver's license from MA because NH law requires me to get a NH license to drive in that state if I claim residency there?"

NH law requires you to get an NH license to DRIVE there. Not to VOTE there.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
To register to vote, you may use a driver's license issued by any state or the federal government. RSA 659:13.

So where did you get the idea that "They will not accept my driver's license from MA because NH law requires me to get a NH license to drive in that state if I claim residency there?"

NH law requires you to get an NH license to DRIVE there. Not to VOTE there.
But I think the point of the legislation in question is that, to register to vote in NH, you have to provide evidence that you are a resident of NH. Which another state's driver's license would not be.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:22 PM
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But I think the point of the legislation in question is that, to register to vote in NH, you have to provide evidence that you are a resident of NH. Which another state's driver's license would not be.
Right. My response was imprecise. This was the intent.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
But I think the point of the legislation in question is that, to register to vote in NH, you have to provide evidence that you are a resident of NH. Which another state's driver's license would not be.
But since the new law appears to be silent on it, the effect of an out-of-state permit then will likely depend on the facts:

Q: "when did you move here?"

A: "just last week; today was my first day on the job"

Q: "okay, but you'll probably need to switch your driver permit soon."

OR:

Q: "When did you move here?"

A: "I think it was two years ago. I've never changed my permit."

Q: "I'm not sure I can accept that you've made New Hampshire your 'permanent place' ".
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
UltraVires, voting issues aside, is it normally the case that a person can plead indigency and get a driver's permit without paying a fee? Because if New Hampshire is prepared to offer an indigent person a free ID, as Bricker has pointed our, that helps to demonstrate that you've made New Hampshire your "principal place" for voting puposes, I don't see how they're interfering with your right to vote.

The right to vote doesn't carry with it a penumbral right to drive, does it?
No. But to be argumentative for Socrates' purposes what about this:

Assume the same hypothetical. I have an out of state driver's license that is valid for three more years. My principle place of residence is now NH, and according to the law I must change it. But I am indigent. I also know that if I get pulled over, the officer knowing that NH is my principle place of residence is negligible. IOW, I could very reasonably get away with driving in NH with my out of state license for three more years.

However, this new law presents me with the choice of driving or giving up my right to vote because to get the free NH ID, I have to invalidate my out of state driver's license.

So, it's not a tax in the sense that (as of the date of my becoming a NH resident) voting is free but I must pay for driving, whereas before both voting and driving were free. To get a bit more absurd couldn't we say that voting is free, but the state charges an "oxygen use inside polling places fee" per minute you are inside? It's free to vote; we are just charging for the air.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Assume the same hypothetical. I have an out of state driver's license that is valid for three more years. My principle place of residence is now NH, and according to the law I must change it. But I am indigent. I also know that if I get pulled over, the officer knowing that NH is my principle place of residence is negligible. IOW, I could very reasonably get away with driving in NH with my out of state license for three more years.
No, all nearly all states (including NH) require new residents to apply for a new driver's license if they move to the state and drive within the state. For NH, the time allowed to apply for a new license is 60 days.
Quote:
New to New Hampshire?
...
You must relinquish your valid out-of-state driver's license and apply for a new NH driver's license within 60 days of moving to New Hampshire.
Most states the time limit is 30 days.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:53 PM
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But I think the point of the legislation in question is that, to register to vote in NH, you have to provide evidence that you are a resident of NH. Which another state's driver's license would not be.
No. But you can register on Election Day, at the polling place, and sign an affidavit that you are a resident without incurring any cost. They even provide a pen, I believe.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:55 PM
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No, all nearly all states (including NH) require new residents to apply for a new driver's license if they move to the state and drive within the state. For NH, the time allowed to apply for a new license is 60 days.


Most states the time limit is 30 days.
I agree, but my point was that an indigent person could get away, as a practical matter, with driving on an out of state license indefinitely.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:55 PM
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Only by driving without a valid license.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:56 PM
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No. But to be argumentative for Socrates' purposes what about this:

Assume the same hypothetical. I have an out of state driver's license that is valid for three more years. My principle place of residence is now NH, and according to the law I must change it. But I am indigent. I also know that if I get pulled over, the officer knowing that NH is my principle place of residence is negligible. IOW, I could very reasonably get away with driving in NH with my out of state license for three more years.

However, this new law presents me with the choice of driving or giving up my right to vote because to get the free NH ID, I have to invalidate my out of state driver's license.

So, it's not a tax in the sense that (as of the date of my becoming a NH resident) voting is free but I must pay for driving, whereas before both voting and driving were free. To get a bit more absurd couldn't we say that voting is free, but the state charges an "oxygen use inside polling places fee" per minute you are inside? It's free to vote; we are just charging for the air.
You could vote without the free ID by signing an affidavit affirming your New Hampshire residency. How is that a “tax?”
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:58 PM
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No. But you can register on Election Day, at the polling place, and sign an affidavit that you are a resident without incurring any cost. They even provide a pen, I believe.
I was tempted to ask for a cite, but I found one in my own link from upthread.
Quote:
As of 2017, if you register to vote less than 30 days before an election, you'll be asked to show additional evidence that you intend to stay in the state (for example, a lease, a New Hampshire drivers' license, or proof of registering your child at a New Hampshire school). Those registering on election day will have up to 10 days after the election (or 30 days in towns where town offices are only open part-time) to bring that evidence to your town clerk. Voters who fail to do so could be investigated.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Not a poll tax.

The law does not charge a fee to vote. It simply lays out two mandates:

(1) You must be a resident of New Hampshire to vote in New Hampshire, and

(2) You cannot claim to be a resident in order to vote but then disclaim residency for other purposes, such as obtaining a New Hampshire driver’s license.
First, get off the law. The law is made by white folks for white folks. I could point to many examples in the case law where white folks to enforce white supremacy. This isn't controversial, just speaking about it is.

Second, it's a technical poll tax. If I have a driver's license from the State of New York that I paid $30 for that's valid from 2018 to 2026, why should I be forced to either relinquish that driver's license and pay $50 for a whole new one or be unable to vote in the election. Again, why should I be forced to pay an additional $50 dollars to be able to vote? I say this with a caveat. If the State does an equivalent exchange between the licenses for free, I withdraw my poll tax comment. It goes from being egregious and racist to being stupid, dumb, and wasteful to the taxpayer.

Lastly, these hoes need to get together and put an amendment that says something like "To prevent an endless patchwork of laws, States must fully recognize the licensures, prescriptions, vocational and didactic degrees and certificates from other States and their public institutions as long as the requirements between the two States are reasonably similar". What's next? Will University of Michigan graduates who live in Arizona be forced to exchange their degree with Arizona State University Online in order to get take a job with a college degree?

Last edited by Huey Freeman; 07-13-2018 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:34 PM
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It's already been mentioned on this board that there is a belief, promoted by the POTUS, that NH is a hotbed of illegal voting. Investigations have shown that this belief is not based in fact. Nonetheless, this act is part of the populist effort to curb the widespread illegal voting that is not taking place. What is taking place is voting by students domiciled in NH for the school term, who then return to their home states. And there is another lesser known but widely held belief that without the Democratic votes of college students here who actually live elsewhere in the world, this would be a solid Republican state just like God intended.

So voting here will be limited to residents. Students who are domiciled here and want to vote here, will be effectually declaring residency. New residents, by law, must apply for a NH license and vehicle registration within 60 days, and in order for a license to be granted, one must surrender any other IDs and/or licenses to NH so the state can notify the other locales. That's the gist of it, and obviously more than one statute applies.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:58 PM
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First, get off the law. The law is made by white folks for white folks. I could point to many examples in the case law where white folks to enforce white supremacy. This isn't controversial, just speaking about it is.
In a thread that inveighs about the effects of a new law, in my view, the discussion of the specifics of that law is quite relevant.

Quote:
Second, it's a technical poll tax.
I recommend a review of the thread. You'll see that the white people have permitted voting without the need for any driver's license at all.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:11 PM
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I recommend a review of the thread. You'll see that the white people have permitted voting without the need for any driver's license at all.

I see that now. I'll just add that unless the State is exchanging license-for-license, it is unethical to require new residents to give up their valid license to get a new license. Money doesn't grow on trees.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:16 PM
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I see that now. I'll just add that unless the State is exchanging license-for-license, it is unethical to require new residents to give up their valid license to get a new license. Money doesn't grow on trees.
Noted.

If you were to offer a guess, which of the remaining forty-nine states do you imagine does NOT impose a similar requirement?
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:18 PM
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I'll just add that unless the State is exchanging license-for-license, it is unethical to require new residents to give up their valid license to get a new license.
How on earth is a state driver's license unethical?
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:52 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is online now
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You could vote without the free ID by signing an affidavit affirming your New Hampshire residency. How is that a “tax?”
If that is the case under NH law, I concede.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:06 PM
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Noted.

If you were to offer a guess, which of the remaining forty-nine states do you imagine does NOT impose a similar requirement?
That is the very argument being used, up here in Live Free or Die. And that's a corker.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:05 PM
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If you move from New York to New Hampshire, and you choose not to get a New Hampshire license, you will still be able to vote in New Hampshire. There will be a consequence for not having a New Hampshire license, but that consequence is not that you won't be allowed to vote; it's that you won't be allowed to drive.
  #42  
Old 07-13-2018, 09:31 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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No. But to be argumentative for Socrates' purposes what about this:



Assume the same hypothetical. I have an out of state driver's license that is valid for three more years. My principle place of residence is now NH, and according to the law I must change it. But I am indigent. I also know that if I get pulled over, the officer knowing that NH is my principle place of residence is negligible. IOW, I could very reasonably get away with driving in NH with my out of state license for three more years.



However, this new law presents me with the choice of driving or giving up my right to vote because to get the free NH ID, I have to invalidate my out of state driver's license.



So, it's not a tax in the sense that (as of the date of my becoming a NH resident) voting is free but I must pay for driving, whereas before both voting and driving were free. To get a bit more absurd couldn't we say that voting is free, but the state charges an "oxygen use inside polling places fee" per minute you are inside? It's free to vote; we are just charging for the air.


You can't make your argument against the state depend on your own illegal conduct.
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