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.vs.Stephen E.Merrill et al., Docket No.C-95 232-JD).The New Hampshire Leagueof Women Voters, New Hampshire AFL-CIO, and New Hampshire Cit-izens Action sued the Governor, the Secretary of State, and other stateofficials seeking to have the provisions of the NVRA implemented inNew Hampshire.In the event that New Hampshire would have to com-ply with the NVRA, HB 333 of 1995 was signed into law as Chapter 289.The law stated that, if ordered to do so, New Hampshire would imple-ment the NVRA provisions, but for federal elections only, thus establish-ing two registration systems.In the two-system plan, those registeringthrough NVRA provisions would be registered to vote for federal officesonly.19 In addition, the law had provisions to repeal EDR and increase19Chapter 289 of 1995, section 7 indicates that Title 2 U.S.C.431(3) defines  federaloffice as  the office of President or Vice-President, or of Senator or Representative in,or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress (Laws of the State of NewHampshire, 1995, p.509). 74 Discount Votingthe closing date for registration to thirty days prior to elections for fed-eral offices.The issue was resolved in New Hampshire s favor when U.S.Senator Judd Gregg, of New Hampshire, added an amendment to anappropriations bill (H.R.2076 of 1995) that changed the cutoff datein the NVRA s nonapplicability clause (section 4(b)(2)) to August 1,1994.The evidence just presented is consistent with the argument thatalthough increasing the opportunities to register was a consideration inNew Hampshire, avoiding the NVRA and its associated costs outweighedthis concern.The failure to pass EDR out of committee in 1993, less thanone year prior to the introduction of EDR as a means to become exemptfrom the NVRA, is strong evidence on its own.When coupled with theStatement of Intent and provisions set to go into place had the courtruled in favor of the League of Women Voters et al.(i.e., that EDR berepealed, the closing date set to thirty days prior to federal elections, andthat NVRA registrants register with their local clerk in order to vote inall elections), little doubt is left on this question.Without the threat of theNVRA, the evidence reveals that EDR would not have been implementedin New Hampshire.The  Live Free or Die motto is more than spacefiller on the state quarter and license plate  the conviction remains aliveand well.Idaho (Passing on a National Hot Potato)Although floor debate is not recorded in Idaho, a rich collection ofresources, including statements of purpose and summaries of testimonyin committee, was available for researching the adoption of EDR in thestate.Information regarding the intent of the law was found across sev-eral sources.As I demonstrate subsequently, each indicates a concern withvoter participation, but it is clear that the NVRA prompted the changefrom the status quo.House Bill 603, to establish EDR in Idaho, was sponsored by Repub-lican Representative Pam Ahrens.It was introduced on January 25, 1994and with little difficulty passed through both houses.On March 7, 1994HB 603 was approved by the Democratic Governor, Cecil Andrus.Thelegislature was predominantly Republican; twenty-three of the thirty-five(66 percent) Senators were Republicans and fifty of the seventy (71 per-cent) Representatives were Republican.However, a look at the votesrecorded makes it obvious that both parties supported the passage ofEDR in Idaho.In the House, only one vote was cast against passage of The Purposeful Adoption of Election Day Registration 75HB 603;20 at the third reading, HB 603 passed on a vote of sixty-threeto one with six members absent and excused.Unanimous support amongthose present was expressed for HB 603 in the Senate; the vote at thethird reading in the Senate was thirty-three to zero with two membersabsent and excused.The same general message regarding why EDR was adopted in Idahowas expressed throughout the legislative process.For example, the State-ment of Purpose declared that:The purpose of this legislation is to provide for more access to Idaho s voterregistration system.Implementation.by the State should exempt the Statefrom having to implement the unfunded federal mandates of the National VoterRegistration Act of 1993 (52nd Idaho Legislature 1994).21In committee, Republican Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who was listedas the sponsor, presented the bill and provided testimony in its favor.Summaries regarding the purpose of the legislation, consistent with theexcerpt just given, are contained in the minutes from the House StateAffairs Committee on January 25, 1994 as well as those from February 8,1994, and the minutes from the Senate State Affairs Committee fromFebruary 23, 1994.The summary of testimony by the Deputy AttorneyGeneral for the Department of Health and Welfare expressed support forthe bill, noting that the NVRA would require the department  to addressthe registration process over 300,000 times during the course of a year(State Affairs Committee from February 23, 1994, p.2).Although thesummary does not go into further detail, it seems safe to infer that thisrepresents concern with the costs that would be imposed by the NVRA.22The ideas just discussed were incorporated into the text of the legislationitself, as well.As can be seen by a comparison with the findings and purposes con-tained in the New Hampshire legislation, those from HB 603 in Idaho are20According to Penny Ysursa, a thirty-year employee in the office of the Idaho Secretaryof State, Democratic Representative Kenneth Robison voted against the bill because hewanted it to be more permissive.21The House State Affairs Committee Highlights used identical language.22Although concerns were raised about proof of residence requirements, that the bill didnot allow EDR at local elections, and that it increased the number of days before theelection that one could register at a clerk s office, there is no record to suggest thatconcerns regarding shifts in the partisan composition of the electorate were brought up.Expansion to local elections was added in 1995, and a County Clerk, who representedthe Association of Counties as well as the Clerks Association, noted that the increase inthe time period at a clerk s office was due to the mail-in registration provision includedin the bill. 76 Discount Votingquite similar.The findings and purposes, displayed here, are contained insection 1 of HB 603.Section 1.The Legislature of the State of Idaho finds that the right of the citizensof Idaho to vote is a fundamental right.The Legislature further finds that it isthe duty of state and local government to promote the exercise of the right tovote [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]