Students react to NH voter ID law - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Students react to NH voter ID law

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HANOVER, N.H. -

Students at Dartmouth College and on other campuses throughout the Granite State are tuned in to politics. They are passionate about their candidates and issues that affect students, like New Hampshire's new voter ID law.

"There are better ways that we can improve our elections and it is a very clearly partisan move," said Mason Cole of the College Democrats.

"I think it is a very reasonable law in New Hampshire and it continues to maintain the affidavit," said J.P. Harrington of the College Republicans.

"I don't know what I would say if someone told me I could vote here. I'm living here for four years," said Sam Haskel, a freshman from New York City.

By September 2013, in order for anyone to vote in New Hampshire, they must first prove they are legal residents. A New Hampshire driver's license or other form of government-issued ID will be mandatory at the polls. The new voting rules will likely not affect November's election-- any ID will be accepted. Some students who live out-of-state, but vote in New Hampshire, worry about the future, like Obama supporter Mason Cole.

"They are affected by laws here. They are giving back to community here. And they are really making an impact here. So to kind of say that they don't have a right to impact the law that affects them, in my mind is very silly," Cole said.

Others who-- it's fair to say-- are not big fans of the president, think the ID requirements are just, and, frankly, long overdue.

"People who want to vote in New Hampshire, who want to be residents of New Hampshire for their four years here, absolutely can. This does not affect that at all," Harrington said.

But what it will do, according to the experts, is decrease student turnout. They say kids who plan to return home after their time here will not take the time or pay the money to change residency and buy a new ID to vote, just to have to change back to the home state. The state chapters of the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition this month on behalf of four New Hampshire students seeking to block the law.

"In political science, we know that voting become habitual. So, if you don't acquire the habit of voting while you are young, it is less likely that you will acquire it later," said Linda Fowler, a professor of government at Dartmouth.

Sam Haskel may be in that category. The Dartmouth freshman, who has not yet decided who he is voting for, plans to return to New York City after graduation.

"That is a pretty big span of time to be somewhere and not to be able to influence decisions that are being made," he said.

It's an election that could be decided on a college campus just like this one.

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