Earlier this week, the political landscape experienced a shift in what could be a pivotal state in the upcoming 2024 elections. At the heart of the storm is the pursuit for dominance over the determination of how Americans exercise their right to vote.
In an unexpected move, a state court in New Hampshire dispelled lawsuits supported by Democrats, aiming to oppose the state’s voter ID law. The court stated that the lawsuits didn’t provide substantial grounds, providing a setback for the Democrats.
The presiding justice, Charles Temple of the Hillsborough Superior Court, pointed out that the efforts against the law failed to establish valid proof of standing. No evidence was presented that indicated the ability of the plaintiffs to vote were hindered in any way by the requirements put forth. This piece of news was shared by The Federalist.
The initial legal bid against the state’s law ensued from numerous voters in the state. Adding weight to their claim were 603 Forward and Open Democracy Action, both known to have a more progressive leaning.
It was contended by the plaintiffs that SB 418, the law in question, infringed upon certain aspects of the New Hampshire Constitution. Notably, the Republican secretary of state and attorney general of New Hampshire were filled in the opposing side’s petition.
Acting as the defendants in the case were the Republican National Committee, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, and the Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) PAC. The Federalist suggested that the new law, SB 418, signed into effect by Republican Governor Chris Sununu, offered a revised process for voters to affirm their identity while casting their votes.
The revised law stipulated that in the absence of a suitable form of ID, voters would be asked to complete an ‘affidavit ballot’. Following this, the voters must promptly submit a series of paperwork demonstrating that they meet the requisite criteria to vote. If the necessary documents are not returned within a week of the election, it is stated that the voter’s ballot will not be recognized.
In a recent pronouncement from Justice Temple, he made note of the inability of the plaintiffs to provide any tangible evidence demonstrating that their rights were, or would be, violated by the implementation of the law. Temple added that the controversy revolved around the constitutional rights of the voters which, according to the plaintiff organizations, were being compromised by SB 418.
Temple further posited that, in light of established case laws, the plaintiff organizations could only challenge the constitutionality of SB 418 if it was deemed to have encroached upon their own rights. He added that the plaintiffs were unable to prove that the defendants were infringing upon a currently valid legal right that they held. As a result, a motion to dismiss the lawsuit—which had aimed to label SB 418 as unlawful—was granted.
The plaintiffs, along with aiming to deem the law as unlawful, also sought an injunction against its enforcement. However, this endeavor proved unsuccessful. The argument was emphasized by RITE President Derek Lyons, who disagreed with the notion of an ‘election honor system’, stressing that it was insufficient to thoughtlessly bring disarray to New Hampshire’s voting process.
Lyons added that the challenge levied by the well-funded activists couldn’t pinpoint any rights that were being harmed by SB 418, arguing that every eligible voter in New Hampshire still had an easy route to casting their vote. He underlined that the idea behind the voter ID laws was not to impede eligible voters but to identify those who weren’t eligible, including non-citizens.
According to Lyons, each time an activist’s attempt to overturn state election law is repudiated, it aids in rejuvenating the voters’ faith in the sanctity of the voting process. Its implication is that it could play a significant role in shaping the outcome of the 2024 election. This prediction is backed by the current political climate where former President Donald Trump slowly gains traction over current President Joe Biden in key battleground states, positioning New Hampshire as a potential right-leaning state.
A poll conducted by Bloomberg/Morning Consult in October, including voters from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin indicated that Trump holds a slight lead over Biden, primarily due to the dissatisfaction with the current administration’s economic policies.
Trump consequently gained a lead of five points in Georgia, four points in Arizona, and a lead of two points in Wisconsin. He also took the edge in other crucial states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by one point. However, Biden managed to remain ahead in Nevada by three points, while he and Trump are currently balanced in Michigan.
The survey outlined above hints at a potential trend with New Hampshire leaning slightly right, indicating interesting dynamics that could unfold in the 2024 elections. With Trump’s slight lead over Biden in crucial battleground states, we need to keep an eye on developments, particularly concerning voter ID laws and their influence on future outcomes. On this battleground, every voice counts.