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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

NH veterans, service members say proposed voter ID law betrays their sacrifice

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Monday, May 20, 2024   

Veterans and service members in New Hampshire said legislation to create one of the nation's strictest voter ID laws would be a betrayal of their sacrifice.

The bill would require proof of citizenship to register to vote, and would get rid of the affidavit process to help new voters without documentation.

Curtis Register, a member of the Durham Town Council and a former Marine Corps officer, said birth certificates or naturalization papers can be hard to come by for military members, who regularly relocate or were born on bases overseas.

"These are all real obstacles that service members face and that families of service members face because it's a collective unit," Register observed. "One affects all."

Supporters of the bill argued it is needed to prevent widespread voter fraud, but have failed to provide evidence of electoral abuse. The bill has passed the House and Senate but Gov. Chris Sununu has not said whether he will sign it.

There are roughly 70,000 foreign-born American citizens serving in the military, or about 5% of the total active-duty force. More than 170,000 military members have become naturalized citizens since 2002.

Register noted proposed laws in New Hampshire and elsewhere requiring them to provide more documentation to vote than native-born citizens risks disenfranchising those who fight to preserve our most basic rights.

"It feels like a betrayal of those that have been injured, or sacrificed time away from their kids, or even an ultimate sacrifice; that we have folks trying to take away rights that were given via the Constitution," Register emphasized.

New Hampshire allows for same-day voter registration and opponents of the bill said it could prevent thousands of people from casting a ballot.

Others warned such a law would be unconstitutional. A similar bill in Kansas requiring proof of citizenship to vote was struck down by a federal judge in 2018.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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