The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it has cleared New Hampshire’s voter-identification law, marking the latest decision in the department’s examination of several such laws across the country.
The New Hampshire law does not violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and so is approved for use in upcoming elections, the department’s Voting Rights Section chief, T. Christian Herren, Jr., wrote in a letter to state officials.
Section 5 requires a number of states and jurisdictions to preclear any change to voting law because of a history of discrimination. There are 10 townships in New Hampshire that are covered by Section 5.
The New Hampshire law requires voters to show identification at the polls, including a driver’s license, an armed services ID card, a passport or student ID card, among other options. If a voter cannot produce an accepted form of ID, he or she has the option to sign a “challenged voter affidavit.”
A voter who sign the affidavit, which states that the voter is who he or she claims to be, is photographed at the polling place and then is allowed to cast a ballot.
Last month, the department also precleared Virginia’s voter ID law. Earlier this summer, the department won its intensely watched challenge to Texas’s voter-identification law. A decision on a similar challenged law in South Carolina is still pending in the courts.