Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And in New Hampshire...

It should be pointed out they have residency requirements that some have found questionable as well. Let's look at the residency requirements for Iowa and New Hampshire:
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - It's Jan. 3 in Iowa and you decide, what the heck, I'm going to a precinct caucus.

Not affiliated with a political party? Not registered? Not even old enough to vote?

No problem. Come and help choose the nation's next president.

In yet another quirk of Iowa's caucus system, all citizens can participate as long as they sign a voter registration card, attesting to residency in the precinct and show that they'll be 18 in time for the general election.

New Hampshire allows same-day registration at the polls, has no minimum residency period and defines a voter's home as the place where he or she sleeps most nights or intends to return after a temporary absence. The state, not the parties, runs the primary, and changes to residency laws have been hotly contested.

This year, New Hampshire Democrats pushed through a change that some Republicans contend would enable campaigns to bus in people who could cast a ballot and then vote again in their real home states.

Here is the Iowa voter registration form. Here is the voter information from New Hampshire. Compare that to the requirements for Ohio. One thing you'll note that is different is in Ohio you have to have been a resident 30 days immediately prior to the election. Michigan requires that the address you use for voter registration has to match the one on your driver's license or personal identification card, if it doesn't they automatically update your address on file to the new one. Indiana also requires you must live in your precinct 30 days prior to an election. Even in Florida there is a 29 day time period in which you must reside there before you can register to vote.

Interestingly enough on the Iowa caucus website it states you must:

give up your right to vote in any other place

Yet as David P. Redlawsk points out it does not seem as many realize that if they vote in their own state primaries, they are breaking the law...With the way New Hampshire is set up, it's entirely possible for you to go there, register to vote, vote then go back to any other state and as long as you meet the residency requirement, vote again. Is this a huge issue with the small number of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire? No, of course not, but it provides further reasoning that the results of Iowa & New Hampshire can be manipulated more than many of the other state primary systems.

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