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Holder at odds with New Hampshire Democrats on voting bill

June 2, 2018

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that out-of-state college students who vote in New Hampshire should have to get driver’s licenses and register their cars in the state.

Current state law allows students to claim the state as their domicile for voting purposes without being subject to full residency requirements such as car registration.

The state Supreme Court is deciding whether to weigh in on a bill passed by the Republican-led Legislature that would end the distinction between domicile and residency. Republicans argue the bill clears up confusion and is necessary to ensure fairness, while Democrats argue it amounts to a poll tax and would deter students from voting.

Holder’s comments at Saint Anselm College on Friday put him at odds with fellow Democrats.

Holder, responding to a question from Saint Anselm president Steven DiSalvo, said out-of-state college students should be allowed to vote in New Hampshire and noted his daughter votes in Wisconsin, where she is a student. Asked later to clarify whether that means they should also register their cars and get New Hampshire licenses, Holder echoed the Republican argument.

“If you are gonna be considered a resident of this state so you can vote, that means that you have to follow all the other residency requirements that any other citizen would have to comply with,” Holder told reporters. “If you are a New Hampshire resident you have to do a variety of things, and if you’re a college student and a resident, you should have to do the same things.”

Holder served in President Barack Obama’s administration.

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