CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today, the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 13-7 to kill HB 1096, a bill to prohibit open carrying a deadly weapon within 100 feet of a polling place, intended to prevent threatening and intimidation. Prime Sponsor of the legislation, Rep. David Meuse (D-Portsmouth) released the following statement:
“Intimidation at the voting booth is not imaginary, incidents of threatening and harassment with firearms happen across the country and here in New Hampshire. This year, with growing division and an unfounded questioning of election integrity, this legislature has seen GOP bills exacerbating this discontent. GOP bills demanding that people be allowed to stand over the shoulders of election workers and allowing this kind of intimidation while dressed in campaign paraphernalia are not the kind of solutions our state needs to de-escalate tensions.
The polls should be an inviting and welcoming place to exercise our most sacred right as Americans - voting. This simple bill to eliminate open carry of deadly weapons in polling places can bring much needed civility and safety to our elections. After all, the preservation of our democracy depends on all of our participation in it.”