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A New Hampshire voter casts his ballot at Amherst Street Elementary School in November 2016. Photo: Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

New Hampshire lawmakers have advanced a key voting rights measure along party lines this week tightening residency requirements to vote — a move critics say deliberately targets college students and others who are more likely to vote Democratic.

The state of play: Currently, out-of-state students and others who aren’t fully residents can declare the state their domicile for voting purposes. The measure seeks to require voters to prove they are a resident of the state by obtaining a state driver’s license and registering their vehicle. Those who don’t drive would have to show alternate documents to validate their permanent residency status.

What they’re saying: Republicans argue it’s an attempt to confirm that eligible voters are residents of the state, and they dismissed accusations that votes would be suppressed.

  • However, critics like the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire and Jason Kander, the former Democratic Missouri Secretary of State and president of Let America Vote, labeled the change as a “poll tax.” They argue it's an additional barrier to voting because people would be forced to pay fees for vehicle registration and obtaining a license.

Between the lines: The advancement of the measure by the state legislature shows there’s unending interest in voter residency requirements after officials said more than 6,500 people registered to vote in 2016 using out-of-state driver’s licenses. New Hampshire is central to President Trump’s claim of widespread voter fraud despite little substantial evidence as he claimed thousands were bused to New Hampshire to vote illegally.

  • Elections in a battleground state like New Hampshire are often determined by a few thousand votes. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Maggie Hassan, who defeated GOP incumbent Kelly Ayotte, narrowly won the state in 2016.

The backdrop: Voting restriction measures have come under legal scrutiny. Last year, a New Hampshire judge blocked parts of a 2016 voting law that would fine or jail first-time voters if they failed to submit residency paperwork within 10 days of registering to vote.

What's next: The measure, passed Wednesday, mirrors a similar proposal lawmakers passed recently. Both are expected to merge by a conference committee, and would go into effect next year. However, both are hanging in the balance amid uncertainty of Governor Chris Sununu's support.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

8 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.