NH Voter Laws Need to Be Revised

Mar 7, 2017 by

For years, there have been questions regarding possible voter fraud in NH.

During the last 3 years, Granite State Taxpayers (GST) has been attempting, without success, to get answers from the Attorney General’s office regarding voters who filed affidavits in lieu of providing proof of identity, citizenship or residency. In 2012, approximately 1,770 cards mailed to addresses on such affidavits were returned by the Postal Service to the Secretary of State’s Office because no record existed of the person at the address provided. As per New Hampshire law, these cards were used by the Secretary of State as a way of validating the people completing the affidavits did indeed live where they said they did. The ones returned are required by law to be investigated by the Attorney General.

Granite State Taxpayers in 2015 sent a Right to Know 91-A request to the Attorney General asking for an answer to the simple question as to how many of the 1, 770 missing voters had been located. The AG’s Office responded on April 15, 2015 and again on May 12, 2015. Click to Read the AG Letters. They mentioned the workload required and that 470 voters who executed affidavits “have been confirmed thus far”, without explanation as to whether those voters had been found or just confirmed that they could not be located. Nothing more has been heard. Consequently, there is no way to determine how hard they looked for those voters who signed affidavits and did not have one piece of ID or proof as to where they lived prior to voting.

In 2014, approximately 16,400 people voted with out-of-state drivers’ licenses. New Hampshire law requires that new residents obtain a New Hampshire Driver’s license within 60 days after moving to the state. To determine whether these new residents had complied, GST sent another 91-A to the AG’s office asking the simple question: “How many, of those 16,400 people who registered here actually got a NH drivers’ license after the 60-day period as required by law.” The AG’s response was that the information was proprietary in nature and could not give us the number. So, over two years later the question remains: How many of the 16,400 out of state registrants are in NH today and how many just dropped in for the day to vote and returned to wherever they came from?

In 2016, approximately 90,000 voters registered on Election Day. Of those, 60,000 were changing their polling place from one NH town or Ward to another. That left about 30,000 new same-day voter registrations, of which 6,000 utilized an out-of-state drivers’ license and 1,423 presented no ID and signed an affidavit in order to vote. That means 7,423 new voters registered to vote using identification from another state, or no identification at all. One may recall that in 2016 some top of the ballot candidates were separated by less than a couple of thousand votes, and at the bottom of the ballot, some races were decided by a handful of votes. The 7,423 votes therefore could have had a huge impact on the outcome.

We are often told that no organized voter fraud exists here in New Hampshire. To the extent that is true, it ignores the fact that our system is overly susceptible to people manipulating the present lax voting laws. In short, much of what most people consider fraudulent can be done legally under current law.

It is clear that New Hampshire voter laws are very lax regarding insuring that only New Hampshire voters can access our elections, and are open to manipulation. Additionally, the AG’s Office, although responsible for finding and dealing with voters who may have registered using false information, has not been effective in rooting out these missing voters, or so it seems based on the communication GST received from them. The Secretary of State on January 11, 2017 reported on the status of affidavits and follow up on voters without ID.
Click here to read the Secretary of State Report.

This is the time for action. We must overhaul the present laws to be in line with the rest of the country without abandoning our present exception from the National Motor Voter Law.

Adopting Motor Voter would put control of our elections in the hands of the Federal officials. The Town Clerks, Moderators, and Supervisors of the Check List in NH year in and year out do an outstanding job. It would not be prudent to lose local control. But it makes a great deal of sense to close the loop holes in our present NH voting laws.

Governor Sununu and the State Representatives and Senators trying to close those loop holes are not trying to disenfranchise anyone. They are merely attempting to make certain that the votes of our hard-working men and women (NH citizens) are not being minimized by drive-by voters and people taking advantage of the present voting laws.

That is why Granite State Taxpayers and many other like organizations support fixing the loop holes so we can be certain that only NH citizens are able to decide NH elections.

By Jim Adams (former Chairman and current GST Board Member) and Ray Chadwick (GST Chairman).

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