NH Week in Review for Sept. 10: Voter fraud allegations surface again

Sep 10, 2017

Here we go again. The Trump Administration is saying yet again that voter fraud in New Hampshire during the 2016 election influenced the outcome. Only this time it’s not coming from Donald Trump, it’s coming from the Election Integrity Commission he empaneled to look into what he believes was widespread voter improprieties during the election.

This round of fraud talk started Thursday with the release by House Speaker Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson, of data showing that more than 6,500 people registered to vote on Election Day 2016 using out-of-state driver’s licenses.

As of last week, according to the report, more than 5,300 of them still had not received New Hampshire licenses that would confirm they established residency.

The report further stated that the state’s recently approved participation in an Interstate State Voter Registration Crosscheck Program showed a potential for nearly 200 cases of double-voting. See a WMUR story here.

That information prompted Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the vice chairman of the commission, to allege that fraudulent voters might have stolen the state’s four electoral votes and a U.S. Senate seat away from Republicans.

Trump lost the Granite State popular vote (and therefore the state’s four Electoral College votes) to Hillary Clinton in the race for president, while Republican Kelly Ayotte lost her U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Maggie Hassan.

“If 59.2 percent or more of them went for [Democratic Sen. Maggie] Hassan, then the election was stolen through voter fraud,” Kobach wrote in a column for Breitbart. “That’s likely, since the surrounding states are Democrat strongholds.”

Trump himself had raised similar allegations in Twitter tweets and statements earlier this year soon after taking up residence in the White House.

The state’s Democratic congressional delegation rose up in defense of New Hampshire’s voting laws. “ The law clearly states that college students and other New Hampshire residents can vote without a New Hampshire ID, and these false partisan claims are deliberately twisting the facts.,” Hassan and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said in a joint statement.

They also called on Secretary of State William Gardner, a Democrat, to withdraw from his membership on the White House commission, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday in New Hampshire. See a WMUR report here.

“Secretary Gardner's association with this partisan commission risks tarnishing his long legacy of fighting for the New Hampshire Primary and promoting voter participation, and it would be in keeping with his distinguished record to immediately relinquish any role with this commission,” the senators said.

But Gardner said he’ll stay on, noting he won’t resign just because he disagrees with the views of a fellow member.. See an NHPR report here.

Gov. Christopher Sununu, in an interview with Seacoast Online, said Gardner should remain on the commission.

Also in New Hampshire

A federal judge ruled Friday that local ordinances banning panhandling are an improper infringement on free speech. The U.S. District Court of New Hampshire’s decision affects regulations enacted in Manchester, Rochester, Somersworth, and other communities meant to curb panhandling on a street corner. The ruling states that stating that communities have “less speech-restrictive means available” to address concerns related to panhandling. See a Foster’s Daily Democrat story here.

City officials in Keene, after first saying yes, are now putting a hold on a permit for another pumpkin festival. City Council members are expressing concern that they could see a repeat of the riots that broke out in 2014. See an NHPR story here.

The Epsom school board voted 3-2 to keep a mural in an elementary school that depicts a Confederate flag. The mural of the United States is outside the school's gym and depicts some of the nation's historical symbols, including a Confederate flag. See a Union Leader story here.

Lorraine Merrill announced she is retiring as the state’s agriculture commissioner. After serving for 10 years, she said “it’s time for me to retire and get back closer to my family and our farm" in Stratham. See an NHPR story here.

Immigration enforcement took two turns this week: Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) said it would deport a group of Indonesians, many of them Somersworth residents. See a Foster’s Daily Democrat story here. And lawmakers are assessing the impact on New Hampshire if the Trump Administration follows through on its stated intention to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). See a Union Leader story here.

The U.S. Forest Service is recommending a special issue permit be given to Northern Pass to bury 11 miles of power line within the White Mountain National Forest. The permit is one of three key approvals the proposed transmission project needs before it can start construction next year. See a Union Leader story here.

Should New Hampshire tax prescription opioid sales to fund addiction treatment programs? Do you agree with Gov. Sununu that school should start after Labor Day? Should NH adopt a top two primary system? Those are some of the topics trending on our Facebook page this week. We invite you to join the conversation here.



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