Voter investigation powers for Sec. of State?

May 16, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

This Thursday, May 18 the New Hampshire Senate will vote on a bill that would give the Secretary of State power to investigate possible voter fraud.

The bill, HB 552, specifically allows the Secretary of State to look into letters that were undeliverable to voters who arrived at the polls without identification.  Under state law those voters must sign and return a letter that is sent after the election.  

Right now the duty to investigate unreturned letters lies with the Attorney General.

Bill supporters note that the Attorney General has a huge backlog of uninvestigated letters. 

“I know the Attorney General’s Office has standards they use when they conduct an investigation, but when it comes to verifying whether a voter who did not respond to a mailing is a qualified voter or not, it can be determined in a more efficient manner,” said Assistant Secretary of State David Scanlan.  His office supports the bill.

Bill opponents argue that if the legislature wants more resources dedicated to investigating voter fraud, it should give more funding to the Attorney General’s office to do so.

“Peeling off resources and authority from the Attorney General and turning them over to an office that is not equipped, trained, staffed, to investigate ‘improper voting’ will only diminish the security and integrity of our elections,” wrote Rep. Andrew White.

Other bill opponents argue that the state should not spend extra resources on investigating unreturned letters because there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Do you think the Secretary of State should be given the power to investigate possible voter fraud?  Share your opinion in the comments below.


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