As presidential hopefuls swing by New Hampshire on a near-weekly basis to start making their pitches to prospective voters, state officials – in the legislative, executive and judicial branches – are busy weighing a number of changes that could affect who’s able to cast a ballot here in 2016. “There are ideas, depending on what party you belong to, as to how elections should look,” David Scanlan, deputy secretary of state, explained in an interview last week. “And there’s always a tension that takes place between ease of voting and just doing our best to protect the elections from fraud. The tug of war takes place with every change of party that’s in power.”
To be sure, Scanlan said, the evidence doesn’t suggest that voter fraud is rampant in New Hampshire. One or two cases reported to his office or the attorney general’s office are prosecuted after each election, he said – out of thousands of votes cast overall.
“We know it does exist,” Scanlan said. “It does not appear it is widespread or on a large scale.”
This legislative session alone, state legislators have introduced more than a dozen bills on voter registration, voter identification or the electoral process in general.