The Secretary of State’s office says “miscommunication” is to blame for a message that appeared to direct local officials to strike the names of some voters from checklists without notifying them first. “It was miscommunication, pure and simple,” Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan said. “What should have been a very quiet summer for us has actually been incredibly busy. There are a number of groups that have filed lawsuits against the election laws, and they file those against our office — so we’re dealing with that. We’re dealing with numerous right-to-know requests. We’re trying to train election officials. There’s only so many of us that can go around. You can understand how a miscommunication can take place,” Scanlan added, “and we just have to work harder at it, that’s all.”
The error stemmed from a notice that appeared recently on the internal website used by local clerks and checklist supervisors across the state.
That initial message listed the names of local voters who were flagged as part of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program for allegedly being registered to vote in another state — and told local election workers to “strike” those voters’ names from the local checklists.
Doing so, however, could have violated state law. Checklist supervisors in New Hampshire have to follow strict rules when it comes to removing voters’ names from local checklists, and in most cases names aren’t supposed to be removed from the lists without giving voters at least 30 days’ notice. (The law is meant to give voters in question a chance to make their case before their names are removed from the rolls.)