Amid a lapse in communication and uncertainty for the future, some Democratic members of President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission are growing restless. Nearly a month after the group came to New Hampshire, holding its second meeting at Saint Anselm College, neither Vice Chairman Kris Kobach nor any other commission member has made contact to discuss future plans, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap told the Huffington Post on Tuesday. “I don’t know that we’re ever going to meet again, to tell you the truth,” Dunlap said. But New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said he doesn’t see a reason for alarm. Speaking Wednesday, Gardner, also a Democrat, said he continues to support the goals of the commission, even if he too has not received communication from any of its members. “I haven’t had any communications, but I don’t have any expectations,” he said.
Articles about voting issues in New Hampshire.
Secretary of State William Gardner has released dozens of documents related to his participation in a presidential commission on voting integrity, responding to a Right-to-Know request from the New Hampshire office of the American Civil Liberties Union. Many of the documents relate to logistics for a meeting the commission held in New Hampshire last month, and preparations by the Secretary of State’s office to submit voter data the committee has request. Some of the most colorful material consists of emails and postcards from New Hampshire residents urging Gardner to boycott the effort. The commission, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, held its first meeting outside of Washington at St. Anselm College in Manchester last month.
On Sept. 12, a New Hampshire Superior Court judge allowed Senate Bill 3 — a bill that changes the proof of residency requirements for voters who choose to register same-day — to take effect but blocked a portion of the bill imposing fines on voters who are unable to produce the required documents. Hanover town clerk Betsy McClain said that before the bill, voters who chose to register same-day could verbally confirm their residency and sign a document on-site if they were unable to produce proper identification on voting day, swearing under penalty of perjury that they live in the town of Hanover. Now, these voters will need to fill out a different form and return to the clerk’s office within 10 days of registration to provide proof of residence. Acceptable proof of residence documents include a driver’s license, a utility bill or, according to McClain, “[proof of] residence at an institution of learning.”
New Hampshire: State Says ‘Miscommunication’ to Blame for Notice Telling Towns to Remove Voters from Checklists | NHPR
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.”
New Hampshire: State Sends Mixed Signals to Towns on Rules for Removing Voters from Checklists | NHPR
The Secretary of State’s office had to backtrack this week on its instructions about how to handle voters flagged through the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck System. It initially suggested local checklist supervisors could remove people from local rolls without notifying them first. The Crosscheck system is a multi-state database that’s been promoted as a tool to catch potential cases of voter fraud — in part, because it’s designed to flag people who are registered in multiple states. New Hampshire agreed to join the program last year. (The system has been championed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the chair of the Trump administration’s election commission who recently came under fire for alleging that out-of-state voters swayed the outcome of New Hampshire’s elections.)
New Hampshire: Fact Checker: Kris Kobach’s claim that there is now ‘proof’ of voter fraud in New Hampshire | The Washington Post
“Facts have come to light that indicate that a pivotal, close election was likely changed through voter fraud on November 8, 2016: New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate Seat, and perhaps also New Hampshire’s four electoral college votes in the presidential election. … It has long been reported, anecdotally, that out-of-staters take advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration and head to the Granite State to cast fraudulent votes. Now there’s proof.”
— Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, in an op-ed in Breitbart, Sept. 7, 2017
The Fact Checker has kept close track of claims of widespread voter fraud, one of President Trump’s favorite talking points from the campaign and from the White House. Over and over again, we found little to no evidence to support his claims of voter fraud that is prevalent enough to tip elections, as he claims. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, is now leading the charge to investigate voter fraud in the U.S. electoral system. And he claims to have finally found the smoking gun. So of course, we checked it out.
New Hampshire: Judge’s ruling on voting law sets stage for deep, lengthy review of new ID requirements | WMUR
When Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple issued a ruling early Tuesday morning blocking the state from enforcing its new voter registration law, Senate Bill 3, he set the stage for a deep review that is expected to take many months to resolve. Temple is a former University of New Hampshire Law professor appointed in 2013 by then-Gov. Maggie Hassan. In the Tuesday order, he denied the state’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit by the state Democratic Party, League of Women Voters and three individual plaintiffs. With a special election for a New Hampshire House seat scheduled for Tuesday, the judge heard arguments on the dismissal motion and the plaintiffs’ attempt to block the law on Monday afternoon, concluding at 4:30 p.m, and then told the attorneys that he’s have a ruling out by 8 a.m. Tuesday.
New Hampshire: Facts Win: Why a New Hampshire judge blocked the state’s new voter suppression law | Slate
On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump’s “election integrity” commission was preparing to meet in New Hampshire when a state court issued a major ruling: New Hampshire’s harsh new voting restrictions, which would impose fines and jail time on voters who fail to provide certain documentation, cannot be enforced in Tuesday’s special election. According to the court, the law’s penalties likely violate the state constitution, which guarantees all adult residents “an equal right to vote in any election.” The court’s order constituted an oblique rebuke to the commission’s very purpose. New Hampshire’s GOP-controlled legislature passed its voter suppression law in response to Trump’s allegations that mass voter fraud swung the state against him in 2016. Trump formed his voter fraud commission to prove that such fraud gave his opponent millions of illegal votes in the Granite State and beyond. Just last week, commision co-chair Kris Kobach claimed he had “proof” that votes were stolen in the state. Now a court has examined the evidence—and found no such proof. The decision is a well-timed reminder that this administration’s wild claims of voter fraud cannot stand up to even the slightest scrutiny.
New Hampshire: Judge says new voting law can take effect, but blocks penalties as ‘severe restrictions on right to vote’ | WMUR
A judge early Tuesday allowed the state to use new voting registration forms and impose new tightened ID requirements as called for in a law passed earlier this year, but blocked the penalties called for in the law from taking effect. Judge Charles Temple ruled that the penalties of $5,000 and a year in jail for fraud outlined in Senate Bill 3 “act as a very serious deterrent on the right to vote, and if there is indeed a ‘compelling’ need for them, the Court has yet to see it.” Temple granted a request by the League of Women Voters and New Hampshire Democratic Party regarding the penalties of Senate Bill 3, but allowed the law to take effect in time for the use of new voting forms in a special New Hampshire House election in Belknap County. Further hearings on the merits of the law will be held at a future date. Read the full order here.
New Hampshire: Judge weighing whether to block new voting ID, registration law from taking effect | WMUR
On the eve of a special New Hampshire House election in Belknap County, a judge Monday took under advisement the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit by the state Democratic Party and League of Women Voters seeking to block a new law tightening voting ID and registration requirements. Judge Charles Temple, after listening to 2-1/2 hours of arguments, promised to rule by 7 a.m. Tuesday on whether to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from taking effect while the merits of the challenge are heard in further hearings. That’s when polls open in Laconia and Belmont for a special New Hampshire House election to decide who will succeed Republican Robert Fisher, who resigned earlier this year. If Temple refuses to issue an injunction, the election will go forward using new affidavits for voters who do not have the type of “verifiable” IDs mandated in the new law, known as Senate Bill 3. But if the judge issues an injunction, it is unclear what forms will be used Tuesday for voters who do not have the proper IDs to present to voting officials. The Belknap County election would be the first to operate under the new requirements of Senate Bill 3, which went into force Friday.