New Hampshire

Articles about voting issues in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire: Paper Ballots Are Hard to Hack, But That’s Only Part of the Election Security Puzzle | Casey McDermott/New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has long projected confidence about the security of the state’s elections. In the fall of 2016, as national security officials were warning state elections offices to “be vigilant and seek cybersecurity assistance” from federal partners, Gardner declined — saying New Hampshire didn’t need the extra help. “We have a system that, we don’t have to be concerned that it’s going to be something different this time because of some imaginary foreign element out there or something that might be interfering with this election,” Gardner said at the time. Since then, Gardner — the nation’s longest serving elections chief — continued to downplay the risk facing New Hampshire. When asked about election security at a meeting of the state’s Ballot Law Commission a few months before the 2018 midterms, he had a simple response. “You want to know about being hacked? You see this pencil here?” Gardner said, holding one up for emphasis. “Want me to give it to you and see if you can hack this pencil? We have this pencil. This is how people vote in this state. And you can’t hack this pencil.”

Full Article: N.H.'s Paper Ballots Are Hard to Hack, But That's Only Part of the Election Security Puzzle | New Hampshire Public Radio.

New Hampshire: Election security looms ahead of primary | Jake Lahut/Keene Sentinel

Amid ongoing efforts by foreign entities to influence American democracy, concerns have arisen nationwide about election security. At a 2018 “hackathon” in Florida, an 11-year-old was able to electronically break into a replica of the Sunshine State’s voter rolls in a matter of minutes, changing names and even election tallies. Legislation that would give states a total of $1 billion to require backup paper ballots in precincts nationwide — to be used alongside electronic machines to ensure an accurate recount if those machines are hacked — has been stalled in Washington by the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. With each state using different election laws under the hyper-localized American system, the election security landscape remains complicated in the first general-election year since the Russian meddling efforts. An early test of voter confidence will come in the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary next month.

Full Article: Election security looms ahead of NH primary | Front And Center | sentinelsource.com.

New Hampshire: Dixville Notch Finds Enough People to Keep First-in-the-Nation Voting Title | Kathy McCormack/Associated Press

A tiny New Hampshire community whose tradition of being among the first to cast ballots for president in primaries and the general election was endangered now has enough people to go ahead, the town moderator said Thursday.”We’re all a go,” said Tom Tillotson, of Dixville Notch. Dixville Notch has been in the spotlight for nearly 60 years for casting votes just after midnight in the first presidential primary and in November general elections. But last year, the attorney general’s office said the community was missing an official who is needed to hold an election come the Feb. 11 primary. The person who held that position had moved away. That left Dixville Notch with just four residents — Tillotson, his wife, his son and another person. If the community couldn’t find a fifth person in time to fill a selectman vacancy, it would have needed to contact the secretary of state’s office for assistance in joining nearby municipalities in order to vote. Resident No. 5 is Les Otten, developer of the Balsams resort, where the voting tradition began. Otten said he plans to move to Dixville Notch from Greenwood, Maine, ahead of the primary. He already owns several properties in the New Hampshire community and is working on a $186 million redevelopment project in the area.

Full Article: Dixville Notch Finds Enough People to Keep First-in-the-Nation Voting Title – NECN.

New Hampshire: Dixville Notch may have to ditch traditional midnight voting | Kathy McCormack/Associated Press

A tiny, isolated community near the Canadian border known for casting ballots just after the stroke of midnight in presidential elections may need to forfeit that tradition in 2020. Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, has been in the spotlight for years for voting first in the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary and in November general elections. But the attorney general’s office recently said the community is currently missing a required official in order to hold an election come the Feb. 11 primary. Dixville Notch has shared midnight voting with two other places. One is Hart’s Location, a small town in the White Mountains that started the early voting tradition in 1948 to accommodate railroad workers who had to be at work before normal voting hours. Hart’s Location suspended the midnight voting in 1964 and brought it back in 1996. The town of Millsfield, 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Dixville Notch, had midnight voting as far back as 1952, but stopped after a while. It decided to revive the early voting in 2016. Dixville drew notice after Neil Tillotson, who bought a resort called the Balsams, arranged for early voting at the hotel beginning in 1960. Tillotson, who ran a rubber factory and is credited with inventing the latex balloon, died in 2001 at age 102.

Full Article: Tiny New Hampshire town may have to ditch traditional midnight voting | WRGB.

New Hampshire: Secretary of State Gardner skips regional election security forum | Paul Briand/SeacoastOnline

Citing concerns about federal security agencies running state elections, N.H. Secretary of State William Gardner declined to attend an election security forum this week in his own back yard, at the University of New Hampshire. The forum’s host, Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, said the forum served as an opportunity for New England states and federal agencies to share information about threats to the 2020 election and how to protect against them. Matthew McCann, regional director of the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and organizer of the event, called Gardner’s concerns a “misperception” of what the forum was all about. Gardner cited two reasons for not participating in the two-day New England Regional State Election Security Forum organized by CISA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). One was the closed-door nature of the forum at UNH, his alma mater, and the other was a concern the forum served as a platform to legitimize federal security agency oversight and control of state elections, something he said should never happen. Invitees included secretaries of state from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as representatives from DHS, U.S. Secret Service, FBI and National Guard.

Full Article: Secretary of State Gardner skips regional election security forum - News - seacoastonline.com - Portsmouth, NH.

New Hampshire: ACLU sues to block voter fraud law deriding it as a ‘poll tax’ | Union Leader

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state on behalf of two college students who claim a new law that requires a New Hampshire driver’s license to vote violates their constitutional rights and represents a 21st-century “poll tax.” Caroline Casey is originally from Louisiana and Maggie Flaherty is from California. Both women are sophomores at Dartmouth College who voted in the 2018 primaries and general elections in New Hampshire but maintain driver’s licenses from their home states, according to the lawsuit. Under HB 1264, which was signed into law last year but doesn’t take effect until July, anyone who votes in New Hampshire must obtain an in-state driver’s license and vehicle registration within 60 days of casting their ballot.

Full Article: ACLU sues to block NH voter fraud law deriding it as a 'poll tax' | Courts | unionleader.com.

New Hampshire: Voter residency law challenged in New Hampshire | Associated Press

A New Hampshire law that will make residency a condition of voting in the state unconstitutionally restricts students’ right to vote, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday in a lawsuit. Under current law, New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t require residency. The federal lawsuit filed against Secretary of State William Gardner and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald was brought on behalf of two Dartmouth College students. They say the law, which takes effect July 1, burdens their right to vote by requiring new voters to shift their home state driver’s licenses and registrations to New Hampshire. “Under this law, I have to pay to change my California license to be a New Hampshire one,” one of the students, Maggie Flaherty, said in a statement. “If I vote and don’t change my license within 60 days, I could even be charged with a misdemeanor offense with up to one year in jail.

Full Article: Voter residency law challenged in nation’s 1st primary state | Myrtle Beach Sun News.

New Hampshire: Amid Election Scrutiny, Dixville Notch’s Midnight Voting Tradition Could Be At Risk | NHPR

Once every four years, for a brief moment, it seems the whole world turns its eyes to Dixville Notch. Since 1960, voters in this tiny Coos County community have been casting their ballots just after the stroke of midnight to mark the official start of the New Hampshire presidential primary. Of course, Dixville Notch isn’t the only place in New Hampshire that opens its polls at midnight. But it’s kept its tradition running the longest, so it gets most of the press coverage. But Dixville Notch has lately found itself under a different kind of spotlight: from the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.

Full Article: Amid Election Scrutiny, Dixville Notch’s Midnight Voting Tradition Could Be At Risk | New Hampshire Public Radio.

New Hampshire: State Supreme Court denies access to voter database in suit over registration law | Legal Newsline

A request to produce a voters database that was ordered by a lower court as evidence in a lawsuit was denied by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Chief Justice Robert Lynn issued a 10-page ruling on Jan. 24, vacating the New Hampshire Superior Court’s order in the lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and several individuals in a challenge to a voter registration law. The high court concluded that the Superior Court erred ordering the state’s secretary of state and attorney general to produce the New Hampshire Centralized Voter Registration Database, concluding that the list is “exempt from disclosure by statute.” The League of Women Voters of New Hampshire the New Hampshire Democratic Party sued over the validity of some state voting laws.

Full Article: New Hampshire Supreme Court denies access to voter database in suit over registration law | Legal Newsline.

New Hampshire: Bills would make it easier for older residents to vote | Associated Press

While much of the focus has been on young voters, New Hampshire lawmakers also are considering changes to make it easier for older residents to cast their ballots. The House Election Law Committee will hold public hearings Tuesday on two bills related to older voters. One would allow unrelated caregivers to deliver absentee ballots on behalf of voters who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The other would allow anyone age 60 or older to vote up to five weeks before an election. Rep. Richard Komi, a Democrat from Manchester, is the sponsor of the second bill, which he said is partly inspired by his 75-year-old mother. He wants to help elderly residents who are in poor health or who worry about inclement weather to vote when it is most convenient for them.

Full Article: Bills would make it easier for older residents to vote | Myrtle Beach Sun News.

New Hampshire: Democrats denied access to voter database in lawsuit over election law | Union Leader

The state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Secretary of State does not have provide a detailed voter database to the N.H. Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 3, the new law on voter verification. A lower court had ordered release of the database to the plaintiffs, who claimed they needed certain information from it to make their case. “We conclude that the database is exempt from disclosure by statute, and we therefore vacate the trial court’s order,” states the unanimous order of the five justices.

Full Article: Dems denied access to voter database in lawsuit over NH election law | Politics | unionleader.com.

New Hampshire: Constitutional Amendment Would Create An Independent Redistricting Panel in New Hampshire | NHPR

Lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to draw boundaries for state elections. Current law leaves the responsibility of redistricting to the New Hampshire Legislature. Supporters of this measure say that allows for gerrymandering, or the ability of the majority party to draw boundary lines in its favor. Democratic State Rep. Ellen Read, a supporter of the measure, said she’s mentioned limiting gerrymandering to members of her party in the past.

Full Article: Constitutional Amendment Would Create An Independent Redistricting Panel in N.H. | New Hampshire Public Radio.

New Hampshire: Lawmakers hear bills to repeal GOP-led voter registration laws | inDepthNH

The first public hearings on two bills that would effectively repeal two controversial laws that many Democrats view as voter suppression measures filled a double committee room at the Legislative Office Building on Thursday. Outside the packed third-floor room, supporters waved signs saying, “Restore Voting Rights” and “Granite Stater, Granite Voter” as elected officials, citizens and lobbyists took turns telling members of the House Election Law Committee why they should either back House Bills 105 and 106 or deep six them both. Rep. Timothy Horrigan, D-Durham, who co-sponsored both bills, said they are important to his constituents because of the University of New Hampshire where he believes students will be unduly impacted by having to pay fees for licenses and car registrations to prove residency.

Full Article: Lawmakers hear bills to repeal GOP-led voter registration laws.

New Hampshire: Democrats seek to reverse voting restrictions | Associated Press

Newly empowered Democrats are hoping to reverse two recent changes to New Hampshire’s election laws before either fully takes effect. One new law, requiring voters to provide more documentation if they register within 30 days of an election, remains tied up in court. The other, which ends the distinction between full-fledged residents and those claiming the state as their domicile for voting, takes effect July 1. Both passed under Republican-led Legislatures, but Democrats won majorities in both the House and Senate in November, and they are drafting bills to essentially repeal both changes. “I’m trying to put things back the way they were before,” said Rep. Timothy Horrigan, who is sponsoring both bills.

Full Article: NH Democrats seek to reverse voting restrictions | New Hampshire Politics | newburyportnews.com.

New Hampshire: Gardner wins reelection after revote, 209 to 205 | Union Leader

In a day of high drama at the State House, Bill Gardner, the nation’s longest serving Secretary of State, held off a formidable challenge by former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, eking out a four-vote win to another two-year term. Gardner, the underdog in this race for the first time in decades, pulled off a remarkable upset, beating Van Ostern on the second ballot of voting by House and Senate members, 209-205. First elected in 1976, Gardner told the New Hampshire Union Leader he was hoping for one more term, bringing him to the 100th anniversary of the state’s First-in-the-Nation Primary in 2020.

Full Article: Gardner wins reelection after revote, 209 to 205 | State | unionleader.com.

New Hampshire: Political legend falls prey to Trump effect | Politico

Secretary of State Bill Gardner has had a decadeslong run as the legendary, hard-nosed guardian of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. But he may not make it through the Trump era. Gardner, a fixture in presidential politics after more than 40 years in office, may be on the verge of a bitter ouster from his job after supporting stricter voter eligibility requirements and participating in President Donald Trump’s ill-fated voter fraud commission. Though he has traditionally garnered support from both Republicans and Democrats — the Legislature selects the state’s secretary of state every two years — New Hampshire House Democrats overwhelmingly threw their support to a rival Democrat, Colin Van Ostern, in a preliminary caucus vote recently.

Full Article: New Hampshire political legend falls prey to Trump effect - POLITICO.

New Hampshire: State Supreme Court Says SB3 Can Stay In Place, Reversing Lower Court Order | NHPR

The voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3 will stay in place through the upcoming midterms, after the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Friday overruled a lower court’s order that would have put the law on hold. The decision from the high court capped off a rollercoaster week for election officials in New Hampshire. On Monday, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown ordered them to stop using Senate Bill 3 (or “SB3”) in the upcoming midterms. By Wednesday, the state said, essentially, “Not so fast.” Arguing that it was too late to make any substantial changes to the registration process and that Brown’s instructions would burden pollworkers, state election officials asked both Brown and the New Hampshire Supreme Court for permission to keep the law in place. (The opposing attorneys challenging SB3, meanwhile, called this “a thinly-veiled attempt to create a record of difficulty and confusion where there really is none” so the state could avoid compliance with Brown’s order.)

Full Article: N.H. Supreme Court Says SB3 Can Stay In Place, Reversing Lower Court Order | New Hampshire Public Radio.

New Hampshire: ‘It’s a poll tax’: how New Hampshire became a battlefield for voting rights | The Guardian

Among the symmetrically mown lawns and grand homes of suburban New Hampshire, Garrett Muscatel was knocking on doors to talk about a subject that took many by surprise: voter suppression. At just 20 years old, this student at Dartmouth College is vying to become the youngest member of the state’s 400-person house of representatives in November’s midterm elections. But, so he told potential voters in this precinct, what is at stake was not just the beginning of his political career but the future of democracy in the Granite state. “Hi, my name is Garrett,” he told one woman in her 60s, tending to her barking dog. “I’m a student here at Dartmouth and I’m running for office. Did you know much about laws Republicans have passed that make it harder for people like me to vote?” She hadn’t heard much. But agreed that turning up to vote, even in a heavily Democratic precinct like this one, was important in the Trump era.

Full Article: 'It's a poll tax': how New Hampshire became a battlefield for voting rights | US news | The Guardian.

New Hampshire: Judge blocks SB 3 voting law, saying it imposes ‘unreasonable, discriminatory’ burdens | WBUR

The state has been blocked from using new voter registration forms and affidavits set out in the controversial 2017 law known as Senate Bill 3 in the upcoming election by a court ruling that called the law burdensome, confusing and likely to create long lines at voting places. Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown on Monday issued a preliminary injunction halting the state from moving forward with the provisions of the law, which was challenged shortly after it was signed last year by Gov. Chris Sununu. Brown ruled that “the burdens imposed by SB 3 are unreasonable and discriminatory.” The ruling, which was issued 15 days before the midterm election, was in favor of the plaintiffs: the League of Women Voters, the New Hampshire Democratic Party and several voters. The court said the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits after a full-blown trial, which is expected to be held next year.

Full Article: Judge blocks SB 3 voting law, saying it imposes 'unreasonable, discriminatory' burdens.

New Hampshire: Voting advocates say absentee ballot errors demonstrate flaws in system | Concord Monitor

There are ballot errors – the misspellings, typos and misalignments that can prompt last-minute changes ahead of Election Day. Then there are errors, and Stephen D’Angelo found himself on the receiving end of a major one. On Oct. 6, a Saturday, the Democratic nominee for Rockingham County District 4 received a flood of emails with alerts from supporters. The absentee ballots had been sent out to voters, the emails said, and D’Angelo’s name wasn’t on them. In the box for the Democrat in his House race, instead, was D’Angelo’s  primary opponent Russell Norman, whom he had defeated in September by five votes. One Republican representative from the same five-seat district, Jess Edwards, had posted a screenshot of the ballot on a Facebook page. “I thought he was kidding,” D’Angelo, of Chester, said in an interview. “I thought it was a joke at first. I looked on the secretary of state’s website and lo and behold, it was accurate.”

Full Article: Voting advocates say absentee ballot errors demonstrate flaws in system.