Casey McDermott

Digital Reporter

Credit John W. Hession

Casey McDermott is an online reporter covering politics, policy and New Hampshire news. She also works on digital reporting projects for NHPR's newsroom.

Prior to joining NHPR, Casey worked at The Concord Monitor and held internships at ProPublica, the Student Press Law Center and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

She studied journalism and sociology at Penn State but spent most of her days (and nights) in the newsroom of the independent student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. The Collegian was recognized nationally for its work during Casey's time as its managing editor and editor-in-chief.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire’s executive branch ethics committee met Monday morning to review a complaint involving Gov. Chris Sununu – but the details of its discussion and what, if any, action it might take on the complaint are still confidential.

Casey McDermott

Senator Jeanne Shaheen was at the University of New Hampshire Thursday talking to students and faculty about the potential effects of research funding cuts under the Trump administration’s proposed federal budget.

Asked what researchers and students might be able to do to change things, Shaheen said it’s important to start local — even when speaking out about federal policies.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Members of the House Election Law Committee heard hours of testimony Tuesday on a voting bill that would impose new residency requirements on people registering to vote within 30 days of an election — with impassioned testimony from those on both sides of the debate.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

After clearing the Senate along party lines, a Republican-sponsored bill to add new requirements for voters registering within 30 days of an election is up for a public hearing in the House Tuesday morning.

Courtesy of Emerson Aviation

Forget what the calendar says: For plenty New Hampshire residents, a surer sign of the start of spring is the annual “ice out” declaration on Lake Winnipesaukee. That's the day when the M/S Mount Washington can safely travel to all four of her ports without getting snared in ice along the way.

AFV Pets, GIPHY

Are you due for an auto inspection? Would you mind if we tagged along? (It’s for a story, we promise.)

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire residents can continue to safely snap photos inside the voting booth, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the state’s request for an appeal in a years-long battle over so-called “ballot selfies.”

Still, even after multiple judges have ruled the ban unconstitutional, Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he’s still not giving up on finding a way to wall off the practice. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu’s unpublicized visit to Washington last week included his attendance at a fundraising gala hosted by a pro-Lebanon advocacy group whose website refers to its “access to senior U.S. and Lebanese government officials.”

@GovChrisSununu

When does a tweet cross the line on government ethics?

That’s the question at the center of a complaint filed this week by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, alleging Gov. Chris Sununu’s recent tweet about his day skiing at Waterville Valley Resort — which is owned by his family and, until recently, was managed by Sununu himself — violates state ethics rules.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

There’s plenty of debate in New Hampshire right now around the question of who should be allowed to vote here. A big part of that lies in figuring out when — and why — a person calls New Hampshire their home. Answering that question, however, isn’t always straightforward.

Happy Friday! (And Happy St. Patrick's Day!) No shortage of stuff going on in the Granite State this week. Keep scrolling to catch up on everything from local elections to local bird celebrities and more.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he would not support legislation if he believed it would hurt voter turnout. And as he sees it, a new bill that would impose new requirements on voters who register within 30 days of an election does not run the risk of doing that.

Elaine Grant / NHPR

Republican lawmakers have proposed dozens of individual bills to tighten up New Hampshire election laws this year, but one new proposal coming forward this week would on its own enact a number of changes in what’s required for voters to register and how officials are expected to verify those credentials.

Happy Friday! You might be overwhelmed with national political headlines this week, but there's lots of stuff going on closer to home, too. Read on for the latest on some of the most important (or interesting) things to report from all corners of the Granite State. And make sure to sign up for our newsletters to get this sent straight to your inbox each week

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The race for the new leader of the Democratic National Committee didn’t turn out quite how New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley had hoped. Even so, Buckley's optimistic about new DNC Chairman Tom Perez's plans for the party and for state outreach, in particular.

Plenty of Granite Staters, including the governor, are cheering after New Hampshire scored the No. 2 spot on a new U.S. News and World Report “Best States” index. But the details behind that new ranking paint a more complex picture than that "second-in-the-nation" title suggests.

Maybe it's the fact that the weather felt more like May than February, but it sure felt like a pretty long week. If you need help catching up on the headlines, or you're just in the market for some interesting reads to get you through the weekend, keep scrolling. (And if you haven't yet, make sure you're signed up for our newsletters to get this and other updates right to your inbox each week.)

Vox Efx / Flickr Creative Commons

The way Rep. Norman Silber sees it, a party primary is supposed to select the best person who represents the values and platform of that particular political party — and allowing undeclared voters to weigh in allows for too much electoral mischief.

OK, so things might be brightening up a bit this weekend. But it's still the middle of February and we're just coming off of several rounds of snowstorms and New Hampshire winters are nothing if not unpredictable — so while we're all catching our breath waiting for the next whiteout, we thought we'd take a moment to reflect on some particularly wintry stories before diving into the rest of this week's headlines.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

While President Trump and some of his allies perpetuate the (unverified and unsubstantiated) idea that out-of-state voters are being sent across the border en masse to throw New Hampshire elections, we were wondering: What can we actually know about the people who are showing up to register for the first time on Election Day?

Maybe you've been stuck inside the last few days. Or maybe you're not among the lucky ones who had a snow day and, in turn, have been busy with other things this week. Or maybe you read about the second round of snow that might be on deck this weekend and want to make sure you have a full reading list in case you're stuck inside again. In any case, keep scrolling — we've got you covered. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

While Representative Norman Silber, a first-term Republican from Gilford, initially hoped to get rid of same-day voter registration, he now says it seems like more trouble than it’s worth at this time.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

At first glance, one of the voting bills introduced by Representative David Bates this week would seem to be just a minor change, removing just four words from an existing statute.

The Windham Republican wants to strike part of the state law defining what it means to be a resident or inhabitant, or what it means to claim residency — specifically, the part that extends that definition to include people who intend to remain in New Hampshire "for the indefinite future." Those definitions, in turn, are used to help decide who’s eligible to vote in New Hampshire.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s shaping up to be a busy week for anyone following potential changes to the state’s election laws. At least 17 such bills are on deck for public hearings before House and Senate committees — a majority of which seek to restrict existing rules around voting.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Standing before a group at the Statehouse plaza Friday afternoon, Rob Spencer, of Concord, recounted how his parents left Austria to escape the Nazis and arrived in America as refugees.

That was part of the reason he showed up wearing a bright gold star pinned to his jacket, just above his heart.

Update: Thanks to all who weighed in! More than 400 of you cast your votes, and we'll let have more details soon on the winning question and our plans from here. In the meantime, make sure to keep sending your questions our way here.

Somehow, apparently, it's already February? Perhaps you've been too busy to keep up with the headlines this week, or you're among the many people taking a self-imposed break from the news — either way, consider this your reading list to catch up on the important or otherwise interesting stuff you missed around New Hampshire this week. 

Sara Plourde / New England News Collaborative, NHPR

While Republican governors in Massachusetts and Vermont expressed concern over the weekend about President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration and refugees, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu took a more neutral stance when weighing in on the issue Monday.

So, uh, that was fast? We're (almost) one-twelfth of the way through 2017 already, and January's certainly not saying goodbye quietly. You've probably had a busy week, too, so we did the work of rounding up some of the most interesting stories you might've missed in the last few days. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to save yourself even more time and get these headlines delivered right to your inbox each week.

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