Voting Laws

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

    

After suggesting that Democrats were abusing the state’s same-day voter registration rules by “busing” in out-of-state voters, Chris Sununu clarified that he does not believe voters are being literally bused across the New Hampshire border en masse to participate in the elections — but he does favor stronger residency requirements to prevent potential abuses at the polls.

Ahead of Election Day next week, election officials around the country are checking and double-checking their equipment to make sure the results are calculated accurately.

Those officials are under increased scrutiny this year with Donald Trump and his allies claiming the voting system could be "rigged" in favor of Democrats. So election administrators around the country are opening the doors to the public to show off the multiple layers of safeguards in the ballot-counting process.

Miichael Brindley

There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of the ground game is in this presidential election. But who are the people knocking on doors trying to get out the vote?

After we heard from GOP canvassers last week, NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spent a recent morning in Goffstown with a volunteer going door to door, trying to get out the vote for Democrats.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu is accusing New Hampshire Democrats of orchestrating voter fraud in the state.

During an appearance Monday on the Howie Carr Show, Sununu claimed Democrats are busing in Massachusetts residents and using the state’s same-day registration law to get them to vote in New Hampshire.

Sean Hurley

We recently aired a story about a farm stand in Ashland with a unique amenity – an outhouse that owner Chris Owens had converted into a makeshift voting booth. While the latest polls show an ever tightening Presidential race, NHPR’s Sean Hurley says the results from the outhouse indicate a clear victory for one candidate. 

Chris Owens sits beside an outdoor woodstove at the back of his farm stand.  At his feet, his cat, Sid Vicious and on his lap - a box full of ballots, freshly collected from…his outhouse.

One question on many people's minds is whether polling places will be disrupted on Election Day. There are concerns that vigilantes, armed with cameras and notebooks, will intimidate voters they suspect of committing fraud. Such groups insist they'll follow the law, but civil rights groups are on alert just in case.

Michael Brindley

In the weeks leading up to the election, NHPR reporters will travel throughout the state to talk with people on the ground about what’s shaping their votes.

NHPR’s Michael Brindley caught up last week with libertarian Steve O’Brien.

He’s 29 years old and was attending a campaign rally in Keene to hear from libertarian Bill Weld, presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s running mate.

USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/EJSXqM

Each year, eight-hundred thousand Latinos turn 18 in the United States - add up the 4 years since the last election, and you've got a whole lot of young voters. Today, a new app designed to increase turnout among young Latinos - an crucial block that haven't always shown up to the polls. 

Plus, the author of The Way Things Work - a quintessential coffee-table book from 1988 made up of detailed illustrations to explain everything from catapults to calculators. The classic book just got an update for the digital age.

And conservation by drone - we'll hear about a program designed to save black-footed ferrets from the plague by air-dropping vaccines.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Updated 08/26/2016:

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office issued a statement outlining their position on the legality of guns in schools when used as polling places.

Reporter Jason Moon joined All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the statement.

The statement from the Attorney General's Office in full:

A former Republican state representative who was arrested in connection with alleged voter fraud during New Hampshire's presidential primary has been arraigned on witness tampering and bribery charges.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports Don Leeman of Rochester appeared in Strafford County Superior Court on Wednesday. He remains out on bail.

The attorney general's office says Leeman, who resigned in May, was representing and voted in a district in which he was no longer domiciled during the February primary.

Courtesy of Facebook

A former state representative from Rochester has been arrested on charges related to voter fraud.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, during the recent presidential primary Don Leeman voted in a district he no longer lived in and then tried to bribe a local employee to cover it up.

Casey McDermott

 The Secretary of State, the Attorney General and certainly the clerk who’ll be running your polling place in September, want you to be sure you’ve registered with the party you want—or as undeclared—by Tuesday. So if you’re registered as a Republican but want to change to undeclared—or you’re registered as a Democrat but want to vote as a Republican this time around—this is your last chance.

And on Wednesday, filing period opens up for candidates running for state office—those folks need to be registered as voters of their party of choice by Tuesday too.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

James O’Keefe, a conservative activist known for his undercover videos in New Hampshire and elsewhere, marched into the State House Thursday afternoon looking to make a point about how the state enforces its voting laws.

He left with a subpoena.

Over the past few weeks, the attorney general’s office had been asking O’Keefe to preserve the raw footage from a series of videos filmed around last month's presidential primary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House lawmakers weighed in Wednesday morning on a number of bills addressing New Hampshire’s election laws. This issue has gained momentum after videos last month claimed to show voter fraud in February's Presidential Primary.

N.H. Voter Rules and Residency Requirements

Feb 29, 2016
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

A video claiming to reveal fraud on primary day has re-energized calls for voters to spend a certain amount of time living here before casting a ballot.  But the devil's in the details; such as how long is long enough, how to verify someone's identity and address, and the difference between "domicile" and "residency."

jessamyn west via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4NNw

While a slew of controversial election laws in recent years have prompted concerns over voter disenfranchisement...  Little attention has been paid to what may be the country's most disenfranchised population: felons. Today, an election law scholar discusses the estimated five point eight million men and women who are banned from the polls.

Plus, the head of an online food magazine takes aim at food writers that he says are skirting journalistic responsibilities, in favor of lighter fare. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire secretary of state's office confirms that a record number of ballots were cast in the state's presidential primary earlier this month.

A total of 542,459 people voted in the Feb. 9 primary, topping the record set in 2008 by close to 13,000 votes. This year, there were 287,683 Republican votes — far surpassing the 2008 tally — while the Democratic total — 254,776 — fell short of the 2008 number.

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Convicted felons behind bars in New Hampshire could get the right to vote under a proposal that is heading for a full vote by the House.

If passed, the measure would put the state in the ranks of Vermont and Maine. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, those are the only two states where felons never lose their right to vote.

But the bill, sponsored by four Democrats, faces an uphill battle after being deemed unworkable by the House Elections Law Committee on Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State law says, to vote in New Hampshire you have to be "domiciled" in the state; in other words - consider the state your home. But you don’t necessarily have to be residing in the state at the time of the election.

It's the definition of that word "domicile" that's fueling much of the current debate over state voting regulations after new videos from last week’s presidential primary claim to show several instances of voter fraud.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner took some criticism in the Senate Thursday over his role in overseeing local elections.

Speaking in favor of a bill that aims to help cities and towns better manage local elections, Sen. David Pierce criticized Gardner - repeatedly.

Manchester Polls
Susan Posner / NHPR

An undercover video claiming to show out-of-state residents attempting to vote in the presidential primary is being reviewed by the Attorney General and is likely to renew a years-long debate over voter ID rules in New Hampshire

Sean Hurley

While most New Hampshire’s cities and towns will use machines to count votes this Primary Day, many towns still do things the old-fashioned way: hand-counted ballots.  But fewer towns stick to that method every year. This year, five new towns have opted to go the automated tabulator route. NHPR's Sean Hurley lives in one of those towns: Thornton.  He visited Town Hall to see how officials there are faring with the newfangled device.


Before last night’s GOP debate got underway the lawn of St. Anselm college filled with Republican supporters. They had signs and chants—but also mixed in the crowd of 500 or so people were protesters pushing for a $15 federal minimum wage. NHPR’s Natasha Haverty went into the crowd and captured these voices. 

    

Latino voters are expected to turn out in record numbers across the country this election year. For many, learning the basics of how to vote is the first step.


Paige Sutherland/NHPR

All this week, NHPR has been seeking out New Hampshire residents to talk politics, far from the presidential primary campaign trail. For our last installment, Paige Sutherland visited a Manchester gym to ask voters what's on their minds.

The Four Aces Diner on Lebanon's Bridge Street is a real old fashioned diner car: leather booths and linoleum counter, a blackboard of specials. But on this particular morning, the folks inside— not so up for talking politics.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

At seven in the morning the day after the Iowa caucus, Breakfast at Laney's in Somersworth is pretty quiet. The 6 AM crowd has moved out and the 9:30 "rush" is still rolling out of bed.

As a campaign stop, the diner has been similarly quiet: Only four candidates have visited Somersworth this election season -- Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Martin O'Malley -- and none have dropped by since November. 


Michael Brindley/NHPR

Sometimes it can seem like everyone’s talking about the primary, especially now that it’s a week away.

But history shows there are certain groups of people who aren’t as likely to head out to the polls on Tuesday.

One of those pockets of the population is low-income people.

Jack Rodolico

Around 6 am last Friday, the Mt. Pisgah Diner in Winchester was packed with regulars: people who come to share good food at a small counter. The diner's owner, Joni Otto, says no presidential candidate has ever graced her doorway.

But that doesn't mean politics is missing from the menu.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire voters head to the polls next week with plenty to think about. And many of them have been thinking, comparing, contrasting, deciding, and un-deciding on candidates for a while now. NHPR has been following up with a handful of voters through the campaign to hear how their final decisions have been shaped by a long primary season. Today we hear from three of them.


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