Voting Laws

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.

N.H. Senator Tells Secretary of State "To Do His Job"

Feb 19, 2016
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.


As N.H. Primary Approaches, Not All Voters Are Tuning In

Feb 5, 2016
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.


Natasha Haverty / NHPR

Primary elections have a tendency to push candidates to the political extreme—fire up the base and draw bright lines around the issues. But during the New Hampshire presidential primary, where political independents play a central role those tactics often mean the campaign rhetoric sometimes doesn’t line up with how voters actually think.

Here are a few voters feeling that disconnect on one issue: guns.


NHPR

It’s become a common theme: voters are anxious – about national security, income inequality, and a government they see as unable to confront the country’s problems. Campaigns have tapped into these sentiments, often striking an angry tone. We’ll explore the extent of this discontent – and whether it's exceptional to this campaign season.

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Senate has once again passed a 30-day residency requirement for voting, a measure Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is likely to veto.

Republican senators backing the bill say it will cut down on voter fraud and ensure people voting in New Hampshire actually live in the state. Democratic opponents, meanwhile, say it will disenfranchise voters.

Manchester Man Pleads Guilty In Voter Fraud Case

Jan 18, 2016
justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A Manchester man has pleaded guilty to voter fraud.

Natasha Haverty

In the 2016 presidential campaign, few issues have been as fiercely debated as immigration. Here in New Hampshire, the US Southern border thousands of miles away can feel like an abstraction. But a small and growing number of voters in New Hampshire take the immigration debate very personally: the state’s Latino community. And as that community grows, so does its resolve to find a political voice. 

NHPR/Michael Brindley

When a candidate comes to your town, there’s always a huddle of reporters with microphones and cameras. 

And we hear a lot from those candidates and their supporters at an event. 

But as we get closer to our First in the Nation Primary, here on Morning Edition we’re going to be those reporters with mics, talking with people at a town hall or a diner visit.  But you’re also going to hear us in the communities hosting the candidates, to find out what’s on voters’ minds. 

We start in Nashua at a town hall meeting for Marco Rubio at Nashua Community College.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire’s primary is just five weeks away, and state election officials are anticipating record turnout. There’s something else on their minds too—this will be the first presidential primary with the state’s new voter ID law in place. 

The law, which passed three and a half years ago, was part of a wave of stricter voter laws pushed by Republicans across the country. How it plays out on Primary Day is still an open question.

 


Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Over a presidential campaign season that grows longer every four years, candidates have long counted on voters changing their minds before Primary Day. But we don’t often hear about how or why voters make up their minds in the first place. NHPR followed up with three voters to see how they are forming – and changing—their opinions over the course of the campaign.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday weighs an elections case that could dramatically change the way state legislative districts are drawn and could tilt some states in a decidedly more Republican direction.

The federal Constitution is clear. The national government's House of Representatives is to be apportioned based on the total population in each district, and the census is to count each person, whether eligible to vote or not, so that all are represented. The status of state legislative districts, however, is less clear.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission is preparing to decide whether Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are eligible for the state's presidential primary ballot.

The group meets Tuesday to take up complaints against the candidates.

The challenge against Cruz, a Texas senator, alleges he's ineligible to run for president because he was born in Canada. Cruz's mother was born in Delaware, giving him U.S. citizenship upon birth.

The towns in New Hampshire's White Mountains region have been must-stops on the campaign schedules of presidential candidates for decades. The region's sweeping views, quaint villages and history of resilience make it the ideal backdrop for those auditioning for the Oval Office. But what’s in it for the voters? And how engaged are they, away from the campaign stops and photo ops? NHPR's Natasha Haverty wanted to find out.

Natasha Haverty

It’s on every presidential candidate’s checklist: make at least one swing through northern New Hampshire, deliver a stump speech, shake hands with residents of the quiet mountain towns. But what about the people who aren’t at those campaign events? 

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A Manchester man has turned himself in to police after a warrant was issued accusing him of giving false addresses and voting in two other towns on Election Day in November 2014. The attorney general's office says Derek Castonguay registered to vote in Salem last year while living in Manchester.

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