By now, you have probably heard about the election “irregularities” in Windham, NH. In a close race for its four-state representative seats, the candidate who came in fifth place requested a hand recount. The request was perfectly justifiable, as the difference between winning and losing was only two dozen votes. In the course of the recount, it was found 6 percent of the vote was shaved off the leading four candidates’ totals during the machine counting. In a “shocking coincidence”, all four of those candidates happened to be Republicans. In another “shocking coincidence”, the fifth-place candidate, a Democrat, was the beneficiary of a +2% machine miscount.
An 8 percent disparity is a huge difference. Yet, the Attorney General’s Office, as well as the secretary of state, refused to investigate, claiming they do not have the authority. If the secretary of state and the attorney general do not have the authority to investigate election “irregularities”, then who does? The answer would appear to be: The secretary of state and the attorney general, according to statute [RSA 7:6(c)]. Yet, these two offices of the executive branch, charged with assuring the integrity of our elections, tried to brush it aside.
Windham is not the only example of their failure. Last August, citizens from Campton filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office (case number 2020144475) and shortly afterwards contacted me with their problem. It seems some people who own second homes in our town of Campton feel it is their right to vote in New Hampshire, even though their legal domicile is in other states. At least one of these individuals registered their vehicle in New Hampshire, registered to vote in New Hampshire, and voted, and was later forced by their actual hometown in Massachusetts to reverse their actions because they were still registered to vote there, still registered a vehicle there, and were still legally domiciled in Massachusetts. These individuals and others in Waterville Estates have, of late, been publicly claiming they intend to vote in New Hampshire, regardless. They feel that since they pay property taxes in New Hampshire, they should be allowed to vote in New Hampshire. According to their model, if you are wealthy enough to own property in 20 states, you would be entitled to vote 20 times. That is why, notwithstanding their feelings, the law indicates you must claim only one primary domicile, and that jurisdiction is where you must vote.
And why shouldn’t these part-time residents plan to vote in New Hampshire and boldly proclaim it to others? Seven months and two elections later, there has been no action by the Attorney General’s Office. They will soon be voting in Campton’s town elections, helping to determine town officers. Like it or not, friends, there is plenty of election “irregularity” right here in New Hampshire, despite the secretary of state and many of our town governments telling us it ain’t so. Meanwhile, investigations are germinating in other towns. Some people will not like this article, and I will certainly be excoriated. However, it is my duty to serve my constituents in Campton and uphold the U.S. and New Hampshire constitutions. The right to free and fair elections is fundamental. Where there is malfeasance, I will do whatever I can to help correct the matter.
— Mark Alliegro is a State Representative from Grafton, NH