A day after President Joe Biden repeatedly suggested the 2022 election results may not be legitimate, New Hampshire’s new top election official tells NHJournal “there is no factual basis” for such claims.
During his press conference Wednesday, Biden was asked if the massive federal election oversight bill didn’t pass, “do you still believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and its results will be legitimate?”
Rather than assuring Americans the elections will be free and fair — the traditional answer from a sitting president — Biden instead said the legitimacy of this year’s voting is in doubt.
“Well, it all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election,” Biden said. His answer was so surprising another reporter followed up later in the presser.
“A moment ago, you were asked whether or not you believed that we would have free and fair elections in 2022 if some of these state legislatures reformed their voting protocols. You said that it depends. Do you — do you think that they would in any way be illegitimate?”
Biden’s response: “Oh, yeah, I think it easily could be illegitimate.”
New Hampshire Secretary of State Dave Scanlon disagrees.
“New Hampshire elections are, and will continue to be, legitimate and well run. There is no factual basis to suggest otherwise,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon became Secretary of State earlier this month after the retirement of Bill Gardner, who held the position since 1976. Gardner had also spoken out, loudly and often, against the claim that American or Granite State elections are in crisis.
Other Granite Staters, however, have been silent. Asked if she agreed with President Biden that the legitimacy of the 2022 elections is in doubt, Sen. Maggie Hassan refused to comment. The same goes for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and the rest of the federal delegation.
Delaware Democrat Sen. Chris Coons, a close Biden ally, went on TV the next morning and urged the president to “reassure the American people that our next elections can and should be legitimate and secure.”
Not Hassan. Instead, she continues to promote unfounded conspiracy theories suggesting New Hampshire is “sliding toward authoritarianism.”
“The fight to protect the right to vote and our democracy does not end here,” Hassan tweeted after the failed attempt to kill the filibuster Wednesday night. “I will continue pushing to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and impartially administered – because if they are not, the United States of America as we know it would not exist.”
The morning after Biden’s widely-criticized comments, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki attempted to claim the president never made the comments being criticized.
She insisted Mr. Biden “was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2022 election.” Instead, he was “explaining that the results would be illegitimate if states do what the former president asked them to do after the 2020 election: toss out ballots and overturn results.”
That is a false claim. (A verbatim transcript of Biden’s comments is here.)
Republicans and some in the press have noted the irony of a Democratic president raising questions about the legitimacy of an election his party is likely to lose, after months of non-stop criticism of President Donald Trump for doing the same.
“Wow. You have a President of a United States who ran explicitly as an anti-Trump saying the 2022 election might not be legitimate if turnout isn’t as high as he thinks it should be,” said Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal. “And it sounded not unlike Donald Trump casting doubt in advance of an election.”