inside sources print logo
Get up to date New Hampshire news in your inbox

Top Election Officials Blast Report Ranking NH Last in Voting Ease

A new report from a progressive political organization ranks New Hampshire dead last in ease of voting. But the Granite State’s top election officials dismiss the findings as bunk.

“That’s the type of report that causes people to lose confidence in elections,” said New Hampshire Secretary of State Dave Scanlan. “The report is way off base in my opinion.”

The report, Cost of Voting in American States, ranks New Hampshire 50th in the nation, finding the Granite State makes it more difficult and expensive to vote than any other. That report has since been picked up by national media outlets like The New York Times, and locally by WMUR.

Scanlan said the report, compiled by a researcher with a political activist group, along with a Midwest political science professor and a data analyst from China, ignored the facts on the ground when it comes to how easy it is for New Hampshire residents to vote. 

“When they issue a report like this, it gives a false picture of where New Hampshire is at,” Scanlan said.

For example, the report faults New Hampshire for not being part of the Motor Voter law where people are registered to vote when they get a driver’s license. The state is also criticized for not offering permanent mail-in voting, or adopting “no excuse” absentee voting, for not allowing incarcerated felons to vote, and not allowing drop-off ballot boxes, as some other states have allowed.

Scanlan said the report’s authors fail to consider key facts, like same-day voter registration, or the security of New Hampshire’s elections. And then there was the ultimate measurement: High voter turnout.

During the last five presidential elections, New Hampshire has been in the top three states for voter turnout, Scanlan said. “It doesn’t matter what California does, or what Washington does in their state, it matters what New Hampshire does,” Scanlan said.

“It’s easy to vote here, and we have struck a good balance between ease of voting and making sure elections are secure,” Scanlan said.

Michael Garrity, communications director for the New Hampshire Department of Justice, said the report’s findings are not based in reality.

“New Hampshire has many convenient options for voters to register to vote and to vote. New Hampshire law allows voters to register to vote in person at town and city clerks’ offices, by mail, or on election day,” Garrity said.

New Hampshire offers election day registration for voters and provides voters with the ability to bring documents showing their qualifications to vote, or allows them to sign affidavits for every qualification if they do not have any documents, he said.

“And, unlike many other states, our election day registered voters cast full ballots that are counted on election day – they are not provisional ballots that can be rejected in the weeks after an election,” Garrity said.

New Hampshire election officials strive to make sure people who are allowed to vote can vote, Scanlan said. That means making sure real registered voters are the ones taking the ballots, and that those voters are not impeded. Many of New Hampshire’s voting laws and regulations have developed over centuries, he said.

It seems to be working for New Hampshire, as a recent UNH poll found 98 percent of New Hampshire voters find it easy to cast their ballots.

“In this regard, that’s the only question that matters,” Scanlan said.

Windham Elections Under Review – Again – After Discrepancies

It’s becoming an Election Day tradition in the town of Windham, N.H.

Another election, another round of questionable election reporting, and another review in store for Windham election officials by the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office. 

Windham’s reported results from the Sept. 13 primary raised eyebrows when the reported results changed between election night and then later when results were given to the Secretary of State’s Office. At one point on Tuesday, Windham was “reporting” three different totals for the same elections: one from election night, one on the town’s website, and one from the hand recounts.

Republican state Rep. Julius Soti saw his total vote count in Windham drop by about 20 votes, from 1,080 on election night, to 1,063 during the week. “It’s a little bit odd they kept revising the numbers,” Soti said. “I’m not sure what happened.”  

The final tally? Soti edged Roger Filio in the GOP primary by eight votes, 2117 to 2109.

In the end, the final reported results were nearly identical to those reported on election night, with just a couple of votes net difference. So, why the moving-target tally? Town officials struggled to offer a cogent explanation.

“Any changes between the two sets of numbers can be accounted for by the continuation of the reconciliation process which involves the review of the marked checklist, hand tally sheets, write-in tally sheets, new voter registration, and checking the absentee ballot report along with various supporting spreadsheets,” said Windham’s Town Clerk Nancy Merrill in the statement. “The reconciliation process is a common, complex process that is performed not only in Windham, but all New Hampshire communities.”

But no other community had multiple results reported for the same election, critics noted.

“The votes they need to count are the ones that elected these [expletives] who run their elections,” one frustrated GOP state legislator told NHJournal. “They’ve got to go.”

Town Administrator Brian McCarthy downplayed the issue when contacted. He said the reconciliation process is in place to make sure the accurate totals are recorded, though that does not always happen the night of the vote. More time can be necessary to get all of the votes counted and the totals reconciled.

“Those reconciled numbers are the correct numbers,” McCarthy said.

That contradicts both the New Hampshire state constitution, which says all the votes will be counted on Election Day and the results from Windham where the reconciled numbers remained incorrect for part of the day Tuesday.

Not surprisingly, the state’s top election official is curious about Windham’s wandering results as well.

Secretary of State David Scanlan’s spokesperson Anna Fay said the election night counts were confirmed on Tuesday during the recount. The discrepancies in the totals will be investigated.

“The office is looking into issues related to the additional reporting that occurred after the election,” Fay said.

Windham became the epicenter for New Hampshire election conspiracy theories after the 2020 election when vote totals changed drastically in several races after the initial election night count. The months-long controversy ended with the outside audit that found the way town election officials folded the ballots caused the problems.

The folds in the paper ballots made it difficult for optical scan vote counters, AccuVote machines, to record the votes properly, hence the counting errors.

A subsequent state review also faulted local officials for compounding the errors by cutting corners ahead of the 2020 election according to a January letter from New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella and Secretary of State William Gardner to Windham town officials. Windham officials reportedly used an uncalibrated machine to tabulate the votes and skimped on a practice run that would have likely caught the issue before the election.

“(S)imply put, town election officials cut corners. Some of those shortcuts created errors—such as using an uncalibrated folding machine—which were unintentional and perhaps unforeseeable, but ultimately resulted in ballots not being accurately counted,” the letter states.

So far, no other major voting errors or discrepancies have been reported in other communities, though there were several recounts due to the high number of close elections.

Soti said the entire incident shows more oversight is still needed in Windham.

“We’re going to investigate this a little further,” Soti said. “I’m sure the secretary of state is going to ask a few questions.” 

State to Monitor Windham Elections After Town Caught ‘Cutting Corners,’ Ignoring Law

New Hampshire’s Attorney General and Secretary of State have released a scathing letter calling out the town of Windham for its inept, dishonest, and potentially illegal mishandling of ballots during the 2020 general election. The behavior of town election officials was so egregious, the state is taking the unusual step of appointing a monitor to oversee the coming September primary election.

The town received the news Friday in a letter from New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella and Secretary of State William Gardner to Windham town officials.

“(S)imply put, town election officials cut corners. Some of those shortcuts created errors — such as using an uncalibrated folding machine — which were unintentional and perhaps unforeseeable, but ultimately resulted in ballots not being accurately counted,” Formella and Gardner wrote.

Windham became a flashpoint in the national debate over President Donald Trump’s unfounded allegations of widespread election fraud after a recount in a state representative’s race came up with wildly different results from the original count. The Election Day results were recounted at the request of Democratic candidate Kristi St. Laurent, who finished behind the top four Republican candidates. In the recount, each of the four winning Republicans picked up about 300 votes and St. Laurent lost 99 votes, dropping her losing margin from just 24 votes to more than 400 votes.

After the state paid at least $123,000 to bring in outside experts to audit Windham’s total, the problem was traced back to folds in absentee ballots that confused the optical scan on the AccuVote machines.

However, the joint letter states there were serious issues in the way town election officials conducted their behavior before and after the election that had nothing to do with folded ballots.

For example, the town failed to follow the legal requirements for calibrating the machines before the ballot-counting began. Towns are required to use 50 practice ballots to be fed through each machine at least four times. In Windham, officials put six practice ballots through each machine just once.

“The use of six test ballots, each of which was counted only one time by a device, not only violates state law, but also fails to provide the evidence that the device counts accurately as called for by law,” the letter states. Town officials “ignored legal obligations and are of continuing concern as they are indicative of an election that was not executed to the standard of the law or expectations of voters,” Formella and Gardner added.

Windham officials also failed to put securely sealed labels on several boxes of ballots after the vote. And while town officials told the Secretary of State’s Office the proper boxes and labels did not arrive in town before the election, the state’s investigation found a check of the tracking numbers for the shipment indicates all of the boxes and labels arrived in town on time.

Windham’s Town Clerk Nicole Merrill said Monday she was still trying to digest the letter from the state, but that she was also excited to work collaboratively on the upcoming September election.

“We are excited about the monitor and welcome them with open arms,” Merrill said. 

However, Senior Assistant Attorney General Anne Edwards said Monday it is highly unusual for the state to appoint an election monitor in New Hampshire.

“It is not very common for the state to put an election monitor in place,” Edwards said in an email. “In the 25 plus years that I have been involved, the only other time I am aware of us putting an election monitor in place was in Derry for the 2016 General Election.”

That election was marred by several legal problems, according to Edwards, resulting from actions by the Derry Town Moderator Mary Till including “(she) did not follow procedures correctly in that she: failed to identify a central polling place; did not correctly handle the counting of the ballots given that she was a candidate on the ballot; and did not correctly arrange for the delivery of ballots from the separate polling places to the Municipal Center.  She also conducted her own hand recount of the ballot counting device, which is not permitted by New Hampshire law or approved by the Secretary of State or the Ballot Law Commission.”

Windham isn’t the only municipality in the state with issues from the 2020 election. The town of Bedford is embroiled in controversy over town officials’ ongoing attempts to keep information from the public over their mishandling of ballots as well. At least 190 absentee ballots were left uncounted, a fact town officials kept secret from both the town council and the voters of Bedford. 

Windham Town Manager Dave Sullivan said voters should feel confident in the process the town has in place, despite the fact the state will be monitoring the next election due to errors.

“We feel very confident in the process that we have,” Sullivan said.

Merrill is looking forward to addressing the issues in town. Given the difficulties in the 2020 elections statewide, she hopes all New Hampshire voters will benefit from what is learned in Windham. Merrill said voters in her town can trust the process.

“I took an oath and I take it very seriously. We keep everyone’s ballots safe and secure,” Merrill said.

The story was updated to correct a reporting error. The Derry official who led to a state monitor in 2016 was Town Moderator Mary Till, and not the town clerk

Documents Confirm Second Bedford Ballot Fiasco as AG’s Office Announces Investigation

Documents obtained by New Hampshire Journal confirm Bedford town officials discovered still more mishandled ballots in September 2021 and, like the 190 uncounted ballots from November, are attempting to hide their discovery from the public.

Meanwhile, an attorney with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has told NHJournal it is preparing to begin an investigation into the matter.

Bedford Town Manager Rick Sawyer sent members of the Town Council an email on Tuesday informing them more ballots from the 2020 election were discovered by town staff, who kept their existence secret until this week.

“I am making you aware that the Town Clerk (Sally Kellar) just walked into my office with an envelope that she says contains cast ballots from the November 2020 election and that were found in a voting box in the September 2021 Special Election and handed to her,” Sawyer wrote. “I advised her immediately to contact the town attorney and the appropriate state officials. If it is as described, these ballots were counted in the election but would not have been available for the recount. I don’t know why notification was not made immediately in September.”

Sources tell NHJournal town election officials have no plan to reveal this information to the public. It’s still not clear how many ballots were discovered in this second incident, and they refused to answer questions about the ballots, or even acknowledge their existence to NHJournal.

The 2020 state Senate election in Bedford was close enough for a recount between incumbent Democrat Jeanne Dietsch and Republican Denise Ricciardi. Dietsch called off the recount halfway through, leaving Ricciardi with a 409-vote margin.

Town officials say the 190 uncast absentee ballots they discovered last November and hid from the public for nearly a year would not have changed any election results.

Kellar hung up when asked questions about the ballots on Tuesday, after saying that no ‘uncast ballots’ were found, an apparent attempt to mislead the reporter. Sawyer, Town Moderator Bill Klein, and Town Council Chair David Gilbert, and Vice-Chair Bill Carter were all contacted for this story. They all failed to respond.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Anne Edwards said Wednesday her office is aware of the latest ballot problem in Bedford and is looking into the matter.

“Yesterday, we were made aware of an issue regarding ballots in Bedford. At this time, we do not have detailed information. We will be investigating this situation,” Edwards said. 

Senior Assistant Town Moderator Brian Shaughnessy played a leadership role in the November 2020 general election and now admits that he — and not the Attorney General’s Office — is the source of the decision to keep the mishandled ballots secret from the public and town council. But on Wednesday, he told NHJournal he was completely unaware of the discovery of any additional ballots or a second snafu.

“I’m a volunteer that gets appointed at the election,” he said. “I would not normally be kept in the loop.”

The town enacted a series of election reforms after the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office investigated, Shaughnessy said. He blamed the issues from 2020 on the unprecedented number of absentee ballots cast during the pandemic election. 

“It was a unique situation with 7,700 absentee ballots,” he said. “We generally don’t need 50 volunteers to open envelopes.”

At last week’s Town Council meeting, Shaughnessy insisted he and the other election officials “did the right thing” by keeping the story about the 190 ballots a secret for nearly a year. 

“We don’t work for you,” was Shaughnessy’s answer when councilors asked why elected representatives of Bedford’s citizens were left in the dark. Klein acknowledged those voters “were disenfranchised,” but he stood by the decision not to inform them.

Developing….

GOP Insiders Warn Dems Over Secretary Of State Vote: Your Partisan Today, Ours Tomorrow

“If Democrats pick Colin Van Ostern today, they are voting to elect Secretary of State [Bill] O’Brien tomorrow.”

That’s the warning of one longtime New Hampshire politico to NHJournal.com regarding Tuesday’s legislative vote for Secretary of State. Once Democrats turn the job into a plum gig for loyal partisans, it will never go back.

This is the sentiment many NH political activists and observers expressed to NHJournal as the Secretary of State election approaches.

“I hate to be alarmist, but I really believe that if New Hampshire loses its place as the ‘First in the Nation’ primary, America loses something. And if New Hampshire loses our reputation for having an even-handed, non-partisan Secretary of State, we will be in real danger of losing that primary.”

So says political consultant Josh McElveen, who has been pointing out the dangers posed by Colin Van Ostern’s openly-partisan advocacy for the office. He’s organizing a rally on Monday morning at 10:30am outside the LLB in Concord to remind legislators of what is at stake.

“If we have a Secretary of State with a partisan agenda, one who’s raised more than $250,000 dollars from partisan sources—people who gave that money with some sort of expectations—those outside of New Hampshire who want to take away our ‘First in the Nation’ status will use that against us,” McElveen told NHJournal.

Many Democrats reject the argument that electing Van Ostern in any way endangers New Hampshire’s place on the primary calendar. “Gardner did not create NH’s reputation as a state where anyone can run for President and launch a national campaign,” former New Hampshire state rep and outspoken Democratic activist Judy Reardon tweeted. “See primaries before he became SoS – 1968 (McCarthy) and 1972 (McGovern) for example.”

But the argument against Van Ostern isn’t that he’s a Democrat—Gardner is, too. Instead, the concern is over the fact that Van Ostern is a partisan political activist who was his party’s nominee for governor in 2016 and is widely expected to run for elective office in the future.

“I have kept my pledge not to use this office as a stepping stone. I’ve never run for office and I never would,” Secretary Gardner told NHJournal. “My opponent has only pledged not to run ‘in 2020.’”

At the Union-Leader, Kevin Landrigan reminds readers that Van Ostern began his campaign for the Secretary of State’s job with a pledge to “do everything in my power to help elect a legislative majority in support of [his] platform. I intend to recruit and campaign and raise money for these candidates,” Van Ostern said at the time.

He soon backed away from that pledge, but as Landrigan reports, his allies and former aides stepped up and money flowed to Democratic legislative candidates, anyway. This is hardly a surprise given Van Ostern’s background as a political operative.

Notably absent are New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate Democrats, neither of whom have endorsed Van Ostern for Secretary of State despite supporting his previous candidacies.

“This is a matter for the Legislature to decide,” Sen. Maggie Hassan said in a statement, while a spokesperson for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office simply said she “is not getting involved in the race.”

“If the Secretary of State’s job devolves into a partisan political office with partisan practices like fundraising and campaigning, it will never go back,” McElveen said.

A Republican state house insider had a similar message for NHJournal: “How many times have the Democrats had control of the legislature? Something like less than 10% of the last 100 years. A vote for Van Ostern now is a vote for a hardcore conservative in 2020 when the GOP takes over the legislature.”

And another GOP activist put it even more bluntly: “They have no idea what they’re going to unleash. What—do they think we’re going to watch them elect someone like Van Ostern, and then when we take back the House, we’ll bring Billy [Gardner] out of retirement?”

A GOP majority in 2020 is hardly a certainty. What is all but certain, however, is that there will be a Republican legislative majority in the New Hampshire General Court again. And if history is any guide, in the near future.

Democrats may want to keep that in mind as they cast their votes on Tuesday.

Shaheen Flips On Pompeo Just Before News Hits Of His Secret NoKo Mission

Around 6pm Tuesday evening, NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen tweeted out that, despite voting to confirm Mike Pompeo for CIA Director a few months ago and saying she “appreciates his dedication” in the position, she refuses to support him for Secretary of State.

“I continue to have deep concerns regarding Mr. Pompeo’s past statements and policy views, particularly in regards to the LGBTQ community, American Muslims and women’s reproductive rights,” the NH Democrat said in a statement.  “For these reasons, I have concluded that I cannot support Director Pompeo to lead the State Department at this critical time.”

Less than two hours later, the Washington Post broke the story that the man Sen. Shaheen declared unfit to serve as America’s top diplomat over his personal religious views has secretly visited North Korea and met with Kim Jong-un.

“The extraordinary meeting between one of Trump’s most trusted emissaries and the authoritarian head of a rogue state was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between Trump and Kim about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the highly classified nature of the talks,” the Washington Post reported.

“The clandestine mission, which has not previously been reported, came soon after Pompeo was nominated to be secretary of state.”

No word on whether Director Pompeo discussed gay rights or abortion with the North Korean dictator.

What should Shaheen do? She was one of 14 Democrats who voted for Pompeo for CIA Director, and the consensus is he’s done a competent job. Now she’s going to bail on him?  If she does, Shaheen faces the prospect of publicly voting to end Pompeo’s efforts to resolve one of the greatest global challenged of the day–the threat of a nuclear North Korea with weapons that could reach the US–over social issues.

Yes, it’s possible (in fact, it’s probably likely at this point) that Pompeo’s nomination will be approved by the US Senate without her support.  But if there is a breakthrough and Secretary of State Pompeo strikes an historic deal regarding North Korea–say, the signing of a peace agreement between the two Koreas– Senator Shaheen will be on the record as having tried to stop Pompeo’s progress after the fact.

Then again, she’s already flipped on Mike Pompeo once before. Maybe she will again.

A Look Into the Voter Fraud, Election Law Debate in New Hampshire

A Democratic member of the Federal Election Commission isn’t going to let President Donald Trump go without providing evidence that there was voter fraud during the 2016 presidential election in New Hampshire.

In yet another letter to Trump, FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub is asking Trump to provide proof of his claim that thousands of Democratic Massachusetts residents were bused to the Granite State on election day to illegally vote against him.

“This allegation of a vast conspiracy, involving thousands of people committing felony criminal acts aimed at stealing the election, has deeply disturbed citizens throughout America,” she wrote in a Wednesday letter. “I have heard from many of them, including proud and patriotic New Englanders who are shocked by the allegation and feel that it impugns their historic role in our democracy.”

She also called on Trump in February to provide evidence for his voter fraud claim.

This latest letter adds fuel to the fire of what’s already been a heated debate between Republicans and Democrats in New Hampshire when it comes to the state’s election laws. In fact, the Senate is close to voting on a major bill that would close several of the state’s voting law loopholes, according to Republicans.

The legend of Massachusetts voters busing into the Granite State to cast a ballot in our elections is not a new tale, but here’s a quick timeline of events that led to this sweeping legislation:

  • A few weeks after the election, when Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, he tweeted, “Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California — so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias — big problem!” Trump won the Electoral College, but lost New Hampshire to Clinton by about 2,700 votes.
  • Before Trump’s tweet, and about a week before the election, then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu, told radio host Howie Carr that Democrats abuse New Hampshire’s same-day voter registration, and “when Massachusetts elections are not very close, they’re busing them in all over the place.” Politifact rated his claim as “Pants on Fire.”
  • This led to backlash from Granite State officials, including the state’s attorney general and secretary of state’s offices, who wanted to quell fears that New Hampshire elections are illegitimate.
  • After the election, Sununu said he was not aware of any “specific evidence of voter fraud.”

Yet, it didn’t stop there. Trump kept talking about voter fraud even after his presidential inauguration.

  • During a closed-door meeting between Trump, former N.H. Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, and 10 other senators to discuss U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Trump reportedly started the meeting by discussing the election and voter fraud.  He claimed that he and Ayotte would have both won in the Granite State if not for the “thousands” of people who were “brought in on buses” from Massachusetts to “illegally” vote in New Hampshire.
  • Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Trump, made the claim again in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” He said: “This issue of busing voters in to New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real, it’s very serious.”
  • Even recently, in a TIME Magazine interview published Thursday, Trump stood by his claim that three million undocumented people voted in the national election. He said: “Well now if you take a look at the votes, when I say that, I mean mostly they register wrong, in other words, for the votes, they register incorrectly, and or/illegally. And they then vote. You have tremendous numbers of people. In fact I’m forming a committee on it.”

Many Republicans and Democrats are upset that Trump is pushing a false narrative and is making people question the integrity of the democratic voting process. However, his statement perfectly illustrates what his supporters and several Republicans believe is the problem with election laws in New Hampshire: The current laws make it difficult to charge anyone with voter fraud because what’s legal here is usually illegal in another state.

Hence, Senate Bill 3, which was introduced by Sen. Regina Birdsell, R-Hampstead, to address a lot of those concerns. Of course, the bill is divided on party lines — it’s cheered by Republicans who say they are trying to tighten the process and ensure that those who vote in New Hampshire actually live in New Hampshire and criticized by Democrats who say the bill is a form of voter suppression.

One of the issues it focuses on is the definition of domicile, which varies from state to state, and the New Hampshire Legislature is trying to better define the difference between “domicile” and “residence” in this bill. Under current laws, the definition of domicile is “that place, to which upon temporary absence, a person has the intention of returning.” Republicans think that’s vague and allows campaign workers, who might be in the state for a month or so, to vote in New Hampshire, even if they plan on leaving after the election.

An incident occurred in the 2008 and 2012 elections when Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, allowed Democratic staffers to live at her home. The staffers used her address to vote in the election, and since they were living in the state for at least three months before the election, the Attorney General ruled that it was legal.

Under the new bill, a person who registers to vote within 30 days of an election or on Election Day must show verification that a New Hampshire address is his or her domicile. That can be done by showing proof of residency at a college or university, driver’s license, utility bill, among other forms. Those who do not show documentation can still register and vote by filling out a domicile affidavit and registration form, and provide the documentation within 10 or 30 days of Election Day, depending on the community. Someone could get charged with voter fraud if they fail to provide a document verifying his or her domicile within that window.

A previous version of the bill called for police officer to knock on doors to verify a voter’s domicile, but that provision was taken out this week. The bill still allows municipal officials to visit those addresses or ask “agents” to do so.

The Senate Election Law Committee recommended Tuesday in favor of the bill by a 3-2 vote on party lines and it now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

Adding to the controversy, the Attorney General’s office recently said investigations into thousands of affidavit voters who cast ballots in New Hampshire without identification during the 2012 and 2014 election cycles have been dropped due to the lack of manpower and money to complete the investigations.

How can the Attorney General and Secretary of State’s office say there is no evidence of voter fraud if they aren’t investigating every potential violation? That’s what Republicans are asking.

Sununu’s budget didn’t fulfill the attorney general’s request for roughly $93,000 annually to hire a full-time elections investigator. A Senate bill would provide about $500,000 to the Attorney General’s office for with focus on elections, lobbying, and campaign finance law. That bill passed the Senate and is now in the House Finance Committee.

“No matter how you change it, there is not a problem in the state of New Hampshire,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn. “There’s been a ruse of illegal voting, and Trump buses, and all of this business. This is nothing but a concerted national attempt to suppress voting and harass voters.”

“This is not national trend legislation,” Birdsell said this week. “This is homegrown here. It is something that is trying to address what some of our constituents are looking for.”

The debate on this bill, and the discussion of voter fraud in New Hampshire, is far from over.

Follow Kyle on Twitter.