I have posted quite a bit about voter fraud in New Hampshire since the 2016 election. But with (1) President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity scheduled to meet in New Hampshire in just a few days and (2) the Speaker of the New Hampshire House recently releasing a report showing the potential magnitude of voter fraud in the 2016 election and (3) the manic response by the press and the Democrats to that report … another post is in order.
In order to assist the reader, I am going to divide this post into three parts. The first part will discuss how voter fraud should be defined (because the Democrats and the press have attempted to define it away), the second part will discuss the magnitude of voter fraud in the 2016 election, and the third part will discuss the problems with a recent “reform” to voting law in New Hampshire, SB 3.
(1) DEFINING VOTER FRAUD
So let’s start by defining voter fraud. Here is the definition I have suggested:
Voter fraud occurs when someone who shouldn’t legitimately vote in New Hampshire votes in New Hampshire. Only permanent residents of New Hampshire should be considered legitimate voters. If a person is residing here only for a temporary purpose, he or she shouldn’t be allowed to vote here.
What’s important to understand is that the definition of voter fraud should determine whether voter fraud is being committed. While that sounds self-evident and noncontroversial, the Democrats and their allies in the press have taken to arguing that voter fraud should be defined as whether the practice in question is “legal” under New Hampshire law.
The problem with that argument, of course, is that it is all sail and no anchor. For example, if the law treated domicile as a subjective concept then any out-of-Stater could drive to New Hampshire on the morning of election day, fill out an affidavit attesting to domicile in New Hampshire, vote, then drive back to his or her home State and have nothing further to do with New Hampshire, yet have his or her vote count. Fair-minded people would call any votes cast in this manner fraudulent, despite the votes being “legal.”
What I just described, however, is what the state of the law in New Hampshire was in 2016. From the Deputy Secretary of State:
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the law allows a pretty wide interpretation of who’s eligible to vote. Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan said that in theory, a person could move into the state a day before an election, establish domicile in the state, vote and then leave the next day.
This type of voter fraud -commonly called drive-by voting by its critics- was legal in New Hampshire in 2016 because Democrats held the governor’s office from 1997-2003 and 2005-2017 and appointed politically-minded judges and attorney generals who interpreted the domicile requirement so laxly as to essentially eliminate it.
While the example I gave of driving to New Hampshire on election day is extreme, there is no serious question that drive-by voting by campaign workers and volunteers who move to New Hampshire in the months, weeks and even days before an election happens. The most famous example of drive-by voting is perhaps Joe Biden’s niece, who did so in 2012:
Joe Biden’s niece Alana Biden and seven other Obama campaign workers voted in the November election in New Hampshire – but she lives in New York.
Another example of voter-fraud is voting by out-of-State college students who continue to treat the States they came from as their homes. I can understand a first-year student not having a New Hampshire driver’s license, but for any other college student the lack of a New Hampshire driver’s license is prima facie evidence that the student is not domiciled in New Hampshire. If your ties to New Hampshire are so tenuous that you choose not to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license then you should not be able to claim you are domiciled in New Hampshire.
The Democrats and their surrogates in the press have been arguing that because it is “legal” for out-of-State college students to vote in New Hampshire then voting by out-of-State college students cannot be deemed voter fraud.
But as demonstrated above even if it is “legal” for someone who isn’t a permanent resident of New Hampshire to vote in New Hampshire elections, that doesn’t mean that such voters aren’t committing voter fraud. It simply means that New Hampshire law allows voter fraud, or more precisely that judges and attorney generals appointed by Democrat governors have said that New Hampshire law allows voter fraud.
Taken to its ultimate conclusion the argument of the Democrats and their surrogates in the press would mean that if certain types of sexual assault were legalized they would not constitute rape. That, needless to say, is nonsense: rape is still rape, and voter fraud is still voter fraud.
(2) THE MAGNITUDE OF VOTER FRAUD
Whether voter fraud affected the 2016 election depends, of course, on the vote tally. So let’s start there:So Hillary won by 2,736 votes, while Maggie won by only 1,017 votes.
It was reported previously this year that on election day over 1,400 persons were allowed to vote with no ID at all while over 5,900 were allowed to vote using out-of-State licenses. As noted at the outset, the Speaker of the New Hampshire House has released a report he requested on this data: As reported by Kevin Landrigan:
A new report on the 2016 election found nearly 1,100 people who cast ballots here in New Hampshire were either under investigation for voting in more than one place or signed affidavits with addresses that may no longer be valid, House Speaker Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson disclosed Thursday.
This total of questioned voters — 1,094 — is greater than the 1,017-vote margin by which Democrat Maggie Hassan won her U.S. Senate seat over incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte on Nov. 8.
So even defining voter fraud to not include out-of-State college students who are not domiciled in New Hampshire, there is still a serious question whether Maggie was elected by fraudulent voters.
Speaking of out-of-State college students, the report also showed that over 5,500 of the voters allowed to vote with out-of-State driver’s licenses had not obtained New Hampshire driver’s licenses.
So when voter fraud is defined properly, as I have defined it here, the number of drive-by voters exceeds 6,600 … which means there can be no serious dispute that a majority of true New Hampshire voters cast votes for President Trump and Kelly Ayotte.
(3) SB 3
Senate Bill 3 does improve New Hampshire’s porous voting laws. For example, it attempts to make domicile a less subjective concept by requiring persons registering to vote within 30 days of an election to “identify and provide evidence of a verifiable action” taken to maintain a domicile in the state.
Unfortunately, the list of “verifiable actions,” which includes renting or purchasing a home in the state, obtaining a driver’s license, enrolling a child in a public school also includes attending a college or university. As a result, Senate Bill 3 continues to allow drive-by voting by out-of-State college students who by an objective standard are continuing to maintain domicile in other States.
The other problem with Senate Bill 3 is that it continues to allow drive-by voting by transient campaign workers and volunteers in that it allows voting without evidence of a “verifiable action.” More specifically, it continues the present practice of allowing “drive-bys” to vote simply by signing an affidavit.
While the affidavit requires the voter to agree to provide evidence of a “verifiable action” within ten and sometimes thirty days, a drive-by may opt to vote and take his or her chances that he or she never gets caught.
Unless and until these problems with Senate Bill 3 are fixed, there will be a question whether close elections were decided by legitimate voters or drive-bys.