No Snowflakes, HB 372 is Not a Poll Tax

In 1966, in a case captioned, Harper vs. Virginia Board of Elections, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Virginia’s poll tax was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.  Under the law that was struck down, persons who were not current on the poll tax were not allowed to vote.

This case essentially applied the 24th Amendment (ratified in 1964), which provides as follows, to State elections:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

In other words, as a matter of constitutional law a poll tax is a law that conditions voting upon payment of some tax, fine or fee.

The Democrats and their allies such as the ACLU are claiming that HB 372 would impose a “poll tax.”  For example:The problem with the poll tax argument is that HB 372 does not require the payment of any tax or fee or fine to vote.  Even if you failed to pay your property taxes, or failed to register your car, or hunted without a license or ran a toll booth on the way to the polling place, you still get to vote.  So it’s inaccurate and misleading to claim that HB 372 is a poll tax.

That’s why Snowflake Janowski (above) characterizes HB 372 as a post-election poll tax.  But that characterization is just as inaccurate and misleading.  HB 372 does not involve any post-election check on whether voters are current on their taxes, fines and fees, and then negate the votes of those who are delinquent.  The votes of tax-scofflaws, toll-booth runners and poachers stand.

While the opponents of HB 372 have not explained their poll tax claim, presumably the explanation would go something like this:  HB 372 restricts voting to bona fide residents of New Hampshire, residents of New Hampshire have to register their cars in New Hampshire, therefore in order to qualify to vote in New Hampshire I have to pay to register my car in New Hampshire and paying to register my car is the equivalent of paying a poll tax.

The problem with this syllogism, as noted above, is that HB 372 does not turn anyone away from the voting booth for failure to register his or her car, or pay any tax, fee or fine.  Nor does it require anyone to pay any tax, fee or fine within a certain number of days of voting in order to have his or her vote count.

What the opponents of HB 372 are really worried about is that HB 372 will close the drive-by loophole under which persons who are not bona fide residents of New Hampshire are allowed to vote in New Hampshire.  For example:So even though these college students do not consider New Hampshire their home, they want to be entitled to vote in New Hampshire.

In other words, the opponents of HB 372 want drive-by voting —voting by persons who are not bona fide residents of New Hampshire— to remain legal.  They want out-of-State college students, and other drive-by voters, to have a special legal status under which they get to choose whether to vote in New Hampshire or their home States on an election by election basis.

The stakes are very high because, as another Snowflake admits, Maggie Hassan was elected to the United States Senate based on drive-by votes:

(Actually, as I discussed here there is substantial evidence that Hassan actually lost the election despite the drive-by college vote.  More specifically, 1,094 likely drive-by votes beyond the votes of out-of-State college students have been identified, which in and of itself exceeds Hassan’s margin of victory.)

Given the stakes, it’s a certainty that the Democrats and their allies will sue if HB 372 if amended by the State Senate election law committee is passed:

As I discuss here, I think the Senate amendment will not do what it is intended to do and additional work is needed to close the drive-by loophole.

Senate Amendment to House Bill 372 Does Not Go Far Enough

The right to vote has been described as one of the most precious of our rights.  But that right is meaningless if out-of-State voters are deciding New Hampshire elections.  Yet that is exactly what happened in 2016 in -at a minimum- in the United States Senate race and the Presidential contest.

Earlier this year, the Governor signed Senate Bill 3 into law, which tightens up the definition of who is allowed to vote in New Hampshire.  As I explained here, Senate Bill 3 did not go far enough.  There is a new bill, House Bill 372, which will address one of the problems with Senate Bill 3.  Yet it too does not go far enough.  Fortunately, it can easily be improved, as I will discuss below.

To assist the reader, I will divide this post into various sections. Continue reading

Ray Buckley, Rape and Whataboutism

Yesterday, New Hampshire Democrats held their annual “Kennedy-Clinton Dinner,” which is their major fundraiser.  The dinner is named after former Presidents Kennedy and Clinton.

NH GOP Chair, Jeanie Forester, called on the Democrats to denounce Clinton and remove his name:

When asked about Forester’s press release, Democrat Chair Ray Buckley responded as follows:

Asked by Fox News if the state Democratic party should have a conversation about taking Clinton’s name off the dinner, party Chairman Raymond Buckley said, “I think it would be an interesting conversation right after we see the resignation of Donald Trump.”

Asked again, Buckley responded that “I think that once we see the Republican Party really stand up and represent the real values of America, I think we can have a number of other conversations about other officials. But right now this country, this world, is under assault by Donald Trump and that’s really the most pressing issue.”

Buckley is engaging in whataboutism, a tactic routinely employed by the Soviet Union to deflect criticism.  For example, in response to criticism of human rights violations, the Soviets would criticize race-relations in the United States.  The goal of whataboutism is to avoid addressing the criticism by creating a false equivalence. Continue reading

Bannon’s Correct: Trump Did Win New Hampshire (When You Subtract the Drive-By Votes)

Former White House chief strategist and current head of Breitbart News Steve Bannon created a firestorm recently when he spoke to a conservative group, the 603 Alliance, in Manchester, New Hampshire and stated that he believed that President Trump actually won New Hampshire:

“I believe strongly, and I’m prepared to put my money where my mouth is, that we won the state of New Hampshire,” he said. Continue reading

Jeanie Forrester, How about the NH GOP Giving Voters Something to be Motivated About?

Following yet another loss in a special election to fill a vacancy in the State Legislature -the eight loss in ten special elections- and a resounding defeat for incumbent GOP Mayor of Manchester Ted Gatsas, GOP State Chair Jeanie Forrester told one of WMUR’s #BuckleysBoys that “[w]e have worked hard, but have to work harder on getting the base motivated and getting them out to vote.”

The problem with Forrester’s assessment, in my opinion, is that the State GOP is not giving voters much to be motivated about. Continue reading

Grounds Exist to Remove #VolinskyAgenda From Executive Council. What’s Lacking is the Political Will.

Article 63 of the New Hampshire Constitution:

The members of the council may be impeached by the house, and tried by the senate for bribery, corruption, malpractice, or maladministration.

Does knowingly violating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution rise to the level of malpractice or maladministration?  I’d say so. Continue reading

No, the Alexander-Murray (Obamacare) Bill Does Not Reduce the Deficit

At least one member of  Governor Sununu’s staff is claiming that the Alexander-Murray bill, which restores the Obamacare “CSR” payments that President Trump recently ended, reduces the deficit:CSR -Cost Sharing Reduction- payments are a euphemism for the federal government forcing taxpayers to reimburse insurance companies for losses incurred as a result of Obamacare requiring insurers to charge lower premiums and/or deductibles to lower-income insureds.

As HotAir has explained, CBO basically “cooked the books” in order to claim Alexander-Murray reduces the deficit.  More specifically, Continue reading

No, Democrats Don’t Want to Have a Conversation About Preventing Mass-Shootings

One of the themes that Democrats and their surrogates in the press have been sounding since the mass-shooting in Las Vegas is that we “need to talk about gun control” in order to prevent more mass shootings. Continue reading

Why the New Hampshire GOP Keeps Losing Special Elections

Democrats have won five of seven special elections in New Hampshire – one State Senate seat and four State Rep seats.

Unnamed GOP “operatives” say its simply that the Democrats have more money and staff.  As John Boehner famously said: Are you kidding me!

The Democrats always have more money and staff.

There are three reasons. Continue reading