To paraphrase Mark Twain: Everyone talks about election integrity but no one does anything about it. That may be changing.
New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald’s office is prosecuting perpetrators of election fraud. It’s about time. The problem didn’t seem to worry MacDonald’s predecessor, Joe Foster.
Foster was a Democrat who apparently didn’t think there were issues with New Hampshire elections – which have the loosest voting requirements in the country. Where else can out-of-staters register on election day with out-of-state identification, vote and then disappear?
And yet Democrats want to make our requirements even looser. House Bill 397-FN would allow “undocumented people” to obtain a driver’s license, one of the major forms of identification we use in New Hampshire for voter registration. Nationally they are moving to allow 16-year-olds to vote, to let illegal aliens and felons vote, and to let people vote online. And on it goes.
But if one expresses concern about Granite State election integrity, one gets accused of being a vote suppressor – or a racist.
Secretary of State Bill Gardner – a principled Democrat – is respected nationwide. He’s been on the job for over 40 years. He’s repeatedly expressed election integrity concerns. So radical Machiavellian Democrats sought to replace him with an ultra-partisan to turn the Secretary of State’s Office into a subsidiary of the Democratic Party – as Foster did with the Attorney General’s Office. Fortunately there were still a few Democratic legislators with integrity – like Sen. Lou D’Allesandro and my fellow Loudon/Canterbury Rep. Howard Moffett – who helped spare Gardner from an ignominious firing by two votes.
Reportedly, the secretary of state has a list of 5,313 same-day registrants from 2016 who used out-of-state licenses to register. Few went on to establish residency. It’s tricky and time consuming to address this problem. And Democrats claim we don’t know how same-day registrants vote.
But we do know.
Consider the college towns of Durham, Keene, Hanover and Plymouth, which are particularly replete with same-day student registrants from out of state. Last year those towns collectively voted 19,128 to 5,215 (almost 80 percent) for Democratic congressional candidates. So Democrats claim everything’s fine.
But everything’s not fine.
We’ve seen many close elections in New Hampshire in recent years. Did election shenanigans in 2016 result in the loss of Kelly Ayotte’s Senate seat? Should New Hampshire’s electoral votes have gone to Donald Trump? Those elections were decided by approximately 1,000 and 3,000 votes, respectively.
While Democrats claim things are fine, Republicans feel that the will of our majority has been thwarted by out-of-state money, out-of-state voters and Democrat machinations. Some now compare the Granite State to Third World countries with fixed elections. The future of the New Hampshire primary is certainly threatened by our loose election protocols.
Canterbury is a wonderful town I represent as a legislator. Before a recent legislative listening session in the village, I mailed or had hand-delivered personalized invitations to each of the 116 same-day registrants from last fall’s elections.
Zero, yes zero, showed up. I have had several returned in the mail to me stating “Return to Sender. No Such Street.” This outreach opened my eyes to how easy it would be for fraudulent voter registration to occur.
Coal miners used to bring caged canaries into tunnels to monitor air quality. If a canary got sick it meant big trouble. Canterbury perhaps represents an electoral canary, warning that our election processes are at risk in every community – not just big cities or college towns.
The writer Thomas Charlton stated that “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Radical Democrats show no qualms about using whatever means necessary to acquire and retain power. It’s time for Granite Staters to show vigilance – if they want to retain their liberty.
The canary is struggling to breathe.
(Howard Pearl of Loudon represents Merrimack District 26 in the N.H. House of Representatives.)