HAVING spent three years in Northern New Hampshire has provided me with an ongoing interest in their politics. It would be an interesting microcosm if it was ever predictable. It, also, provides me the privilege of using the "Cow Hampshire" term (with affection...and snow shoveling flashbacks).
New Hampshire was a very close contest in the past General Election. The final spread was just over 9,100 votes in favor of Senator Kerry. Of the 675,314 votes cast in the Presidential race, 96,000 individuals registered to vote the day of the election
. That's 15% of the total count. An unknown number of these 96,000 could show no documentation of residency or citizenship. Those folks could still vote due to New Hampshire accepting an "Affidavit of Residency" and/or "Affidavit of Citizenship" in place of "conventional" documentation.
Today’s Manchester Union Leader
has a piece by Shawne K. Wickham
that indicates that few voting “irregularities” have been identified to date. However, this may be because the investigation into these “affidavit of residency” and “affidavit of citizenship” voters has not been scrutinized in detail. It would appear that it will be, however. The Attorney General’s office has active investigations pending. They appear to be concentrating on the southern part of the state. Conventional wisdom and a review of the election results indicate that they would do better to concentrate on the Vermont border precincts. There was a huge surge for Kerry in those counties. Dartmouth College could, possibly, play a legitimate part in that change. However, the legimacy should be confirmed.
These affidavits came about when a Merrimack County Judge ruled that alternative documentation was necessary to comply with the “Equal Protection Act.”
The election is history. Whether or not there was massive election fraud in New Hampshire is, really, secondary it improving the reliability of Certified results for 2006 and beyond. That seems to be the focus of the New Hampshire Legislature at present.
How easy would it be to vote illegally?
By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM
Sunday News Staff
December 12, 2004
It’s been 40 days since the general election, and so far there’s no evidence that folks voted here who shouldn’t have.
But some say a New Hampshire law that allows people to register to vote even if they can’t prove they are American citizens or even live in a particular community makes our election system too vulnerable to fraud. And they plan to try to fix things before we vote again.
When you register to vote in New Hampshire, you first have to prove your identity and age with a photo ID. But while you are asked to present proof that you live in a particular place and are a citizen, you can sign an affidavit swearing to that if you don’t have the proper documentation.
Such documents are called domicile or citizenship affidavits; it says right on them that if you get caught lying, it could mean a jail sentence and heavy fines.
Manchester attorney James Merrill, legal counsel for the state Republican party, wants to see the state adopt some way that the affidavits could be checked for accuracy before those votes are counted. But he said there’s time to get it right.
(remainder of article is here