New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) released data on September 7 based on inquiries he made in mid-August to the Department of State, which oversees elections, and the Department of Safety.
Jasper’s figures showed that more than 6,500 people registered to vote on Election Day 2016 using out-of-state driver’s licenses and, as of last week, more than 5,300 of them still had not received New Hampshire licenses.
This indicates that thousands of out-of-state voters who had no intention of permanently moving to Hampshire voted in the Granite State’s presidential election last year.
Jasper’s inquires — included in a letter he sent to a letter he sent to Secretary of State William Gardner and Commissioner of Safety John Barthelmes — sought information derived from a new system that matches voting and driving records for the purpose of “verifying the accuracy of the information contained in the voter database.”
WMUR in Manchester, New Hampshire, reported that Jasper and state Senator Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead) who chairs the Senate Election Law Committee, said the most troubling piece of information turned up by the report is that the state’s recently approved participation in an Interstate State Voter Registration Crosscheck Program showed a potential for nearly 200 cases of double-voting.
The report also quoted from the letter Gardner and Barthelmes wrote: “We are further analyzing 196 names that appear to have been marked on a New Hampshire checklist and one other state as having voted in the November 2016 general election. We will be working with the attorney general to determine next steps and to transfer those cases which are appropriate to the attorney general for investigation.”
State officials documented that 6,540 individuals registered to vote last November 8 using an out-of-state driver’s license. As of last week, only 1,014 of those had received New Hampshire licenses while 213 of the remaining 5,526 individuals had registered a motor vehicle in the state.
The most disturbing fact is that 5,313 of those who registered to vote on November 8 using an out-of-state driver’s license as an ID had neither obtained a New Hampshire license nor registered a motor vehicle in the state as of a week ago. State law requires people who move to New Hampshire, and have a motor vehicle, to register that vehicle in the state and obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license within 60 days.
A Fox News report observed that these figures could potentially call into question the validity of the New Hampshire results for last year’s presidential election, when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton defeated Republican nominee Donald Trump by just 2,736 votes.
In February, White House advisor Stephen Miller told ABC about the voting irregularities in New Hampshire: “Having worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire, I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real. It’s very serious. This morning, on this show, is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.”
For his comments, Miller was sharply criticized by the Washington Post, which described his claim as “the same bogus talking points that have been repeatedly shown to be false.”
Fox News noted that three recent elections in New Hampshire were won by fewer than 5,000 votes, citing figures supplied by the Concord Patch. In addition to Clinton’s win against Trump by 2,736 votes, Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan beat U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte by 1,017 votes and Democratic U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter won against incumbent U.S. Representative Frank Guinta by 4,900 votes.
The out-of-state voting noted in this report may well be a contributing factor in the change in party affiliations among traditionally Republican New Hampshire’s representation in Congress. At present, New Hampshire has a Democrat as governor, two Democrats representing the state in the House of Representatives, and two Democratic U.S. senators. All of these members of Congress scored an anemic 10 percent on The New American’s most recent Freedom Index, a pathetic showing for a state that was for many years a lone bastion of conservatism in the Northeast.
During the 17 years this writer worked for The New American’s parent organization in Massachusetts (1972-1989), neighboring New Hampshire was a reliably Republican, generally conservative state. The state’s congressional delegation earned very high scores on “The Conservative Index” — the forerunner of this magazine’s “Freedom Index,” begun with The New American’s predecessor magazine, The Review of the News.
In addition to New Hampshire’s position as a bastion of old-time Yankee frugality, another reason for the conservatism of the Granite State’s voters was the influence of the statewide newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader (later the New Hampshire Union Leader), which was published by the steadfast conservative, William “Bill” Loeb III, who died in 1981.
So conservative was New Hampshire, that one of its governors, Meldrim Thomson, Jr., publicly accepted, shortly after completing his third term, while speaking at a John Birch Society Council dinner on March 17, 1979, in Los Angeles, the invitation of JBS founder Robert Welch to become a member of the Society’s National Council.
By 2004, Democrats started carrying New Hampshire in presidential elections, and have ever since. The popular explanation for the political sea change in New Hampshire is that many people fled Massachusetts to escape the high taxes there, but brought their liberal voting tendencies with them and swelled the rolls of Democratic voters in the Granite State.
That explanation may account for much of the change in New Hampshire politics. But the recent data released by House Speaker Jasper indicates that many of the voters helping Hillary Clinton carry New Hampshire didn’t even bother to move there — they just voted and went back home.