Here it is 2006 and the NH AG's office is releasing another of its earth-shattering reports on the non-existence of voter fraud in our fine state.
I remember the last “report” they did back in 2001. The AG's office was so proud of it we did not find out for several months afterward they had gone to the effort of ginning up a report on the 2000 election at all.
I stopped by Senator Jack Barnes's office one day and asked him to pry it out of them if he could. Senator Barnes made a call and I headed across the street to the AG's office to pick it up. Orville “Bud” Fitch was there in person to hand it to me with some pathetic disclaimer I told him I was too busy to listen to.
Here is how the first report went.
Durham was “investigated” and it was found by the NH AG's office that some students there were registered in other states but voted here in NH on an impulse. That would be stealing a vote in the real world.
(As has been the case with the AG's office that they claim they want to prosecute people who vote twice, and seem not to care about the huge amount of people who have no business voting here at all. If we investigated arson this way we could practically eliminate that crime as well.)
A dozen or so students wrote letters to the Supervisor of the Checklist asking to be taken off the Durham voter checklist after casting a vote here. They stated in their letters that they were really residents of other states.
My favorite letter started like this:
Dear Supervisor of the checklist,
I am one of the 1,700 students who wrongly voted in Durham. Please take my name off the list...
In another letter a young fella described how he was “shanghaied” by a Gore/Lieberman van full of girls who took him to the polls to vote even though he said he was a non-resident. They told him he was allowed to vote anyway so he did. After getting back to his apartment in Lee his roomie informed him it was illegal for a non-resident to vote so he also wrote to have his name taken off the list.
The Coalition of NH Taxpayers has all the materials from the 2001 “investigation” by the NH AG's office in our ever growing collection. You know what is striking about all the letters from the non-resident voters who wrote to have their names taken off the Durham list AFTER voting here? (That would be stealing a NH vote.)
They are all very similar! And we have never seen any like them again. It is as though they were asked to write the letters to the Durham Supervisor of the Checklist by some “higher power.” What a coincidence. MAYBE SOME ENTERPRISING STATE REP. COULD ASK “BUD” FITCH AT THE NEXT ELECTION LAW COMMITTEE HEARING IF ANYONE FROM HIS OFFICE DID ASK STUDENTS TO WRITE LETTERS IN LIEU OF PROSECUTION, wink wink.
In any case, no one was prosecuted for being an out of state voter nor was any campaign or professor held accountable for lying to students or encouraging them to vote illegally in the 2000 election. (remember this point for part 2 or 3 of this series)
There was one of those dog and pony shows of a joint legislative committee investigation into voter fraud that year as well if memory serves me correctly. Supervisors of the Checklists from Durham and Hudson as well as other towns testified how non-residents are flocking to the polls to register same day using non-resident drivers licenses for identification.
It seems the local election officials were concerned enough in past elections to notify the Department of Safety's and Secretary of State's offices that long after elections non-residents still were using other states drivers licenses in violation of state law. In effect, they were not NH citizens after claiming to be to vote and several local election officials were concerned they were part of an illegal action by not taking the non-resident off the checklists.
Don't worry they were told. That is just a violation of Department of Safety laws regarding new residents being required to get a valid NH license after 60 days not election law violation. So just register everyone.
In an interesting moment during one of the joint legislative hearings into voter fraud, then Representative, now Senator Bob Clegg, pinned down an as-always illusive Secretary of State Bill Gardner with this question:
If a person registers same day to vote in NH but has no intention of living here is that a crime? Bill Gardner said, after some thought, “yes” he believed it was.
My how times have not changed. Out of the 50 thousand or so same-day registrants in 2000, the 96,000 same day registrants in 2004, an all the ones in between, the AG's office can't come up with one single non-resident voter.
And the NH press dutifully wrote about there being little evidence of voter fraud in NH.