Hands In The Air Don't Purge

Yesterday I had the privilege of presenting some hard facts to the entire Ballot Law Commission regarding the “unprecedented” citizen petition (RSA 654:38) to purge the voter checklist in Dover, NH. The petition was the idea of Dover resident David Scott a former Dover City Councilman and State Rep.

Dave Scott lost a race in Dover back in 2004 by 30 votes. He mailed 300 letters to same day voters in that race and 150 came back undeliverable by the USPS. He became suspect of the Dover checklist and how many people on this list of about 15 thousand really live in Dover.

In 2006, State Rep. Phyllis Woods ran for re-election and did a targeted mailing of voters in two wards getting back about 100 post cards as “undeliverable.” Rep Woods gave The Coalition of NH Taxpayers those and other returned mail, which I used as an exhibit yesterday.

This hearing was about a new mailing David Scott did weeks after this last November 4, 2014 election where out of a targeted mailing to about 900 same-day registrants, 70 came back as, “no such street, address, number, etc., from the USPS. Dave and his volunteers whittled that down to about 40 names of recent voters who had addresses the USPS does not recognize.

This was his evidence that a city wide purge of the checklist be done BEFORE the upcoming 2016 election, something Manchester just did in January last year on the initiative of the Manchester City Clerk.

This cost David Scott, and his volunteers, lots of time and over $600.00. CNHT chipped in $300.00 as well.

Along with the BLC up at the big table in Dover City Hall was Secretary of State Bill Gardner, Mr. Scamon and their attorney. Dover had an attorney and the NH AG’s Office sent a Mr. Labonte. It was a well attended event even though the outcome was preordained.

My goal, as well as David Scott’s, was to get some information about the poor condition of NH voter checklists out statewide, since the adoption of same day registration came along. That went well for us as far as I am concerned.

In 2012 NH had some 99,300 people, about 14% of total voters, register same day at the polls. Over 20,000 showed up without any form of identification they were willing to show. That number extends, for the most part, down to every little town and city. Since NH doesn’t purge its voter lists for ten years after any year ending in the number one, names stay on NH voter lists for years. If you walk into any polling station to vote, you don’t need ID and you can never be caught because you can give a fake name or you can vote in the place of someone of your gender before they get to the polls.

NH has almost zero transparency regarding voter information.

I can get the entire Vermont voter database emailed to me with a simple request at no cost. Connecticut has its database on-line with birth date, date of registration and ID number. In NH I can not even see a voter’s real address, real name, birth date, signature or the last place he was registered as we could just ten years ago. There is almost no way to tell who a NH voter is from public records. And the cost to do anything statewide is prohibitive for some reason even though the statewide database is a public document.

Our job yesterday was to point that out, which we did to a subdued crowd of progressives who like the way things are.

That was the fun part, having this entire group of election officials stuck at a table with our CNHT videographer recording our training video of what passes for election integrity in NH.

Part two coming soon.