New Hampshire law presently permits any voter to challenge another person as to whether he or she has the right to vote in New Hampshire or in your town. If you are waiting to vote and you see someone in line that you believe is not a local resident and may not be qualified to vote, all you need to do is notify the Supervisors of the Checklist of your concerns. They will then ask that person to verify that he or she is qualified to vote. A person falsely claiming such right is subject to prosecution for voter fraud and, if an affidavit is used, for perjury.
A number of legislators who believe that any challenge to a person’s wish to vote in any election amounts to voter intimidation, have filed a bill intended to make it almost impossible for legitimate voters to challenge anyone’s voting status. In this legislation, House Bill 276, an onerous and impossible burden would be put on challengers to prove under oath, in an affidavit, specific information supporting a challenge, such as the challenger’s name, address, party affiliation, qualifications to assert the challenge, and the name of the voter challenged, grounds for challenge, and the source of the information. Then the challenger has to state he or she understands that making a false statement on the affidavit is punishable under penalties of perjury.
As Merrimack Representative Nancy Elliott observed, “This bill along with many similar bills now in the legislature will take away any ability to challenge fraudulent and out-of-state voters who may be corrupting our elections.”
Likewise, Representative Robert Mead (R-Mont Vernon), noted, “The right to have our legitimate vote count is among our most important rights. It must be protected. Passage of laws that would foster voter fraud should be vigorously opposed.”
The bill is coming up for a vote on Wednesday, February 18th. You should immediately contact your legislators to let them know how you feel and to encourage them to vote against passage of HB276.
The NHHRA is comprised of members of the NH House of Representatives striving for legislative support for bills supporting the NH and U.S. Constitutions and NH Republican party platform. For more information, please log onto www.nhhra.org ###