by Ed Naile
The lunacy involving NH permitting illegal, out-of-state voting which has continued because there seems to be a complete misunderstanding of how laws work, and what words mean. I can’t even begin to imagine how people in charge of New Hampshire’s election laws read a court case. There is solid proof they only accept parts of decisions.
Here is an article former newspaper reporter Drew Cline wrote which includes some interesting observations of our election laws – by Secretary of State William Gardner. He claims our election laws permit illegal voting – which is hard to comprehend.
September 24. 2014
Drew Cline: Bill Gardner knows that voter fraud happens in New Hampshire.
by Drew Cline
“We have drive-by voting,” New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said in an interview on Wednesday.
A revered Democrat, Gardner is a mild-mannered throwback to the days when politics was a little less nasty and a little less partisan. His passion, in addition to preserving New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary status, is preserving the integrity of its elections. For this reason, the genial Gardner will rant for an hour about the state’s voting laws, which he says allow blatant and ongoing voter fraud.
He has witnessed fraud with his own eyes, Gardner says. He tells anyone who will listen that the problem is real and pervasive. But few are listening.
Gardner identifies two central reasons why New Hampshire is a haven for voter fraud. One is the way the state defines “domicile” for voting purposes.
“We have all kinds of different durational requirements for residency,” he said. “You have to be here five years. You have to be here six months, depending on whether it’s a fishing license, welfare. The governor has to live here seven years. When Eisenhower came here in the 1950s, he couldn’t fish. They had to go to Maine.”
But there is no residency requirement for voting. Many states — including Maine and Vermont — require that voters be residents. New Hampshire does not. A U.S. Supreme Court case in 1972 ruled part of the state’s residency requirement unconstitutional, so the state requires merely that a voter be “domiciled” in New Hampshire. Domicile is defined for voting purposes as “that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government.”
That is, domicile hinges on the voter’s physical presence in New Hampshire and “state of mind,” as Gardner says. The latter is unproveable in court, which is why the state Attorney General’s office will not prosecute most fraud cases. That sets the foundation for fraud.
Building upon that foundation, Gardner says, is Election Day voter registration, which New Hampshire adopted to comply with the federal “motor voter law” of 1993. Under the law, people can show up at a polling place on Election Day, register to vote under our loose domicile definition, then leave the state the next day.
In 2012, Gardner filed an affidavit in a case challenging the state’s voter registration form. In it, he told how he witnessed fraud personally in 2008 when he went to vote.
“The people that ran the polling place called me over, and said they had three people who didn’t know whether they could vote, and they wanted me to answer the questions,” he explained in our interview. “So I go over, there were two young men and a young woman, and they were AmeriCorps (volunteers).
“I said, ‘Where is your home?’ The woman said, ‘Washington State.’ I said, “Why didn’t you vote in Washington State?’ She said she missed the deadline, but she really wanted to vote. She said she was going back to Washington state the first of December. I said, well that should answer it for yourself as to whether this is now your home.
“But then one of the guys said, wait, you don’t know for sure, you might fall in love with a guy tonight. You don’t know for sure.” The woman registered but wound up not voting. The two men did.
Gardner said he is powerless to stop such drive-by voting unless legislators fix the law. Every legislative session, he hopes they will.
Andrew Cline is editorial page editor (2014) of the New Hampshire Union Leader. His column runs on Thursdays. His Twitter handle is @drewhampshire
Let’s get started:
Gardner admits we have drive-by voting – that is certainly true. He even admits we are a “haven” for voter fraud – that is more true after each election.
From the Article:
“Gardner identifies two central reasons why New Hampshire is a haven for voter fraud. One is the way the state defines “domicile” for voting purposes.”
First of all, our constitutions doesn’t have definition chapter.
NH’s State Constitution Part 1 Article 11 says, in the first two sentences:
“All elections are to be free, and every inhabitant of the state of 18 years of age and upwards shall have an equal right to vote in any election. Every person shall be considered an inhabitant for the purposes of voting in the town, ward, or unincorporated place where he has his domicile.”
The phrase, “where he has his domicile” is important because domicile is the proper legal term for your permanent residence. The word resident is not in our State Constitution regarding voting. Only the word inhabitant is used for a person with a permanent resident. There is no logical, legal way to include a word not in Article 11.
It is simple, as intended by the framers. Every inhabitant is a person with a domicile. But Gardner goes the “confusing resident argument” route. He seems unwilling to admit domicile is the qualification.
Next, we visit the “1972 case” Newburger v. Peterson which is a durational residency case regarding a Dartmouth student who was denied the right to vote because he intended to leave in the future. The case was not a domicile case. The Federal Court did not question Mr. Newburger’s domicile (neither did NH) in its decision. It simply said NH could not stop a qualified voter from registering and voting simply because he intended to leave at some point – abandon his domicile.
Gardner does not mention that in the final paragraphs of that same case the court said it could no longer prevent the student from voting here simply because he intended to leave – than they could force him to vote in a jurisdiction he left long ago and which may no longer recognize him as a citizen. I would argue that if you have an out-of-state license, that state recognizes you.
It should be known that abandoning a previous permanent residence is part of acquiring a legal domicile. That is why the court mentioned it. It is also why people who don’t mind out of state voters want to use the word residence for voting in NH not the word domicile.
Then William Gardner goes on to the half-truth argument about “intent” of the voter. He claims intent is impossible to prove.
But the law in question says one must “manifest an intent” to maintain a single continuous presence. That is not simply an intent – it must be manifest – another legal term, as the legislature intended.
“Domicile is defined for voting purposes as “that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government.”
William Gardner should know about “manifesting an intent.” Our State Supreme Court has visited the issue in the cases below. The first, Hassan v. NH, involved our Secretary of State and manifesting an intent.
Abdul Karim Hassan v. NH
Then there are:
Kurowski v. Town of Chester
Trefethen v. Derry
The article also says a statement made by Mr. Gardner is – that our laws allow illegal voting. I hope he does not think that because any law that allows criminal, or unconstitutional voting is repugnant to a free society.
There is no problem with prosecuting voter fraud. Each case has a paper trail.
Our recent NH Supreme Court, OPINION OF THE JUDGES, opens the door to eliminating voter fraud in our state. We should jump at the chance.