by Ed Naile
Rather than find a way to comply with the recent NH State Supreme Court “Opinion of the Justices” regarding non-resident voters, our New Hampshire election officials are trying to help “high volume” same day registration towns handle big crowds.
Here is the invitation from Secretary of State Bill Gardner:
“To: Moderators, Town Clerks, and Supervisors of the Checklist for the Towns of: Durham, Hanover, Hudson, Plymouth, Londonderry, and Hooksett
From: William M. Gardner, Secretary of State Re: High Volume Election Day Registration Polling Place Towns – Round Table”
And what will the panelists be discussing?
“You are invited to participate in a round table discussion with your colleagues and my staff to exchange information on managing a high volume of election day voter registrations and a high volume of voters at a single polling place. Based on observations at polling places and discussions with you and your colleagues we believe that several of you have developed innovative practices that help you meet the unique needs of high-volume polling places. The primary purpose of this meeting is for you to exchange ideas with each other. State officials will provide additional information and discuss the legal requirements that innovative practices must meet.”
With 5,313 out of state voters from Election Day, November 8, 2016 still to be accounted, for Bill Gardner and his team plunge ahead in trying to help register as many people as possible, for the most part – in college towns.
“Out of state voters” is defined as people who used an out of state driver’s license to vote here but never became residents of this state. The only way they “manifested and intent” to become NH citizens – was to vote here. And that diminishes the vote of a qualified, legal resident.
Are they still on our checklists?
I would hope Secretary Gardner and his trusted side-kick Bud Fitch include “innovative practices” to prevent non-residents from the 2016 list from voting here again.
Here is what they will be working on at the Round Table. It looks like volume is the key, not qualifications of voters:
1. Selected towns describe their approach to election day registration:
a. Polling Place Set Up
b. Flow of Voters i. Is a separate check in table used for election day registrants ii. How/when are names added to election day marked checklist
c. Flow of Paperwork
d. Staffing levels (including use of shifts of workers)
e. Use of proof presented electronically
f. Cooperation received from any College/University with students living in this town
2. Open Discussion – exchange of ideas for best approach to handling large volume of election day applicants
3. Absentee Ballot Processing –
a. When and how is the checklist marked
b. Managing inserting ballots into the counting device
4. Line management
5. Attendee Concerns/Election Law Compliance Concerns.
Here is a simple suggestion for the Round Table of NH election officials trying to find a way to handle all the expected 2018 college voters – follow the Opinion of the Justices and prevent non-resident, unqualified voters from stealing the lawful votes of NH citizens:
1. Inform out-of-state tuition students that the “Residency” form they signed when they were accepted at a state school has a line on it with their legal domicile in their home state. It has a perjury clause as well.
2. If you are going to declare NH your domicile, your driver’s license is only good for identification – not driving in NH or anywhere else.
3. Our newly established procedures will include a NH election official punching a hole in your out-of-state license. Welcome to New Hampshire!
If NH had punched holes in 5,313 same-day voter out-of-state driver licenses in 2016 they would not be voting here again in 2018 and your voting lines in college towns, where 50% of the students are from out-of-state, might be shorter.
Remember, the Opinion of the Justices says New Hampshire has a compelling interest in seeing that only qualified NH citizens vote here. That is what a Federal Court said in 1972, Newburger v. Peterson.
I don’t see that addressed in the special meeting Round Table.