The voter fraud commission is chasing shadows in New Hampshire

The voter fraud commission is chasing shadows in New Hampshire

Convened by President Donald Trump, the 12-member held its second meeting on September 12, 2017, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

In the September 7 article, Kobach said out-of-state voters "likely" changed - through voter fraud - the outcome of New Hampshire's 2016 U.S. Senate race, in which Democrat Maggie Hassan unseated incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte by fewer than 800 votes. The country needs to draw those individuals into the process - through automatically registering citizens to vote, perhaps, or simply conducting elections on weekends.

As the commission searches for solutions, John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, suggested that the federal government's gun background check program, the Justice Department's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, could be harnessed to try to weed out ineligible voters. "Period." So says J. Christian Adams of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. In a column last week for Breitbart, the Kansas Secretary of State declared that voter fraud tipped the scales in the election past year in New Hampshire. "This includes long-time New Hampshire residents who don't drive and don't have a driver's license; it includes thousands of students from other states who live in New Hampshire while attending school; and it includes military personnel from other states who live in New Hampshire while on active duty", Shaheen wrote.

6,540 people registered and voted on November 8, based on presenting out-of-state licenses.

KRISTEN CLARKE: It's a commission that is about promoting this false and risky narrative that vote fraud is something that's widespread across our country, and we know that that's just not the case.

Moments later New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a fellow commission member, responded.

"Some legislators in Concord have used the same unsubstantiated claims to justify passing new laws making it more hard to vote in New Hampshire", she said, referring to the controversial Senate Bill 3, which Democrats have challenged in court. The implication there, of course, is that these voters somehow traveled to the state for the sole objective of voting in the election and thereby tipped the tight election to Hassan.

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The head of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said Tuesday her group felt that was clearly the case: The presidential panel "lacked diversity, facts, or actual solutions to support our democracy and combat voting discrimination, that we know prevents racial minorities from voting", Kristen Clarke said. The law, Temple wrote, imposed "severe restrictions on the right to vote".

"Having worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire, I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who's worked in New Hampshire politics", Miller told ABC News back in February. The entire enterprise was built on a falsehood - Mr. Trump's claim that millions of noncitizens voted in the election, a whopper so enormous and so often debunked that its continued circulation, particularly among Trump supporters, raises serious doubts about whether mere fact-checking and truth-telling can ever penetrate such a closely-held, hyper-partisan belief.

Kobach cited New Hampshire election data showing that 5,000 people who voted previous year registered to vote with out-of-state IDs, but did not get in-state IDs in the months after.

Democrats in Washington have resisted those claims, saying reports of fraud are rare and barriers to voting are bigger issues.

Lacking a single woman or person of color, the 12-member panel who presented at Tuesday's day-long hearing did little to assuage criticism that the commission's mission is little more than a smokescreen to incite voter-suppression laws. "I think we will find that within that 5,000, there will be many who did not comply with the law". The statute requires voters who move to the state within 30 days of an election to provide proof that they intend to stay.

The panel also heard a presentation from three speakers on electronic voting systems and their impact on election integrity, and watched a demonstration of 19th century New Hampshire voting machines still in use today.

Dunlap and Kobach said the second meeting was more "substantive" than the first.

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