Yearly Archive 2017

Byrich green

Democratic lawsuit – SB3 is the law for the mid-terms!

After over a year, Judge Brown ruled on a preliminary injunction preventing SB3 from taking effect before the mid-term elections, confirming the plaintiff’s argument that the new law places “a burden on the right to vote and disenfranchises low-income and minority populations” and many college students.  Moreover, Judge Brown wrote “voter fraud is not widespread, or even remotely commonplace” in New Hampshire and the following:

“Most importantly, the SB3 law does nothing to actually prevent voter fraud …. instead of combating fraud, the law simply imposes additional burdens on legitimate voters.

The state immediately challenged the ruling to the NH Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed with the state having made the decision that Judge Brown’s ruling will create confusion and disruption on election day.

The full case is still working its way through the courts. 

A summarized history and overview of the case is below.

On June 8, 2017, the Republican-sponsored New Hampshire Senate Bill 3, which may complicate same-day voter registration for New Hampshire college students, …… passed in the state Senate 14-9. It was signed into law in July.  The bill changes what domicile means in the context of voting and stipulates that proof of residence is required for same-day voters, including a written statement that verifies voters’ home addresses. It also authorizes government agents to visit a voter’s home to make sure that it is the voter’s primary residence.  A domicile exception is typically extended to college students.  SB3 is designed to tighten this up by requiring that college students provide letters, or other paperwork, proving their domiciliaries when they register to vote.

The NH Democratic party, the League of Women Voters and three individual voters are suing the state over this law, under a single lawsuit, which they believe will keep people who are legally entitled to vote from voting.

In September, Hillsborough County Judge Charles Temple placed a temporary restraining order on the state to keep officials from imposing any of the criminal penalties part of the law.  “The average voter seeking to register for the first time very well may decide that casting a vote is not worth a possible, $5,000 fine, a year in jail, or throwing himself/herself at the mercy of the prosecutor’s discretion.  To the Court, these provisions of SB3 act as a very serious detriment on the right to vote, and if there is a “compelling” need for them, the Court has yet to see it.” Temple wrote.

In spite of this lawsuit, on Jan 3, the Senate passed HB372, which further tightens eligibility requirements for voters.

The state of NH has refused to comply with a request for a voter database, which the plaintiffs believe will prove that there is no issue to address. The state claimed that the information is not relevant to the case at hand and it contains privileged information that cannot be released.

In April, Judge Temple rejected these arguments  and compelled the state to hand over the electronic voter database as well as make available communications about the law as it is being legislated.  In addition, a protective order must be crafted to keep sensitive information private.

Three Republican legislators involved in crafting SB3 – Kathleen Hoelzel, Barbara Griffin & Regina Birdsell – filed motions to squash subpoenas seeking information that they had proving or disproving instances of voter fraud before last year’s vote.  In July, Judge Brown ruled in their favor.    However, the Judge granted the prosecution to right to depose attorneys Bud Fitch and Matthew Broadhead.

The parties are having difficulty agreed upon the content of the protective order.  Asst Attorney General Anne Edwards wants the court to support keeping dates of birth, dates of naturalization and places of birth out of the public record when the database is handed over to the plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs filed a motion in response.

A hearing on the protective order was held on May 8.  At that hearing, Judge Temple suggested that he recuse himself as the judge in this case going forward due to a close friendship with Attorney Byron Gould, who was recently hired by the state Attorney General’s office.  The litigants suggested instead that Attorney Gould be barred from the case.

In June, Judge Temple did recuse himself.  Judge Brown has taken over the case, which has moved to Manchester.  One of his first rulings will be to consider the state’s request that he prevent three college professors from testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs.  Their testimony will cover:

  • The “understandability” of the law
  • Its impact on lines
  • Frequency of voter fraud

The state now asserts that the issue is not voter fraud, but rather the opportunity for voter fraud.

With the move to Manchester, the trial, scheduled to begin on August 20, 2018, is being rescheduled.

In the meantime, in July, the Governor signed HB1264 into law after the NH Supreme Court ruled on its constitutionality.  Heretofore, out-of-state students attending institutions such as Dartmouth College or UNH must have a NH driver’s license or NH non-drivers ID to vote in NH.

In January 2019, the NH Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision and denied the plaintiffs usage of the state’s voter database to argue that the law unfairly burdens those who are more likely to support their party.

And the saga continues …..

Is voter fraud really an issue in NH?  The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is aimed at preventing voter fraud by identifying duplicate voter registration records among those voluntarily provided by states.  Though there are some concerns over security and results, 28 states participated after the 2016 general election.  Out of 94, 610 voters, approximately 140 records were required further investigation – 51 of which were sent to the Attorney General’s office.

Per the NH Grassroots Newsletter of Jan 2:

“Why this matters: On November 28th, an amendment to HB 372, authored by Republican Senators Regina Birdsell and Jim Gray, passed the Senate Election Law Committee on a 3-2 party-line vote. The bill would redefine “domicile” status for voting purposes, effectively forcing registrants to declare residency upon registering to vote, chilling the right to vote for college students in New Hampshire. By forcing students to declare residency, this bill would act as a de facto poll tax, moving the goal posts on students who are legally allowed to vote in New Hampshire.”

Bynew142017

DEM (donate every month)

Nashua Dems would like to thank everyone who understands that even local elections can be a little expensive. By donating through ActBlue you can make a difference.

Or send a check to:

NDCC
PO Box 632
Nashua, NH  03061

Byrich green

NH Grassroots Newsletter

NOTE THAT THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE NEWSLETTER

FEATURING THE SUMMARY AND ANYTHING SPECIFIC TO THE NASHUA

Hello Granite State Democrats!

Memorial Day weekend is just ahead, and we will all pause to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in support of our country and to thank our nation’s veterans for their service. We also wanted to share some ways you can support veterans across the State of New Hampshire.

  • Join the Veterans and Military Families Caucus within the New Hampshire Democratic Party by emailing Caucus Chair Tam Siekmann at tamsiekmann@gmail.com.
  • Write a Letter to the Editor to bring awareness to issues impacting Granite State veterans and military families.
  • Attend local events such as Nashua’s Memorial Day Parade or New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery’s Memorial Day Ceremony.

However you decide to celebrate, we all wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Keep up the good fight and enjoy the season’s nice weather!

Please continue to use this regular newsletter as a tool for your local committee meetings, volunteer engagement, or as a supplement to your own regular newsletter.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Have a wonderful rest of your week,

Best,

Slate Goodwin                                                        Sarah Guggenheimer
Outreach Director                                          Deputy Communications Director  sgoodwin@nhdp.org                                               sguggenheimer@nhdp.org

Emma Tyler                                                            Ben Ernst
Deputy Executive Director                                      Political Director
etyler@nhdp.org                                                     bernst@nhdp.org

On the Floor

Campaign Funds for Child Care Expenses

Thursday, May 23rd, State Senate Chamber

SENATE – Election Law and Municipal Affairs – HB 651, allowing the use of campaign funds for child care expenses.

Why this matters: Studies have shown that, on average, there are more barriers of entry for parents and people of low income to run for office than others. This bill will allow more Granite Staters with young families to serve in the legislature by reducing the personal financial burden to candidates and elected officials. The $100/yr salary for New Hampshire state legislators is, in many cases, not even enough to cover a single week of childcare. This bill will make things a little easier for a diverse group of people to be able to serve.

Independent Redistricting Commission

Thursday, May 23rd, State Senate Chamber

SENATE – Election Law and Municipal Affairs – HB 706, establishing an independent redistricting commission.

Why this matters: Creating fair, non-gerrymandered districts creates representation that accurately reflects communities across New Hampshire. For too long, New Hampshire’s legislative districts have been gerrymandered to make sure the party in power, stays in power. An independent commission will make sure every vote matters and that absurdly drawn districts are a thing of the past. There are multiple bills currently in the legislature addressing this issue.

Community Solar Project

Thursday, May 23rd, State House Chamber

HOUSE – Science, Technology, and Energy – SB 165, relative to net energy metering by low-moderate income community solar projects.

Why this matters: This bill will create projects in low-moderate income communities for solar panels. This will both provide renewable energy sources for communities in New Hampshire as well as create credits for the consumer.

Suicide Prevention in Schools

Thursday, May 23rd, State House Chamber

HOUSE – Education – SB 282, relative to suicide prevention education in schools.

Why this matters: Suicide among students has become an increasing problem in New Hampshire schools. Unfortunately, most school personnel have little or no experience in dealing with students who exhibit suicidal tendencies. This bill will require school districts and chartered public schools across the state to develop a policy for preventing, assessing the risk of, and responding to student suicide. Additionally, this bill will provide the training necessary for faculty, staff, and designated school volunteers to better understand suicide prevention.

Results from the Statehouse

Gender Identity on Drivers’ Licenses

Wednesday, May 15th, State Senate Chamber

SENATE – Transportation – HB 669, relative to gender identity information included on drivers’ licenses and nondrivers’ identification cards.

Why this matters: Currently seven countries, nine states, and various Native American authorities recognize non-binary individuals. This bill will add New Hampshire to that list and allow non-binary Granite Staters to opt for an X gender identifier, rather than M or F, on their driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, or nondriver identification card. Doing so will ensure further recognition for LGBTQ+ residents and a continued support of transgender protections signed into law previously.

PASSED: Voice Vote

Defining Prime Wetland

Wednesday, May 15th, State Senate Chamber

SENATE – Energy and Natural Resources – HB 326, relative to the definition of prime wetland.

Why this matters: This bill will clearly define one of our state’s most important and diverse ecological spaces – the prime wetland. By doing so, our local and state governments can work better to protect this important piece of New Hampshire’s environment through a more explicit governmental understanding of its needs and relationship to other nearby natural landmarks.

PASSED: 16-8

Registering Your Committee with SOS

REMINDER: All town and county committees who have expenses or contributions of over $500 in that two-year cycle must re-register the committee with the NH Secretary of State. The first financial report is due on June 5, 2019- get ahead of this now by re-registering your committee. Please let us know how we can help.

2019 Midterm State Convention.

The convention will be held on Saturday, September 7 at the Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Party anticipates that all Democratic presidential candidates will attend, as well as other national leaders, and candidates up and down the Granite State ticket. It is surely an event you won’t want to miss!

Every four years NH Democrats host the presidential candidates at their state convention, a tradition starting back in 1983. The 2019 event is on track to be the largest event thus far. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months on how to get tickets.

Upcoming Presidential Primary Visits.

As the First in the Nation (FITN) presidential primary season officially heats up, please use this section to learn about when candidates will be visiting the Granite State!

May 21st – Wayne Messam
Goffstown Meet and Greet
Apotheca, Goffstown NH
1:00 PM

May 26th – Eric Swalwell
Merrimack Town Hall
Merrimack Historical Society, Merrimack NH
9:30 AM

May 26th – John Delaney
Amherst BBQ
3 High Meadow Lane, Amherst NH
3:30 PM

Check out the NHDP Store