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)

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Byrich green

NH Grassroots Newsletter

NOTE THAT THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE NEWSLETTER

FEATURING THE SUMMARY AND ANYTHING SPECIFIC TO THE NASHUA
Happy Monday New Hampshire Democrats!

We hope you had a safe and relaxing holiday weekend! This week there are a ton of fantastic committee and presidential events, with Democrats all across the state coming out to show their support for each other and our values. Make sure to contact your town, city, county, or regional committee to find out specific events in the area!

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,

NHDP Political Team
105 N. State Street, Concord NH
(603) 225-6899
political@nhdp.org

Slate Goodwin is now the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Political Director after serving as a Regional Organizing Director during the Coordinated Campaign and will be the point of contact for Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Sullivan, and Merrimack Counties and the cities of Manchester and Nashua. He can be reached at sgoodwin@nhdp.org.

2019 Midterm State Convention.

Registration is now open for DELEGATES only! Delegates, check your inbox (and spam) for an email from team NHDP on June 20. Didn’t receive it? Email convention@nhdp.org.

The convention will be held on Saturday, September 7 at the Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester. 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 in our history. Continue to stay tuned for updates on how to get guest tickets.

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!

July 13th – Cory Booker
Nashua Town Hall
Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst St, Nashua
11:00 am

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