Casey has been covering the debate over New Hampshire's voting laws since just after the election, when a newly-elected President Trump first claimed that buses of out-of-state voters were responsible for his loss to Hillary Clinton here.
"Some of the removals of barriers to voting are not panaceas", said Andrew Smith, a political scientist at the University of New Hampshire. The panel heard from several witnesses who have conducted studies that they say show numerous cases of people voting a couple of times, or noncitizens casting ballots illegally. He is one of four Democrats on the 12-member commission, which is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.
A New Hampshire judge has allowed for now a new state law to take effect that requires voters who move to the state within 30 days of an election to provide proof that they intend to stay, but has blocked penalties of a $5,000 fine and a year in jail for fraud.
Kobach, who a Republican who is vice chairman of the commission, explained the thinking behind his allegation during the panel's second meeting Tuesday. After reviewing years of elections in which billions of ballots were cast, the Heritage report found only 10 instances of in-person voter impersonation. They could also include active-duty military personnel stationed in New Hampshire and long-time residents who don't have or haven't updated their licenses. They registered, voted, then went back to their home states.
In the afternoon session, Ken Block of Simpatico Software Systems, which specializes in helping government entities identify fraud and waste, said illegal voting is widespread and provided several case histories.
As of August 30, about 15 percent (1,014 of the voters) had been issued New Hampshire driver's licenses. Their ability to bring the most polarizing, misleading and often disputed claims about voting to the front of the national conversation remains incredibly powerful-even if they're shot down time and time again.
- Enact federal regulations that make it a felony for a voter to be registered to vote in more than one county or parish, regardless of whether they vote in more than one location on election day or not.
Democrats have long complained that Republican-backed state laws - including voter ID laws, limitations on early voting, objecting to same-day voter registration and more - have a disproportionate impact on poorer voters, city dwellers and older voters who have no need to drive and college students.
We have seen similarly specious arguments from other purveyors of the voter fraud myth. By all appearances, the Republican president, annoyed about losing the popular vote and comforted by unusual conspiracy theories, created a panel to root out the voter fraud scourge that exists only in conservatives' imaginations. Temple called the penalties severe restrictions on the right to vote.
President Trump's controversial voter fraud commission made a stop in New Hampshire today.
The testimony marked a departure for the commission, which was formed to look into fraud and barriers to voting, but which heard that a potentially greater threat to confidence in American elections is the chance for enemy actors to meddle. "I think it's a reckless statement to make". The theory, which has been hawked by Trump himself, is that these voters sneaked over the border - or were even bused in! - from neighboring Democratic strongholds like MA or Vermont, in a huge conspiracy to swing the election.
Rebuttals also came from within the commission itself, as a number of Democrats suggested the most important issue affecting elections nationwide involved voter suppression, not voter fraud. Temple applied strict scrutiny to SB 3 because plaintiffs sued under the New Hampshire Constitution, which explicitly guarantees the right to cast a ballot.
"The fact is that New Hampshire law clearly states that citizens who live in New Hampshire can vote without a New Hampshire ID".
But others say this commission is simply here to appease the president.