Cracking down on voter fraud
For the first time ever, primary voters will be required to furnish identification before voting in New Hampshire’s primary elections February 9.
First implemented in New Hampshire’s 2012 general election cycle, the goal is to crack down on voter fraud.
Citing multiple instances of actual voter fraud, New Hampshire authorities defend the new laws. They also claim not one person has been prohibited from voting since the new regulations took effect in 2012.
Voters who arrive at the polls without requisite ID can still vote. But first they’ll be required to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity, and a poll worker will snap a photo.
Fox News reports:
“I think there are definitely going to be lines, with any indication of our absentee balloting already — it’s huge,” said Kerri Parker, the town clerk of Meredith, N.H., and president of the New Hampshire Town and City Clerks Association.
“People are concerned, they want to get out, they want their voice to be heard, which is great,” she said, but cautioned that “the only thing they need to remember is to bring their ID’s to the polls. … We have to see your ID because of voter fraud.”
Tens of thousands of new voters are expected to flood the polls, and they will need to show up with a valid photo ID, which can include a driver’s license, passport, military ID, and even some student ID’s from colleges and schools approved by the state.
The requirement was first implemented in the 2012 general election, and even though officials say there have been few cases of voter fraud, illegal voting has occurred.
Lorin Schneider, Jr., who lives in Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to wrongful voting charges for illegally voting in New Hampshire three times. He cast his ballots in the 2008 presidential election and again in both the presidential primary and general election in 2012. He was fined roughly $7,000, given a suspended prison term and lost his right to vote in the state.
This month, Manchester resident Derek Castonguay also pleaded guilty to voter fraud after prosecutors say he voted illegally and tried to vote twice during the mid-term election in 2014. He also was given a suspended jail term and fined $1,000.
The controversial issue of voter fraud also has been injected into the 2016 presidential race.
“Voter fraud, look. You have to have real security with the voting system. This voting system is out of control,” Donald Trump charged during an appearance on Jan. 5 in Claremont, N.H. “You have people, in my opinion, that are voting many, many times. They don’t want security, they don’t want cards.”
“I don’t have any reason to believe there is rampant voter fraud,” countered New Hampshire’s long-serving Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who is overseeing the use of voter ID. While he says it “has worked very well,” he also acknowledges there have been some instances of voter fraud in his state.
“It happens. We know that it happens, because we have the records that it happened. But that was all part of how people tried to come together to come up with a process that protects it as much as we can … you’re never going to eliminate attempts to abuse the process,” he said.
In January of 2012, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released a video showing how easy it would be to collect a ballot in the name of a deceased person still on the voter rolls:
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