Pondering Election Integrity in New Hampshire

Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton

LIBERTY ALERTS, JUDICIAL WATCH

Judicial Watch is a national leader in the historic battle for clean elections.  That’s why your JW was invited to appear before President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity last week.

Robert Popper is one of the nation’s leading experts on clean elections.  Bob was senior election law attorney in the Justice Department before joining JW as director of our Election Integrity Project.

Below are some key quotes from his presentation to the Trump commission:

The American people have come to believe that there are serious problems with our electoral system. One study from last year showed that Americans have little faith in the integrity of their elections and postulated that this partly explains low voter turnout. A Rasmussen poll from 2016 reported that only 41% of those polled believe “American elections are fair to voters.” A Washington Post-ABC News poll from 2016 found that 46% of those polled believed that voter fraud happens either “somewhat” or “very” often.

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There are over 2,800 counties in states covered by the NVRA. Of these, 415, or about 15% of all covered counties, did not report sending any confirmation notices during the two-year period from 2014 to 2016. This fact suggests a widespread failure to comply with the NVRA. Moreover, of the counties that did report sending confirmation notices, another 581, or about 20% of the total, reported sending notices during the last two-year period to fewer than 5% of their registered voters. Given that the Census Bureau reports that about 11% of Americans move every year, these low rates also suggest that these counties are not diligently conducting voter list maintenance.

Counties’ overall registration rates also reveal compliance issues. Our study showed that, in 462 U.S. counties, the number of voter registrations exceeded the number of citizens over the age of 18 who resided in those counties.  In other words, those counties’ registration rates exceeded 100% of the population eligible to register. Federal courts have repeatedly held that such an imbalance between registrations and age-eligible citizens is grounds for believing that a jurisdiction is not living up to its list maintenance obligations. These 462 counties, moreover, constitute about 17% of all U.S. counties covered by the NVRA where we have enough data to make these calculations.

These facts show widespread noncompliance with the NVRA.  The problem, moreover, is worse than it was even a few years ago.  When Judicial Watch conducted a similar registration analysis in 2015, we found that 312 counties covered by the NVRA had more registered voters than voting-age citizen population, which was about 11% of all counties where we had the data necessary to make this comparison.

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The Department during the last administration appears to have completely abandoned all efforts to enforce the list maintenance provisions of Section 8 of the NVRA. Even worse, the Department engaged in litigation specifically intended to limit the ability of states to remove ineligible registrations from the rolls.

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We know that voter fraud, whether impersonation fraud, absentee ballot fraud, registration fraud, double voting, noncitizen voting, or voting by those ineligible under state law, occurs and is, in some form, a feature of every election, and we have suggestive, but not conclusive, evidence about the extent of such fraud. We also know that voter fraud is hard to detect and prove, especially where the law requires a showing of specific intent. We know that many states do not even bother to track voter fraud. We also know that this is probably to be expected, given that voter fraud often is lightly penalized. In preparing my statement, I happened to research some of the voter fraud laws in neighboring Vermont. Its election law provides that the penalty for casting more than one ballot is a maximum fine of $1,000 for a primary or general election, $100 for a local election, and no incarceration in either case. At the same time, Vermont law provides that the penalty for selling maple syrup without a license is a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to a year in prison. [Emphasis added]

If there is no integrity at the ballot box, then everything is up in the air. Americans are right to be concerned.  For more on Judicial Watch’s election integrity efforts, be sure to click here.


Used with the permission of Judicial Watch.