Bernie Sanders campaign staffers' domicile claims for registering to vote under scrutiny
MANCHESTER — Two Bernie Sanders campaign staffers used the address of a Manchester campaign office to register to vote last month, prompting the city clerk to turn over documents to the state Attorney General’s Office.
“We were made aware of alleged election improprieties which we promptly forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office for an investigation and determination if necessary,” City Clerk Matt Normand said Wednesday.
The voter checklist lists Hugo Palma Jr. and Donna Waterman with their “domicile address” as 345 Cilley Road, an office building that housed a Sanders campaign office.
The Sanders campaign confirmed Palma was a regional field director and Waterman a campaign staffer, but made no further comment.
One of the building’s owners said the lease for the campaign office space expressly prohibited anyone from residing in that first-floor space.
According to the affidavit people sign when they register to vote, a person “must be domiciled” in the city or town where they register.
“A domicile is that place, to which upon temporary absence, a person has the intention of returning. By registering or voting today, I am acknowledging that I am not domiciled or voting in any other state or any other city/town.”
The affidavit says the penalty “for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when registering to vote or voting” is up to a year in jail, a fine up to $2,000 and a potential $5,000 civil penalty.
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Normand said Palma and Waterman came in together to the city clerk’s office Jan. 15 and registered to vote.
“The documents that we used that were provided to us to establish domicile and prove identity are not public information,” Normand said.
He said Palma voted by absentee ballot on Jan. 15. Waterman didn’t vote.
Normand said he sent the AG’s office copies of the pair’s voter registration cards, the two pages of the official checklist where their names appear and the property tax card for the building.
The man identified as Palma in a video produced by Project Veritas Action said he had his bank statement mailed to the Cilley Road address.
An earlier video produced by Project Veritas Action showing questionable voting practices in the presidential primary prompted Assistant Attorney General Stephen Labonte to launch an investigation.
“We’re looking into the issue,” Labonte said Wednesday. He said he did not have a timetable for wrapping up his investigation.
James O’Keefe, who spearheaded the Project Veritas Action work, has produced several videos over the years claiming to show that it is easy for someone to commit voter fraud in New Hampshire.
Kevin Burgess, who runs Total Human Performance in the same building as the Sanders campaign office, said he often showed up at 6 a.m. and “99 percent of the time” the parking lot was empty.
“Anytime after 9:30 or so, I’d see cars pulling in,” said Burgess, who remembered seeing vehicles in the parking lot sporting license plates from Colorado, Maine and Vermont.