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NH congressional delegation urges Secretary of State Gardner to quit Trump election commission

Staff and wire
September 08. 2017 3:10PM

All four New Hampshire congressional representatives on Friday urged Secretary of State Bill Gardner to resign from President Donald Trump’s Election Integrity Commission, after a fellow commission member raised issues of voter fraud involving the credentials of several thousand New Hampshire residents.

The four Democrats said the allegations are false and damage the faith and credibility of Granite State elections.

“Secretary Gardner’s association with this partisan commission risks tarnishing his long legacy of fighting for the New Hampshire Primary and promoting voter participation, and it would be in keeping with his distinguished record to immediately relinquish any role with this commission,” reads a joint statement signed by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

In their comments, the Congresswomen focus on former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, the vice chairman of the commission. In a Breitbart news commentary, Kobach questioned whether 5,000-plus New Hampshire residents properly voted. He also noted that could have changed the outcome in last year’s high profile U.S. Senate race between Hassan and Republican Kelly Ayotte.

New Hampshire First District Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter said Kobach is deceiving the public at the expense of faith in the democratic process.

“I ask all public officials in New Hampshire to join me in condemning these dangerous lies, and I call on Secretary of State Gardner to immediately resign his seat on the Commission,” Shea Porter said.

The Commission is expected to meet Tuesday morning at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College.

“I urge New Hampshire Secretary of State Gardner to condemn this most recent claim and end his participation in President Trump’s voter commission,” said Second District Congresswoman Annie Kuster in a statement.

On Thursday, New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper released a report that raised issue with 5,526 New Hampshire voters used out-of-state ID to vote on election day. None had subsequently obtained a Granite State driver license or registered a car in-state.

Democrats said 87 percent of those voters live in college towns, and nothing in state law prohibits the use of out-of-state IDs to register to vote.

The Washington Post contacted voters who fell into that category.

Patrick Derenze, 22, said that he voted with a New York ID, and was unaware of any New Hampshire law that required voters to change their licenses after voting.

“I was a student at Saint Anselm College in Manchester until I graduated this past May, and because I spent most of my time in the state I felt it was right I vote there instead of my native state of New York,” Derenze said.

Alexander Rounaghi, 19, used his California ID to vote while studying at Dartmouth. “I lived in New Hampshire then, and I’ll live there again when I’m back from summer vacation,” he explained.

Jonah Cohen, 20, was also studying at Dartmouth when he used his New York ID to vote in New Hampshire’s 2016 election. “I’ve since transferred to Columbia, so I won’t be voting in New Hampshire anymore, but I haven’t changed my registration yet,” he explained. “I did not end up getting a N.H. license, but I never needed one to vote.”

David Becker, director of the Center for Election Innovation, said Kobach is basically saying Gardner is incompetent.

“And he’s doing it without a basis,” Becker said.

The Washington Post contributed to this report.


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