Right man for the job: Fitch investigates voter fraudEDITORIAL
November 08. 2017 10:04PM
Enforcing New Hampshire’s election laws is as important as passing new ones.
For years, New Hampshire has let cases of voter fraud go unanswered. The state’s weak residency requirements essentially let out-of-state voters pick up New Hampshire ballots on the honor system. State officials claimed they lacked the resources to follow up on voter fraud allegations.
In this year’s budget, Gov. Chris Sununu and the Legislature dedicated half a million dollars for election law enforcement. Secretary of State Bill Gardner has brought on veteran attorney Orville “Bud” Fitch to head up that effort.
In 15 years in the attorney general’s office, a brief stint overseeing New Hampshire stimulus funding, and on the staff of Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Fitch built a reputation for diligence and precision. He is the right choice to track down the 900 questionable ballots cast in the 2016 election from addresses that are no longer valid.
Some of these first-time voters may have moved. Others may never have lived here. Hundreds more may have voted in more than one district. Fitch will do the legwork to determine if voters who registered at the polls without ID were actually eligible to vote. He would then refer cases of suspected voter fraud to the AG’s office for prosecution.
The voter fraud issue has become too embroiled in partisan politics. Fitch’s job will be to make sure New Hampshire’s laws are enforced, and its voting booths protected.