New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner knows a thing or two about election law. His concern over a Democratic bill now before the U.S. Senate (and supported by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan) is legitimate.
Gardner not only objects to it dictating to the states. He knows that the bill is an open invitation to further interference with state law, including the one about a little thing called the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary.
Hassan and Shaheen scoffed at Gardner, ignoring the “For the People Act” itself and instead noting that it doesn’t specifically reference our primary. They and Reps. Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster (who both backed the bill in the House) apparently were caught flat-footed by Gardner’s warning.
But the New Hampshire delegation has a primary concern that may be even more of a threat. In a political party that measures everything through quotas, colors, and percentages, our primary faces outright cancellation. Like first-caucus state Iowa, New Hampshire isn’t “diverse” enough, our large voter turnouts and willingness to hear of issues and from long-shot candidates notwithstanding.
There will be hell to pay for our all-Democrat delegation if it manages to let the primary slip away. Particularly in an evenly-divided Senate, Shaheen and Hassan ought to be capable of ensuring protection for the New Hampshire primary.