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GOP calls N.H. voter fraud investigation lacking; Democrats claim a witch-hunt

The state Republican Party yesterday criticized an investigation by the attorney general’s office that found no evidence of voter fraud at a Democratic state senator’s house, with RNC Chairwoman Jennifer Horn saying the inquiry “made no effort to look at any objective evidence.”

But Harrell Kirstein, spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, called it a “petty witch-hunt and a waste of taxpayer money,” demanded by Republicans for no legitimate reason.

“Law-abiding U.S. citizens who are living here and working here have a right to vote here, regardless of their age or political affiliation,” Kirstein said in a statement. “People on both sides of the aisle who have moved here and worked here and are domiciled here have voted here for years and years and years, and that’s why this has never been an issue before.”

On July 24, Horn asked Attorney General Joe Foster to investigate possible voter fraud after WMUR reported that eight people were registered to vote at the Portsmouth home of state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, a Democrat.

The eight included the senator, her husband, her son and a goddaughter who was studying at the University of New Hampshire.

The other four had worked on various Democratic political campaigns while living at Fuller Clark’s house. Two voted in New Hampshire in 2008 before moving away, and two voted in 2012 before moving away.

Horn last month accused Fuller Clark of “allowing her home address to be used as a sanctuary for voter fraud.”

But in an Aug. 21 letter to Horn, Assistant Attorney General Stephen LaBonte wrote there was no evidence anyone violated New Hampshire law, which requires a voter to establish domicile.

Domicile is defined by state law as “that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social, and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government.”

The five-page letter from LaBonte to Horn cites election records and interviews with several people, including Fuller Clark and the campaign workers. LaBonte said everyone consistently said Fuller Clark and the workers never discussed whether they should register to vote in the state.

“We checked and saw that the individuals had moved here for the purpose of working. . . . They didn’t move here for the purpose of voting in our election. But as they were living here and working here for a period of months, they did establish a domicile,” LaBonte said in an interview. “There just wasn’t any evidence that voter fraud took place.”

No additional action will be taken by the attorney general’s office, he wrote in his letter to Horn, “as the allegations of voter fraud are not supported.”

Horn wasn’t satisfied and said yesterday the investigation was lacking.

“Drive-by voting is unacceptable and illegal under New Hampshire law. You can’t come to our state while maintaining residency in another state and expect to influence our elections,” she said in a statement. “That is wrong, and Republicans will continue to explore other avenues to ensure that drive-by voters are not canceling out the votes of legitimate New Hampshire residents.”

Fuller Clark didn’t return a message yesterday seeking comment.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

Legacy Comments23

The issue seems clear-cut to me. AG says no laws were broken. If Republicans are unhappy with the state's voting laws and the definition of "domicile," then they should work to tighten up those residency rules and definitions. In the meantime, don't blame the AG and the democrats for a law that can be taken advantage of by people of both parties.

Head line should read: NH AG turns a blind eye to vote stealing. Democrat spokesman says we will steal as many votes as we can get away with. Democrats need voter fraud, democrats want voter fraud voter fraud is a way of life for democrats.

Where was the outcry from the right when Bill O'Brians son supposedly voted twice?

This is voter fraud clear and simple and it's how Dems won in 2012 all over the country. If Dems in NH think this is just fine and legal, just wait until they see what we can do in like manner to counter it in even greater numbers. I'll bet they'll be the first to be screaming about it. Hypocrites. Only they won't be able to do much about it, since it seems to be legal. Legalized fraud, courtesy of our corrupt AG and Governors. We in NH are getting sick of having absolutely NO law against transient voting, NO voter ID, and I for one had my vote stolen TWICE and want justice..

Please elaborate on claim of your vote being stolen "TWICE." To whom did you report these incidents? Did you contact the AG's office? Did you go to the press? What was the outcome? Or is this another example of the Republicans' assertion that voter fraud is both wide spread and undocumented.

Oh please, Michaelton, don't ever ask this crowd for specifics. It's an open invitation for more misleading generalizations and (at best) half-truths. All you need to know is that Whistle walked 4 miles to school in a snowstorm every day and uphill in both directions.

Yes Whistleblower we need to vote the corrupt bums and an Honest Governor can appoint an Honest AG.

Vote the Corrupt bums out.

Sure, it was the 4 votes of the people staying in Martha Fuller Clark's house that was the cause of LaMontaigne, Bass and Guinta getting shellacked as well as the GOP losing 100 seats in the house. Sure was.

No, I place my blame for that on Billy O'Brien and his pig-headed way of bullying people around.

Keeping the vote clean is not manipulating anything. We all want clean elections, except for those that are willing to cheat. This back and forth from both parties on every issue is starting to get very old, and it is beginning to look like we elected a bunch of idiots. Just read the immigration bill and what was in it for pork. The make sure these bills are 2,000 plus pages long with the hope that folks will not read it, and they can hide the pork. Disgusting!

Typical Republican effort -- accuse lawful voters of fraud, waste taxpayer money in seeking proof of purely partisan political accusation, insult and degrade any public official who does not conclude that the Republican "concerns" have any factual basis, and then continue to accuse without proof. Hey guys ! We are bored with this crap, and tired of you trying to manipulate the vote to compensate for the fact that your policies are non-existent or illogical and therefore not drawing any new voters to your side. Please get a clue and rejoin the community of American citizens.

Every day the left clamors for more opportunity for those less fortunate. Republicans want everyone to succeed in America. An ID is 100% crucial to a citizens being able to take advantage of all that America has to offer. Who could be against that......except democrats

Do conservatives EVER tire of believing that their life circumstances are everybody else's? Apparently when actual stories of native born American citizens who have voted for decades without any ID and will now have to travel by any means necessary to some distant location in order to get an approved ID.... I don't know. Maybe they switch channels to Dancing With The Stars. How crazy is it that in some locations a state issued gun permit can be acceptable and a state issued university ID not? And they talk about wanting educated voters!!! It really does become tedious.

Voter ID approved by the US Supreme Court. You don't have much argument Gracchus.

I do not think it is too much to ask to show an ID when voting. It makes sense to me. What is the argument that an ID should not required?

Sail nails it again!!!

anybody remember the guy shacked up at NH democrat party chairman Kathy Sullivan's home. He was caught pulling yard signs of the Responsible Republicans and he moved out of state the day after voting to go work on another campaign.

Has the Monitor layed off its so-called “moderator”? The phrase “shacked up” is widely understood as a euphemism meaning “slept with” (to put it politely). How is a comment that claims a specific individual had sex with someone not defamatory, as at the very least a wrongful invasion of privacy, if not an outright fabrication? How long would a comment stay up if it clearly stated or implied that some guy had “shacked up” with Felice Belman? Hmmm?

oops - wrong word - how about she was running a boarding house for out of state liberals

Yes we remember Geoff Wetrosky. A trunkful of signs, and then voted, and then ran off to Kansas or something the next day. Never any intention of staying, never paid rent to Kathy Sullivan. Not only have Dems enabled this nonsense, they have made it harder to track down. http://www.cnht.org/news/2006/10/21/voter-fraud-in-nh-yes-virginia-it-exists/

Tell you what, next time you are worried about someone stealing your vote, Bring it before the Supreme Court and they will stop the voting and let your guy win.

Or perhaps, a court in say, Missouri, can extend the hours to stack the votes or dead people can vote in Chicago or Black Panthers can intimidate voters in Philadelphia......

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