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Voter fraud is real and must be stopped

Last modified: 6/6/2012 12:00:00 AM
There is an important bill coming up for a vote in the Legislature today which should greatly reduce much of the voter fraud that has occurred in New Hampshire in the past decade. It is Senate Bill 289.

This bill is of particular interest to me because in my run for a second term for the House in 2004 I lost by 30 votes. I believe there were many people voting in Dover's Ward 3 who were not Dover residents. My wife and I were at the polls with signs on Election Day greeting the voters as they came to vote. Among them were many young people whom we did not recognize from our door-to-door campaigning.

We also noticed several cars with Maine and Massachusetts license plates that pulled up to our voting location dropping off three to four people each who appeared to be college age. These young voters entered the polling place, obtained ballots and voted. Foster's Daily Democrat published a picture of a University of New Hampshire campus bus full of students that was on its way to Dover. At the front of the bus were two Harvard Law School students instructing this group how to get a ballot. At that time almost any document, even a laundry slip, was accepted as proof of residence for voters not already registered.

Following this election, I obtained the new voter list and sent more than 350 letters by first-class mail to those who voted for the first time in Ward 3 in Dover. Inside was a note thanking them for coming out to vote in Dover for the first time with the hope they would take an active part in our local politics. More than 100 of those letters came back from the post office stamped as undeliverable. Post Office notes on the envelopes included such words as 'not at this address,' 'no such street,' 'no such street number.' Some of those undeliverable letters included forwarding addresses in other states that had expired. These states included Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida and Oklahoma. Those students, most of whom I believe were from UNH, in effect stole votes from Dover residents.

The passage of Senate Bill 289 will reduce substantially if not eliminate this kind of voter fraud. If an individual realizes that positive identification including a photo identification is required to get a ballot and that wrongful voting is a felony, few students or others will risk voting at a location where they are not domiciled.

If a person for religious or other reasons objects to having his or her photo taken, there is an alternative which is executing a qualified voter affidavit.

It is hard to imagine on what grounds any person would object to these steps to assure the integrity of our New Hampshire voting procedures.

(David Scott lives in Dover.)


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