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Scott Brown jokes about voter fraud

Last modified: 9/2/2014 4:35:01 PM
Scott Brown recently told conservative talk show host Howie Carr that out-of-state voters who support him should cross the border and vote for him on Election Day.

Brown campaign says he was joking, but voter fraud hasn’t historically been a joking matter in New Hampshire – especially if you ask Republicans. Boston.com first reported the comments, which Brown made on Carr’s show in August. His comments came in response to a caller from Connecticut who asked why New Hampshire voters should support Brown.

“Well they can come over and do same-day registration and say they want to come down and vote. So if they feel compelled to do so, come on down,” Brown said.

Carr laughed in response.

“As pointed out, he was clearly joking,” Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Guyton said, referring to a comment she gave Boston.com.

But the comment is likely to raise eyebrows for a few reasons. First, Brown’s been consistently labeled as a carpetbagger since he moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts in December. Joking about getting support from out of state voters doesn’t exactly help erase that label.

Second, state Republicans don’t take claims of voter fraud lightly. New Hampshire voters can register to vote on Election Day, but the Republican-led House championed stricter rules in 2012 that limited the acceptable forms of registration and required anyone without a photo identification to have their pictures taken by election workers. Suspicion of voter fraud, which had little evidence, drove the changes in part. The 2013 Legislature, in turn, walked back some of those restrictions.

In 2013, the state Republican party filed a formal complaint against Democrats over voter fraud. In the complaint, the party alleged Democratic campaign workers who listed their address at the home of a Democratic state senator shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Democrats, in turn, said both parties have campaign staffers who work here temporarily yet vote in New Hampshire on Election Day.


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