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Letter: Understanding the ballot questions


Monday, November 05, 2018

I recently went on my town’s website to look at the sample ballot and found that there are two constitutional amendments up for a vote. Although there have been a few articles recently, I wanted to have more clarification. So I asked two of the Democratic House candidates in Tilton, Stan Robinson and Chuck Mitchell, what they thought about these proposed amendments.

The first one is about the right of N.H. citizens to sue the government for misuse or misappropriation of funds without having to prove that they were personally harmed by the expenditure. The idea is a good one since we all want to have the government accountable to voters, but according to Stan, “Without a clause that makes the filer of frivolous suits responsible for reimbursing the state, this could be a disaster financially for the state and it could clog up the courts.” According to Chuck, other than the legal POV, this one may be a good start to restore accountability.

The second proposed amendment states, “An individual’s right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential and inherent.” It is so vague that it could probably be interpreted in a number of ways. What might this mean for someone who wants governmental services? Or what about potential implications during criminal investigations? According to Stan, “There are many places where the state requests information which might be nixed by this amendment.”

For me, I’m voting “Yes” on No. 1 and “No” on No. 2.

JULIETTE PAQUIN

Tilton