Letter: Faulty logic on voter fraud bill

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

After a painstaking investigation, the N.H. Attorney General’s Office has issued a report debunking the false allegations made by Gov. Chris Sununu in 2016 about widespread voter fraud in New Hampshire. Yet Republican lawmakers continue to back House Bill 1264, the latest in their series of efforts to restrict voting rights. Under HB 1264, people moving to New Hampshire for college or work, but expecting to leave at some point in the future, would for the first time have to pay motor vehicle fees if they vote here. Choosing not to vote would save them that expense.

Now that proponents can no longer point to “widespread fraud” to justify HB 1264, they say the bill is needed because just one fraudulent vote could change the outcome of an election. This faulty logic ignores the fact that an election could also be determined by just one eligible voter who refrains from voting because of overly restrictive or punitive election laws. HB 1264 would inevitably lead many legitimate voters to stay home on Election Day because of the financial costs that voting would trigger.

Gov. Sununu’s untrue statements about voter fraud paved the way for HB 1264 and other bills supposedly designed to “tighten” our voting laws, but which actually undermine our democracy. In light of the AG’s report, I urge the governor to publicly renounce his earlier assertions, proclaim the integrity of our electoral system and veto HB 1264.