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In NH, Trump voter panel investigates fraud
15 September 2017, 12:50 | Myrtle Vega
Kayana Szymczak Darren McCollester Getty Images
"New Hampshire is the ideal place for our first substantive meeting", said Kobach, whose visit to the state comes on the heels of statements he made questioning the validity of recent New Hampshire elections.
"Some are questioning why I am here", Gardner said at the opening of the meeting Tuesday. "And it is real and valid".
That's a bit different than a claim of "proof" that "out-of-staters take advantage of New Hampshire's same-day registration and head to the Granite State to cast fraudulent votes".
"Facts have come to light that indicate that a pivotal, close election was likely changed through voter fraud on November 8, 2016: New Hampshire's U.S. Senate Seat, and perhaps also New Hampshire's four electoral college votes in the presidential election".
New Hampshire is one of 15 states that allow for same-day voter registrations. "There is a legitimate argument to be made that if you are going to live here, you ought to register your vehicle here, and pay taxes here and get a driver's license here", Fergus Cullen, a former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party in 2007-2008, told Fact Check. We may never definitively know how Republican efforts to discourage Democratic votes affected the outcome of the 2016 election.
Kobach somewhat backed off his op-ed, saying he "struggled with the words - what verbs to use".
Shortly after his inauguration, Trump pushed the bogus claim that "thousands" of people were bused into New Hampshire from MA to vote illegally, a falsehood that New Hampshire election officials and even Granite State Republicans immediately discredited. "I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who's worked in New Hampshire politics", said White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who briefly worked on Brown's 2014 Senate run.
"Making this equation that somehow people not updating their driver's license is an indicator of voter fraud would be nearly as absurd as saying that if you have cash in your wallet, that that's proof that you robbed a bank", Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said to applause. It was sent by a Heritage Foundation employee later revealed to be commission member Hans von Spakovsky, who expressed deep dissatisfaction with Vice President Mike Pence's plans for the panel.
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The League of Women Voters of the Austin Area is dedicated to ensuring that all eligible voters - particularly those from traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities, including first-time voters, noncollege youth, new citizens, communities of color, the elderly and low-income Americans - have the opportunity and the information to exercise their right to vote.
Election experts both in the room and watching via livestream, meanwhile, pointed out that some presenters' credentials were dubious and their conclusions have already been debunked. Democrats, meanwhile, warned that the meeting was created to justify a later push for new, restrictive voting laws. The commission has operated in a secretive manner and sought information about voters from states that is clearly protected.
Gardner is the nation's longest-serving secretary of state and has been re-elected by Democratic and Republican legislatures, largely due to his advocacy for keeping the state's primary first in the presidential nominating process.
Kobach paused Tuesday's commission meeting in Manchester to explain - and effectively withdraw - allegations he made last week.
"We'd witness a sterling example of the law of unintended consequences", he said. "And I will not, either". The Democrats on the panel should walk away now rather than continue to provide a bipartisan patina to this dishonest enterprise.
Critics assailed the notion that guidelines created to prevent risky or unstable people from purchasing a gun should be used to determine who may vote. At the very least, Kobach writes, "They have not followed the legal requirements for residents regarding driver's licenses", and "it appears that they are not actually residing in New Hampshire". Who benefits when a group of ineligible-but-trending-heavily-Democrat people become registered voters?
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