In contrast to bipartisan condemnation of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims, Governor Sununu, NH Senate Republicans feed the beast – and jeopardize real Granite State voters in the process
Concord, NH – The NH State Senate Republicans voted yesterday to pass SB 3, a voter suppression bill. The bill intent, in the words of prime sponsor Senator Regina Birdsell (R), is to stop the magic “highway between Massachusetts and our polling places” that President Donald Trump falsely claims cost both him and former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R) a win in New Hampshire:
“Republican State Sen. Regina Birdsell, who represents Derry, Windham, and Hampstead, argued that voter law must be re-examined, especially strengthening residency requirements. “Our same-day registration laws have been opened up to the point that it’s basically a highway between Massachusetts and our polling places as far as I’m concerned,” Birdsell said.” (Eagle Tribune, December 4, 2016)
President Trump’s claims have been refuted near and far. Governor Sununu made similar bus claims in late October before walking them back. Despite wide-spread bipartisan condemnation of Trump’s assertions, Sununu still refuses to stand up for New Hampshire’s electoral integrity. Instead, he says he “wants to work with President Donald Trump’s administration to ‘learn of any evidence they may have.’” New Hampshire towns and cities are now actively calling on Sununu to stand up for the integrity of New Hampshire’s electoral system.
Granite State Progress is calling on Governor Chris Sununu and Republican State Senate and House leaders to stop feeding Trump and Birdsell’s claims of magic buses of voters by denouncing SB 3.
“Governor Sununu is enabling Trump to make these baseless claims, while Senate Republicans passed SB 3 based on this same damaging rhetoric even though Senate President Chuck Morse readily admits there is no problem. Politicians shouldn’t pass bills that jeopardize fundamental voting rights because of propaganda or the rants of sore losers,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Sununu and Republican leaders in the Senate and House can prove they respect the integrity of New Hampshire’s elections by once and for all making it clear President Trump is off-base and that there is absolutely no wide-spread voter fraud here. Promoting SB 3 amounts to nothing more than feeding the hype and is a thinly veiled political attempt to target real Granite State voters who might vote differently than these politicians want.”
Public hearing testimony on SB 3 was overwhelmingly in opposition to the bill, and included opposition from election law experts, voting rights advocates, impacted voters, and municipal officers. Major problems identified include SB 3’s use of a poll tax by requiring a financial exchange for many of the “verifiable acts” for voting; SB 3’s use of a literacy test, by using a lengthy form and language that even long-time election experts deemed confusing; and SB 3’s chilling effect on voter participation by threatening voters with a $5,000 fine and having police officers, or even the local town conspiracy theorist, sent to their door just for failing to return paperwork within 10 days – even if there was no legal problem with their registration in the first place.
Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.