With the integrity of elections under attack across the country and here in the Granite State, the NH Commission on Voter Confidence is seeking to restore voter confidence. Created by NH Secretary of State David Scanlan, the commission met for the first time on May 2. “Our goal is to reeducate the voting population, with the help of local election officials, on our voting procedures and help voters understand there aren’t any secrets in the election process,” says Scanlan.
Speaking at a May gathering of the Portsmouth Rotary Club, Scanlan says there’s been a decline in the confidence in elections at both at the national and state level. Nationally as many as 50% of voters have concerns.
“This is very concerning as the process in New Hampshire has not changed, just how people are talking about it,” he says.
Scanlan says political rhetoric is centered around making it easy to vote and making it secure. “Too easy and critics say it will lend itself to voter fraud; making it too difficult raises concerns of voter suppression,” he says.
Scanlan shared some of the ways in which NH keeps voting secure, such as using voting machines that are internet-disabled standalone units with no central reporting. “What everyone in New Hampshire should know is that our election process is transparent, and anyone who is interested can watch the process from start to finish, but a lot of voters don’t know this,” he says.
Scanlan says the commission will work to identify the root causes of voter confidence decline and make recommendations to reverse the trend.
The bi-partisan commission members are: co-chair and former U.S. Congressman Richard Swett; co-chair Bradford E. Cook, chair of NH Ballot Law Commission and an attorney with Sheehan Phinney law firm; Andrew Georgevits, chairman of the Concord Republican City Committee; former state senator Amanda Merrill, a board member for the NH LCHIP; former state senator Jim Splaine; Douglass Teschner, president of Growing Leadership; Olivia Zink, executive director of Open Democracy in Concord and a Franklin city councilor; and Ken Eyring, co-founder of the Government Integrity Project.