We had something to say about that.
(Hour 1b) 07-23-2014 Hour 1b
Ed Naile, President of the Coalition of NH Taxpayers joined in on the conversation. Naile explained how Ben Smith’s thinking is not so unusual for college kids.
It’s par for the course. Perhaps he’s been listening to Senator Jamie B. Raskin of Maryland. Ed’s advice for Ben…do your research other than just relying on Organizing for America. Ed extended the opportunity to discuss or debate your right to vote anytime!
(Hour 1c) 07-23-2014 Hour 1c
Here’s the letter referenced in the archives. It was originally published here.
July 18, 2014 2:00 AM
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to Brian Griset’s latest letter about voter fraud last Friday. Before I get into my rebuttals, I’d like to ask him to have some respect for my party. We are the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party, and I find it very ironic that someone who supports restricting the right to vote would disparage us for not being “democratic” enough. I also find a lot of irony that the party running two imported candidates to try and represent us would criticize outside elements for voting in our state.
To answer his concerns about “voter fraud,” if you are a long-term resident of the state, then you have a stake in New Hampshire. In 2012, only three cases of actual voter fraud that were prosecuted ever emerged. Technically, the case with Joe Biden’s niece and other political operatives in our state were actually legal voters. Political operatives voting in the state they’re working in and jetting back to America is actually quite a common practice on both sides of the aisle, and the law’s language doesn’t constitute it as “fraud.”
Mainly, I think that Representative Briden has a point, which I noticed Mr. Griset never addressed, opting with accusations of his own. The NHGOP’s platform on voting rights says that they intend to “prosecute violations of election law and ensure voting is done by New Hampshire resident citizens only; to prevent voter fraud we support the requirement to produce positive identification upon both registering and voting.” As a resident of New Hampshire who studies in Pennsylvania, this is very concerning to me. Although I do plan on voting here this year because my vote will have more of a stake, I should have the option of voting in Pennsylvania in 2016 if the opportunity arises. After all, I live there for eight months of the year. The legalese in this part of the Republican platform concerns me quite a bit — like Mr. Briden said, it can definitely be taken as an attack on out of state students’ franchise. Let’s look at the details.
Bill O’Brien, the leader of the extreme right in New Hampshire and the former speaker of the State House himself, said verbatim that he was concerned about students “foolishly voting as liberals.” This was over his failed bid at ending election day registration, which also would have restricted voting rights of groups that vote Democratic. Rich Girard, a conservative radio host, also said that “out of state students decided the New Hampshire election” when talking about voter fraud. But the most telling evidence is that Brian Griset, the man making these accusations himself, said that “protecting the rights of N.H. citizens, protecting their vote from being watered down by outsiders and political operatives should be the goal of every N.H. citizen regardless of party.” All the evidence directly points to a plot to suppress the student vote.
I consider myself a New Hampshirite through and through, but if I’m living in a state for eight to nine months of my life, I have a stake there. I’m not an outsider to Pennsylvania, and a UNH student from Massachusetts or Maine isn’t an outsider to New Hampshire. They should have the choice whether to vote in the state that they live in or in the state that they go to college, and as long as they vote in one state, they should be able to exercise their vote however they please. This new trend the N.H. and Pa. Republican parties seem to have adopted troubles me greatly, because a similar law was passed in my college state that bans student IDs if they don’t have an expiration date. I view laws like these as a direct attack on my right to vote, and quite frankly, will serve to drive people away from our way of life.
It’s not a distraction, and in fact, if anyone’s doing the distracting it’s the far-right, using “voter fraud” and “election integrity” as dog-whistles to make sure certain elements don’t vote. They caught lightning in a bottle in 2010, in a perfect storm where right-wing extremism was more palatable to the nation, and instead of adapting to the times or even following in more libertarian footsteps, they’ve decided to make sure that certain blocs can’t vote. We get all of our other rights from a government that is there to protect our rights, and without suffrage, none of us can decide our own vision of our government, even if Mr. Griset and my visions are drastically different. If anything, the New Hampshire Republican Party is actively demonizing out-of-staters who stay here for most of the year as untrue New Hampshirites, and even blatantly suggesting that students who live elsewhere in the summer should vote in their own state. So now, I ask you, Mr. Griset: Why should I, as a college student, vote for your party when they think that students coming here shouldn’t have the right to vote?