Voting Rights

 

Your Vote, Your Choice

 

My commitment is to make sure that if you are eligible to vote, you have the opportunity to vote.  That you can vote for a candidate who represents your views.  Most of all, that you can know that your vote has been accurately counted.

 

Candidates who represent the voter

When wealthy donors channel massive amounts of money to their favorite candidate, they buy influence. This means that the voices and needs of people like you and me are drowned out by what the wealthiest people in our state—and from outside our state—want. In the last year, Governor Sununu vetoed several campaign finance bills designed to close these loopholes.  We must work with voting rights allies and legislators on both sides of the aisle to put a stop to influence buying.

 

Fair Redistricting

Every ten years, the party that controls the NH state legislature, gets to draw the voting boundaries.  When a political party draws voting boundaries, their first priority is to draw “safe” districts where they don’t have to fight for votes. That’s not democracy.

We need an independent bi-partisan redistricting commission to draw district voting boundaries based on neighboring communities with similar interests. A bi-partisan bill creating such a commission was vetoed by Governor Sununu in 2019 and 2020.  Fair redistricting legislation has again been introduced in 2021. Redistricting will occur in 2022.  It will be an uphill battle to get the Republicans who control the NH Legislature and the Governor to agree to an independent process, but we must try.

 

Making Sure Your Vote Is Counted Correctly

More than 98% of the votes cast in Derry are counted by computers. When the computers are working correctly, they produce an accurate vote count. But the computers used in Derry are nearly 20 years old and prone to malfunction. If a malfunction goes undetected, the voting results could be compromised.

At the same time, the programs our machines use can be hacked. Experts have been urging states to implement a post-election audit procedure for many years. But the NH Secretary of State has resisted, and the legislature has gone along with him. It is long past time to verify the accuracy of the computer count. You, the voter, deserve nothing less.

As Derry’s Town Moderator, I worked with other election officials to ensure that the ballots were safe from the moment they arrived at the Town Clerk’s office until they were cast, counted, and stored in the town vault. I know that every election official in Derry worked tirelessly to make sure that every eligible person had the chance to vote. We checked the machines before every election to make sure they were working properly. My team and I worked with integrity on election day to make sure that every ballot was accounted for at the end of the day. We did everything in our power to protect the accuracy of the vote.

But, the one thing we were not allowed to do was verify that the machine did not malfunction on election day.  We were not allowed to make sure that a hacker did not insert code to favor one candidate over another.

Sen Tom Sherman has introduced SB 79 which authorizes the moderator to verify the machine count after an election and before certifying the results.  It is not upon us to trust the machine or the integrity of election workers, it is upon the government to prove that our votes have been accurately counted.  This can be relatively easily down by means of post election verification hand counts of selected ballots as authorized by SB 79.  I will be working closely with Sen Sherman on this bill and I hope you will join me.