CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) offered the following statement after review of the Court’s ruling on a request for preliminary injunction in the NH Democratic Party et. al v Gardner et al suit challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 3.
“We’re very pleased that the Court upheld the major provisions of Senate Bill 3. This is an important first ruling in what will be an ongoing adjudication that we believe will lead to the law being upheld,” said Jasper. “Although the penalties in the law cannot be enforced at this time, the Court found no reason to delay the implementation of the other provisions of the law that provide for a more transparent and honest voter registration process.”
Concord, NH — Senator Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead), Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), Senator Harold French (R-Franklin) and House Speaker Pro Tem Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry) issued the following statements:
“New Hampshire’s Bill Gardner is the nation’s longest-serving Secretary of State and one of our most regarded and well-respected public servants,” said Senator Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead), Chair of the Senate Election Law & Internal Affairs Committee. “As an official who is elected by the Legislature every two years, term after term he has a track record of earning support from both Republicans and Democrats and working in a bipartisan manner on a range of legislation each year.”
“I’ve had the distinct honor to work alongside Secretary Gardner to ensure and protect the integrity of our state’s elections and continue to believe he has our state, the Constitution and our citizen’s best interests at heart, regardless of party affiliation, in every well-informed decision he makes,” added Birdsell.
“Attacking the integrity of Secretary Gardner is reprehensible. He has always maintained a non-partisan stand on election related issues and should be commended for his work for New Hampshire over many years. I agree that he is one of the most respected public figures in our state who has been consistently dedicated to ensuring fairness in our elections,” said Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry).
“There is no place for these recent attacks on his role as Secretary of State and his bipartisan track record over the years speaks for itself. Secretary Gardner has always been well-revered and trusted to uphold the sanctity of our state’s elections year after year,” said Senator Harold French (R-Franklin). “I will continue to stand in support of Secretary Gardner as I have every reason to believe he will continue to protect our rights to fair elections now and in the future.”
“I’ve known Secretary Gardner for over 30 years, and I’ve never known him to be anything but an honest broker who does what he believes is right for the State of New Hampshire,” said House Speaker Pro Tem Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry). “He deserves better than being attacked for his public service on a presidential commission. His decades of experience and his non-partisan objectivity are an asset to the State. Any board or commission he is chosen to serve on is lucky to have him.”
CONCORD – Late yesterday, New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) received a response to an inquiry of the NH Department of State and Department Safety. The inquiry, sent August 16, 2017, sought statistical information on the efforts of both departments to match voter checklist information with records of the Department of Safety. Speaker Jasper sought the information to benefit the legislature in its assessment of the effectiveness of our current election laws as well as future legislation that could improve our voter registration and verification processes. Speaker Jasper offered the following statement upon initial review of the response to his inquiry, “I appreciate the work our state agencies do to ensure they meet the requirements of our existing election laws, and maintain these important statistics.”
Among the information provided by the departments are the following statistics:
6540 individuals registered to vote on November 8th, 2016 using an out-of-state driver’s license.
As of August 30th, 2017, only 1014 (15.5%) of those voters had been issued a New Hampshire driver’s license.
As of August 31, 2017, of the remaining 5526 individuals, only 3.3% had registered a motor vehicle in New Hampshire.
As of August 31, 2017, 5313 (81.2%) of the individuals who used an out-of-state driver’s license had neither held a New Hampshire driver’s license nor had registered a vehicle in New Hampshire.
196 names on the checklist are being investigated as possibly having voted in New Hampshire and one other state.
(The full text of the Speaker’s request and the full response signed by Secretary of State Gardner and Commissioner of Safety John Barthelmes are attached.)
170816 – Letter to Comm. Barthelmes & Sec. Gardner
170906 – Depts of State and Safety Response
CONCORD – House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) and House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued statements in reaction to the dismissal of a suit brought by the ACLU and 2 elected members of the New Hampshire Legislature against New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner seeking to block the release of voter checklist information to the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.
House Speaker Shawn Jasper:
“From the outset, I had faith in Secretary Gardner’s interpretation of his duties, and his commitment to uphold the laws of New Hampshire, while never compromising the privacy of our citizens. This is part of what I believe is a long overdue review at the federal level, of our election systems, with the goal of increasing confidence and security. I am pleased that the data release has been cleared and our state now can play a role in the presidential commission’s efforts at improving election integrity.”
House Majority Leader Dick Hinch:
“It’s unfortunate that this lawsuit, and grandstanding by Democrats in the state legislature calling for a special session, distracted from the real concern many New Hampshire citizens have about election integrity. Rep. Shurtleff has yet to produce petition signatures requesting a special session he announced over a month ago, which demonstrates that even members of his own party quickly realized the premise for their opposition was not well founded.”
For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2017
Concord, NH – Today Governor Chris Sununu announced the return of $30 million to towns and cities for road improvements as a result of signing SB 38, making an appropriation to the department of transportation for local highway aid and aid for municipal bridges.
“Addressing New Hampshire’s infrastructure needs is critical to ensure safety on our roads,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This is a key first step in rebuilding our state’s infrastructure and reducing property tax obligations for every citizen in the state. We’re sending cash back to towns so that localities can provide relief on their tax base – a home run for taxpayers. For years we have heard how the state cannot control local property taxes, but what we can do is use infrastructure grants to give our towns more financial flexibility and target key areas of need to our communities, which will revitalize New Hampshire’s aging infrastructure, and reinvigorate our local economies.”
“Modernizing our state’s roadway and bridge infrastructure is a priority for New Hampshire. Due to responsible budgeting in FY 16-17, our state produced significant surplus that has not only grown the rainy day fund, but allowed our state to return millions of taxpayer dollars to our communities,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem). “Nearly $30 million will be returned to cities and towns to directly support critical infrastructure improvements that will benefit our citizens across the state.”
Speaker Shawn Jasper said of the announcement, “This year, Governor Sununu and the legislature have made it a priority to send money back to cities and towns. We are proud we can make local needs a priority. The distribution of these dollars demonstrates our commitment to improving our state’s infrastructure in each corner of our state. The health of our roads and bridges are an important investment for our communities and local economies.”
Click here for a full list town distribution amounts
CONCORD – House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following comments relative to a petition for a special legislative session initiated by Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord). The purpose of the special session would be to modify laws relative to the ability of Secretary of State Bill Gardner to release New Hampshire voter information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
“I have a high level of respect for Secretary of State Bill Gardner and it’s unfortunate that Representative Shurtleff and others in the Democratic Party have chosen to suggest he would divulge information that is not public. Secretary Gardner has indicated that he will only provide voter data that he is legally able to provide and that is already publicly available. He has served the people of New Hampshire honorably in his position for over 40 years. He knows the law.”
“This is political grandstanding meant to make President Trump’s Commission out to be something it most assuredly is not. I’ve read the request, and the Commission respectfully asks only for what is publicly available under the laws of the state. I know of no better steward of laws and information than Secretary Gardner, and I believe him when he says sensitive data will not be included in any data release.”
“Voter lists with basic information have been available for public review for decades. They are the basis for how our political parties and candidates contact voters. If Democrats had a genuine concern about the availability of the data, they had decades to change the law. By petitioning for a special session they demonstrate their political motives and their disregard for the usual and customary legislative process.”
“Election integrity is important to me and it is important to the voters of our state. I will not support meeting in special session for this circus-like endeavor.”
Background: RSA16 provides the ability for members to petition for a special session. If the requirements for the petition are met, the Secretary of State will mail ballots to every member of the House and Senate asking, “Are you of the opinion that the general court should meet in special session?”