For months, Trump administration officials – up to and including the president himself – have hinted that not everything in New Hampshire’s slice of the 2016 election was on the up and up. As part of the administration’s commitment to find, identify, and root out election fraud around the country, several officials – both inside and outside the federal government – have shone a light on the state’s unusual aberrations…some of which may indicate that New Hampshire was actually called wrong on November 8.
According to New Hampshire’s House Speaker Shawn Jasper, more than 6,500 people registered to vote in the election using out-of-state identification, and most of those people have – nearly a year later – not bothered to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license. These people, all of whom registered to vote on the day of the election, are considered by state conservatives to be a high risk population when it comes to voter fraud. This is especially true, Republicans say, thanks to New Hampshire’s not-so-strict rules governing proof of residency at the ballot box.
The new numbers bring old concerns back into the spotlight. Earlier this year, White House adviser Stephen Miller said that New Hampshire’s election disparities were one of the primary reasons that President Trump was commissioning a voter fraud panel to investigate irregularities.
“Having worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire,” Miller said in February, “I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real. It’s very serious.”
Jasper’s figures do not prove that there was fraud in New Hampshire’s election, but they do raise concerns. One of those concerns, of course, is that many same-day registrees voted in both their home states and New Hampshire, which would be illegal fraud. Currently, there are 196 open investigations of such double voting in the state, but that number could skyrocket if Jasper’s figures hold up. And since Hillary Clinton only bested Trump by 2,736 votes in November, the window for potential fraud holds open the possibility – however slim – that the president actually won the state.
Effectively, it wouldn’t matter. Trump can’t be more president than he already is. But when we’re talking about something as sacrosanct as our federal elections, it’s another sign that the administration’s quest to shore up ballot box integrity is a worthy one.