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Hey, New Hampshire DOES have a Springfield...


After Donald Trump complained that he'd lost the electoral vote in New Hampshire because buses full of people from Massachusetts poured into the state to do voter fraud to him, he made damn sure that his Fraudulent Voter Commission went to New Hampshire to check it out. Kris Kobach, the chair of the commission, repeated the claim, insisting that college students were the problem, but no, that also turned out to be a big fat lie. And while the Voter Fraud commission has been disbanded, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner, a Democrat, went ahead and did a through investigation of the state's vote in 2016, if only to be able to say conclusively that Trump and Kobach were WRONG ON THE INTERNET. Which Gardner and other officials did in a two-hour presentation before the state's Ballot Law Commission Tuesday.

Despite the claims that thousands of people had fraudulently voted, the Secretary of State's office found that of the 86,952 people who registered to vote on election days in 2016 -- either the primary or the general election -- only 6,033 total didn't have photo ID. Those folks signed affidavits stating they were domiciled in the state and eligible to vote. So the SoS office checked up on every single one of the affidavits, and found they were almost all valid. To be sure, Gardner's office sent 458 cases to the attorney general's office, which verified that 392 really did live in New Hampshire, and voted properly. That left just 66 cases the attorney general's office couldn't verify, but Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards said “Those unverified voters do not indicate that those individuals cast an unlawful vote" -- just that for one reason or another, the people couldn't be tracked down in the year and some months since the elections.

Edwards also said that of the 28 cases in which complaints were made to the AG's office about possible fraud, only five turned out to involve actual improper voting: Two were people who voted in the February 9 presidential primary in Dixville Notch, but didn't live there, because they just really wanted to vote in the nation's very first primary. They were given a stern warning to never try that nonsense again. In another case, a woman filled out an absentee ballot in her late husbands's name four days after he died. She got off with a $500 civil fine, but no criminal charges. One real genius decided that since he owned homes in two different towns, he could vote once in each; it turned out he'd done the same in at least one previous election. He was fined $2,500 and warned he'd be charged as a criminal if he did it again. And the last example was an improper vote that was simply an innocent screwup: A Southern New Hampshire University student who should have voted in Manchester was told by a poll worker to go vote in Hooksett because the poll worker mistakenly thought the kid's dormitory was located in that town. The vote was technically illegal, but the state didn't penalize the kid for the poll worker's mistake. So there's your pervasive pattern of voter fraud.

Oh, hey, and Gardner also used the seriously BAD "Interstate Crosscheck" Voter ID database -- developed by Kris Kobach -- to see if any people registered in New Hampshire were also registered and voting in other states. Crosscheck is notorious for generating the impression that there are tens of thousands of people registered in more than one state and fraudulently voting, because it only searches by voters' first and last names, and usually -- but not always -- birth dates. Gardner's first pass turned up "94,610 records in which a New Hampshire voter and a voter in another state had the same first name, last name and date of birth" as someone in another state. Wow, lookit all the fraud! But then when additional identifiers were added, like Social Security numbers, checking for people who'd died, and cleaning up clerical errors, that left just 142 possible matches, a whopping 51 cases of which Gardner sent on to the AG for additional searching -- and again, there's no proof of fraud there, just matching names in two states that could still be explained without there being anything untoward.

But wait! What about all those buses that everyone knows they saw, or that they know they read about on the internet? Assistant AG Edwards explained that: In previous years, party organizers -- usually but not always Democrats -- had rented buses to take voters to the polls, usually picking up college students on campus and getting them to town. The buses were often rented from surrounding states. So yeah, buses with Massachusetts or Maine plates, full of perfectly legal New Hampshire voters. Edwards added she'd asked parties and campaigns not to rent out of state buses in 2016, and the complaints about fraud buses dropped sharply that year. Plus, hey, good for local charter companies.

In conclusion, Kris Kobach is a liar, Donald Trump is a liar, and once again an exhaustive investigation turned up no evidence of widespread fraud. Also, we like New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner, who strikes us as the kind of guy who could spend hours putting together a Dear Shitferbrains post picking apart something stupid a liar said in the comments. Which we don't allow.

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[NBC News / WMUR-TV]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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