ATKINSON, New Hampshire — Though the Republican nominee for governor of New Hampshire supports the state’s new voter ID law, he couldn’t name an actual case of voter fraud that has occurred in the Granite State.
Ovide Lamontagne lauded the state’s voter ID law, which passed in June over Gov. John Lynch’s (D) veto, as “desirable” in an interview with ThinkProgress on Friday. We asked whether there had been instances of in-person voter fraud in the state to justify the new law that could disenfranchise some New Hampshire voters, particularly minorities, college students and poor people.
“It’s anecdotal only, from what I can tell,” Lamontagne said. “As far as I’m concerned even if it’s only theoretical it’s something that’s not too much to ask to raise the confidence level that the right people are voting in an election.”
KEYES: Have there been cases of in-person voter fraud here? Folks showing up and voting, claiming to be someone that they’re not?
LAMONTAGNE: It’s anecdotal only, from what I can tell. There was a project earlier this year that showed that someone could come in and actually claim to be somebody else and there was pretty easy access to the ballot that caused some concerns. Whether or not there’s been provable voter fraud, the fact that the system doesn’t have some sort of check and balance about that basic verification of who someone is opens the door for the possibility of voter fraud and that’s a risk we should never have to assume.
KEYES: So it’s more theoretical than it’s actually happened?
LAMONTAGNE: As far as I’m concerned even if it’s only theoretical it’s something that’s not too much to ask to raise the confidence level that the right people are voting in an election.
Listen to it:
Lamontagne is unable to name a single actual case of voter fraud because it’s exceedingly rare. It’s not just absent in New Hampshire; in nearby Pennsylvania, where the state’s new voter ID law was considered in court earlier this year, the government conceded that it had no proof of any in-person voter fraud existing there either.
The Granite State’s new voter ID law had a soft rollout during the September primary that contained widespread problems. This November, the law will be in partial-effect; residents who don’t have a voter ID at the polls must sign an affidavit swearing their identity. Beginning next year, those who lack voter ID will not be allowed to vote.