Back on Election Day, Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire by the slimmest of margins, and now-Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) defeated Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) by an even smaller margin. Now, about 5,000 votes are being called into question as they may have been cast by non-residents of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has same-day voter registration, and new residents of the state have two months to obtain a New Hampshire license. The vast majority of the people who registered to vote on Election Day have not yet done this, says NH Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper.
According to Jasper, who received numbers from the Department of State and the Department of Safety, of the 6,540 people who registered to vote on Election Day with an out-of-state license, only 1,014 of those people have actually received a New Hampshire license since then. Additionally, about 200 people have registered a car in New Hampshire. This means that 5,313 people who voted in New Hampshire have failed to receive a New Hampshire driver's license or establish another form of residency in the state--a troubling number given how close the elections were. About 200 people are also under investigation for voting in both New Hamsphire and in another state.
Jasper received a letter from the departments of State and Safety containing the voter data. While the letter did not say that fraud took place, it does provide examples to explain how the discrepancies happened.
From the Washington Times:
The two state departments, State and Safety, provided the data to Mr. Jasper on Wednesday in a joint letter.
Secretary of State William M. Gardner, a Democrat, signed the letter. Also signing was John Barthelmes, the Republican appointed commissioner for the Department of Safety.
The two agencies explained the 5,313 number (neither a driver’s license nor a registered motor vehicle many months later) with several possible reasons.
“It is likely that some unknown number of these individuals moved out of New Hampshire, it is possible that a few may have never driven in New Hampshire or have ceased driving, however, it is expected that an unknown number of the remainder continue to live and drive in New Hampshire. If they have established their residence in New Hampshire, they may have failed to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license.”
Nowhere in the letter do the departments suggest that out-of-state people voted illegally.
While these numbers don't prove fraud, they're certainly head-scratching. In theory, it would be quite easy for a person to drive into New Hampshire, register to vote with an out-of-state ID, and then return home. Perhaps New Hampshire should look into improving voter security procedures to ensure that these types of numbers do not happen again. While ~5,000 people seems like a small amount, in this case, it could have changed two election results. That's not good.