N.H. Election Official Disputes Trump's Unsubstantiated Voter Fraud Claim

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A Manchester, New Hampshire, voter on Nov. 8 , 2016 (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A Manchester, New Hampshire, voter on Nov. 8 , 2016 (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

New Hampshire officials say they have no evidence to back up President-elect Donald Trump's tweeted allegations of "serious voter fraud" in the state.

New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan -- a Republican like Trump -- says Nov. 8 was a very routine election and his office is not planning on taking any action in response to the president-elect's Sunday evening claim of voter fraud.

"A routine election does include a small number of complaints coming in for various reasons throughout the day," Scanlan said, "but there was nothing out of the ordinary in this past election."

Scanlan says those routine complaints tend to involve claims about out-of-state voters, including Massachusetts residents, registering on Election Day in New Hampshire.

That issue came up again in the days before the election, when Republican candidate — and now Gov.-elect -- Chris Sununu claimed Massachusetts Democrats had a history of abusing the same-day registration law.

But Scanlan sees no merit in such accusations.

"It seems every election we have some claims that buses of potential voters are coming in either over the border or being moved around college towns, although there's no evidence that's been presented that bears that out," he said.

Additionally, the New Hampshire attorney general's office has said it doesn't have evidence to back up Trump's claims.

Also responding to Trump's allegations of voter fraud: ProPublica, a nonprofit news outlet that launched a Election Day poll monitoring project called Electionland. The project partnered with lawyers and more than 400 journalists across the country, including at WBUR. 

ProPublica's Jessica Huseman says the project also trained more than 600 students to monitor social media, and worked directly with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights to monitor problems at the polls in real-time.

While there were isolated reports of long lines in New Hampshire, Huseman says there was nothing out of the ordinary in the state.

"I feel incredibly confident that if there were mass voter fraud like Trump alleges, we would have known about it," Huseman said. "I think that Electionland is uniquely in a position to authoritatively say that Donald Trump has no evidence to support his claims and he will not come up with any."

Huseman says states like New Hampshire that allow same-day voter registration generally present fewer problems on Election Day than states with complicated voter ID laws or places where you have to register far in advance.

This segment aired on November 28, 2016.


Shannon Dooling Investigative Reporter
Shannon Dooling was an investigative reporter at WBUR, focused on stories about immigration and criminal justice.



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