In December, the 424-person Legislature will choose among three candidates for secretary of state.
Colin Van Ostern and Peter Sullivan say we should check the computer counts, which total 87.5 percent of all New Hampshire votes, for accuracy. You can find out more about their specific platforms online.
Van Ostern has proposed appointing a nonpartisan director of elections to oversee our elections. He says, “Citizens entrust our state government with protecting our rights. By thoroughly reviewing reforms within the secretary of state’s seven divisions, we can show that we value this public trust more than protecting turf or sheltering functions from legislative oversight.”
After 10 years wrestling with the refusal of both the secretary of state and attorney general to enforce election laws that protect our voting rights, our votes and our elections, the above statement feels like a ray of sunlight in what has been a dark time in our state’s history.
As one moderator (an attorney) told me in 2011: “I don’t need to know what the [election] laws say. I do what (Secretary of State) Bill Gardner tells me to do.”
Local officials could have chosen to stand up for voting rights in compliance with law, but most chose to “go along” with the system. Our N.H. Constitution, Part 2, Article 32, says clearly it is all of our responsibility to get the count right for our towns, state and country.
We share the constitutional right and responsibility for good government, public accountability and transparent elections that voters and candidates have evidence-based reason to trust.
Please contact your senators and representatives before December to let them know you expect a change in the Secretary of State’s Office.
474A Great Road, Jaffrey