For those of us who care about New Hampshire election integrity and voting rights, passing House Bill 491 (to bring us into compliance with state and federal law re: overvoted ballots) was a no-brainer. It would protect voting rights and election integrity as every other New England state has been doing since 2007.

The Secretary of State can’t name one other state that has interpreted the law as he has.

But he opposed the bill, along with the House Republican leadership, and the town and city clerks association. On March 5, the House Election Law Committee voted 11-9 on a party-line vote to kill the bill.

Why? You can see what committee members said, parroting the ridiculous Secretary of State claims at (Search for Jaffrey Voices Google Group post on HB 491:Overvoted Ballots).

As of today, neither the clerks’ association nor House Leadership will tell us why they opposed it.

You should ask your town/city clerk why. Fitzwilliam and Rindge voters should ask Election Law Committee Rep. Jim Qualey of Rindge why he opposed it.

The bill’s sponsor, Marjorie Porter, D-Hillsborough, will offer an amendment when this comes to the House floor, probably April 9. Please contact your state representative, ask him/her to commit to vote AGAINST the committee’s recommendation and pass this bill as amended. Also ask her/him to convince a colleague of the other party to do the same.

New Hampshire deserves elections and public servants we have reason to trust. We deserve representatives on the Election Law Committee who represent us.