Voter Fraud in New Hampshire? Trump Has No Proof and Many Skeptics

Katharine Q. Seelye, writing in the New York Times:

During a closed-door meeting with a bipartisan group of senators last week, President Trump said he would have won New Hampshire in November if not for thousands of people who he says, without any evidence, were bused in from Massachusetts and voted illegally.

He said the same was true of former Senator Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, who was seeking re-election and lost the state by an even narrower margin than Mr. Trump. Ms. Ayotte is shepherding Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil M. Gorsuch, through the confirmation process, which was the subject of the meeting.

But is there any truth to the president’s assertion, which was first reported by Politico? Lots of prominent Republicans in New Hampshire say it is absurd, one even offering cash to anyone who can produce evidence of a single out-of-state voter.

What is the context for this claim?

Mr. Trump has claimed falsely many times, starting with a Twitter message in November, that he would have won the popular vote if not for the “millions” of undocumented immigrants who voted against him. He has alleged “serious voter fraud” in Virginia, California and New Hampshire. But his remarks last week appear to be the first time as a sitting president that he has claimed the vote in a specific state was fraudulent.

And on Sunday, Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, said on ABC’s “This Week”: “I can tell you that this issue of busing voters in to New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real, it’s very serious. This morning on this show is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.” To that, Mr. Trump sent out a message on Twitter saying, “Great job!”

What is their evidence?

Neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Miller has produced any evidence.

Has anyone outside Mr. Trump’s circle made the same allegation or offered evidence to back it up?

No.

What do state officials say?

While election officials have unearthed isolated instances of voter fraud or people voting improperly in New Hampshire, neither the secretary of state nor the attorney general has found any evidence of fraud on the scale alleged by Mr. Trump.

The Boston Globe reported that the secretary of state, William Gardner, was told on Election Day that the parking lot of a busy precinct was filled with cars with Massachusetts license plates, but when he arrived, he found that the cars belonged to people who were campaigning, not trying to vote.

Much more here.

Stephen Miller’s bushels of Pinocchios for false voter-fraud claims

Glenn Kessler, writing in The Washington Post:

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller appeared on ABC’s “The Week” on Sunday, spouting a bunch of false talking points on alleged voter fraud. (He also repeated similar claims on other Sunday talk shows.) To his credit, host George Stephanopoulus repeatedly challenged Miller, noting that he had provided no evidence to support his claims. But Miller charged ahead, using the word “fact” three times in a vain effort to bolster his position.

Here’s a guide through the back and forth.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me move on, though, to the question of voter fraud as well. President Trump again this week suggested in a meeting with senators that thousands of illegal voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and that’s what caused his defeat in the state of New Hampshire, also the defeat of Senator Kelly Ayotte.

That has provoked a response from a member of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, who says, “I call upon the president to immediately share New Hampshire voter fraud evidence so that his allegations may be investigated promptly.”

Do you have that evidence?

Stephanopoulus is referring to a Feb. 10 Politico report of a closed-door meeting Trump held with senators to discuss the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court: “The president claimed that he and Ayotte both would have been victorious in the Granite State if not for the ‘thousands’ of people who were ‘brought in on buses’ from neighboring Massachusetts to ‘illegally’ vote in New Hampshire. According to one participant who described the meeting, ‘an uncomfortable silence’ momentarily overtook the room.”

Ayotte lost her Senate race by about 1,000 votes but did not challenge the results; Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in New Hampshire by nearly 3,000 votes.

MILLER: I have actually, having worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire, I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real. It’s very serious. This morning, on this show, is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.

This is false. PolitiFact New Hampshire in November gave the state’s governor, Chris Sununu, a “Pants on Fire” for claiming that voters were bused in — and Sununu quickly retreated from his comment. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said voter fraud was not widespread problem, largely because the law requires voters to show a valid identification at the polls. If an ID is lacking, the voter’s photo is taken, they have to sign an affidavit affirming their identify and then state officials follow up.

Sununu later said he did not mean to imply that “I see buses coming over,” saying it was more of a figure of speech. “Sununu said he was referring to an incident over Portsmouth state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark allowing Democratic staffers to live at her house in the 2008 and 2012 elections,” PolitiFact reported. “Those staffers voted in New Hampshire elections using Fuller Clark’s address, which is not illegal, as they were living in the state at least 3 months before the election, the Attorney General later ruled.”

Tom Rath, a former New Hampshire attorney general and prominent Republican in the state, tweeted this after Miller’s comments:

Much more here.