"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Who Would Oppose a Bill to Make Voting More Accessible for the Disabled? Three Carroll County NH Reps Did.

There have been a number of controversial and high profile bills this legislative session, and in the sheer volume of bills introduced. some legislation no less important on my view, doesn't get on the public radar.
Case in point is NH House Bill 389.
The premise of the bill is very simple: assist  disabled voters who are unable to access the polling place to be able to vote. The bill is as follows:

"Any registered voter who declares to the moderator on election day and affirms in writing on an absentee ballot request form under oath that said voter with a physical disability is unable to access a polling place due to an extenuating circumstance, after appearing at the polling place location to vote in person shall, upon the voter's request, have an absentee ballot delivered to the voter outside the guardrail by the town or ward clerk or one of his or her assistants.  The absentee ballot delivered by the town or ward clerk shall be delivered and processed using the same procedures as any other absentee ballot."

We just had a good example of how this bill would be helpful March 14th with the blizzard that kept many away from the polls. 
So this bill should be a no brainer, right? I mean, who could possibly be in favor of denying a disabled voter who shows up at the polls with the intention of voting being turned away because they, through no fault of their own, cannot access the polling place?

Apparently, 62 NH House Reps, including sadly, three from Carroll County, Glenn Cordelli, Gene Chandler and Lino Avellani. The bill passed the full house with 312 yeas to just 62 nays. 
A shameful display of ideology gone wild and once again, Glenn Cordelli etal, continue to show his true allegiance is not to the citizens he was elected to represent. 


Fred Van Magness said...

Blogger, you know the devil is in the details. On research, I found, yet you failed to disclose, that the original intent to allow disabled voters to vote via this type of process was actually passed in the 2016 legislative session and is CURRENT state law. So the concept is not new and it is incorrect where you alleged folks were in favor of denying access. That simply is not the case. I could not access the house minority opinion, but it appears the changes put forth this year were just some small clarifying word issues. It could be that some disliked the fact that the proposed word changes would record the voter as having voted absentee instead of the prior bill that would have them recorded as voting in person. In summary, this bill is not new, it is just some small wording changes from the 2016 State Law version. From my perspective as having worked for years as an election official in another state, I think I might have opposed the bill simply because of declaring the voter was voting absentee instead of in person. Not voting in favor of this bill does not mean that anyone is against the concept or "a shameful display of ideology gone wild" as you state. Rather, it is being opposed to some or all of the new suggested wording. Reporting ALL the actual facts does make a big difference in how the story is told or assessing blame where it may not apply. Just my opinion.....

Anonymous said...

Not sure how much this proposed change would have helped during Stella since it still requires a voted to to appear at the polling place in person on the day of the election. Does this mean the voter would stay in the car or will he or she have to go "outside the guardrail"????

Moultonboro Blogger said...

From the NH House Calendar 11, page 25:
"Current law provides the ballot of such person be recorded as having voted in person despite casting an absentee ballot. This caused disruption for many election officials when reconciling the vote tallies. The bill further requires not just a physical disability to utilize this provision, but also an extenuating circumstance, such as an inaccessible polling location due to weather, physical barrier, or broken equipment. The bipartisan majority believes no disabled voter who shows up at the poll with the intention of voting should be turned away because they, through no fault of their own, cannot access the polling place"