Known primarily for its role as an early primary state, New Hampshire has been the swingiest state in New England in recent cycles.
Election Integrity Grade
Bill Gardner (D)
Selected By Legislature - In Office Since 1976
Budget Allocation For Elections: $10,409,334
Per Capita Investment In Elections: $7.65
The top election administrator in the state of New Hampshire is the Secretary of State, Bill Gardner (D). In New Hampshire, the Secretary of State position is elected by the state legislative body, the New Hampshire General Court. Gardner is the longest serving state Secretary of State in the nation, having held the office since 1976.
Gardner participated in Donald Trump's voter fraud commission, which was set up by Trump in the wake of his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2016 election. The commission disbanded in 2018 after finding no evidence of Trump's claims.
The state of New Hampshire, including Gardner, pushed back rather loudly against the claims of fraud by conducting a thorough investigation and finding nothing. They've been public and forthright about this issue. However, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has embraced voter fraud conspiracy theories in the past, and the state passed a voter ID law in 2018 that was criticized for targeting college students.
Statements on Voter Fraud
In the wake of Donald Trump's claims of massive voter fraud in the 2016 election, the state of NH conducted an exhaustive investigation. State officials were clear in sharing the results: there was no evidence of meaningful fraud. (A-)
New Hampshire conducts its elections with paper ballots, but its failure to require post-election audits leaves the state open to undetected hacking and other Election Day problems, according to the Center for American Progress. (C)
New Hampshire has clarified that "concern over COVID-19" will be a valid reason to request a mail-in absentee ballot in November. There is currently confusion and indecision over whether masks will be required to enter polling places. (C+)
NH Governor Chris Sununu is a Republican; the state legislature and Secretary of State office are held by Democrats. New Hampshire has long been considered a moderate state, although it has become more partisan in recent years. (B)
Support for Vote By Mail
Despite supporting mail-in absentee ballots in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Hampshire is not a state that otherwise allows no excuse vote by mail. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) vetoed a bill in 2019 that would have made vote by mail an option. (C-)
A 2018 voter ID law championed by Sununu and Gardner raised concerns over whether it was intended to suppress the vote among college students. In 2016, Sununu parroted Trump talking points about voter fraud. (C)
KEY PUBLIC STATEMENTS
We have same day voter registration, and to be honest, when Massachusetts elections are not very close, they’re busing them in all over the place.
Secretary of State
You want to know about being hacked? You see this pencil here? Want me to give it to you and see if you can hack this pencil? This is how people vote in this state. And you can't hack this pencil.
State of New Hampshire
I think our biggest risk isn't in the sense that the election results could be affected... but what could happen is undermining the confidence of the system, which I think is at least as bad.