Making Democracy Work

In The News

press releases & news articles

Keep up to date with League activities. Read the most recent League press releases and news articles about the League here.

Editorial voting rights bills

Thanks to a partnership between the Nashua Telegraph and the LWVNH Nashua unit, League member Jean Lewandowski is writing occasional editorial pieces from the League's perspective. Way to go, Jean!

Here is a link to the Feb. 18, 2018, piece about election laws bills working their way thru the NH Legislature.

Lawsuit update November 2017

The trial on SB3, a voter registration bill passed in spring 2017 in NH, in which LWVNH is a plaintiff, will be held August 20-31, 2018, in Hillsborough Superior Court, Nashua. The plaintiffs contend that SB3 is an unconstitutional voter suppression effort.

Nashua candidate forums

Five forums in 6 weeks, organized by League of Women Voters in concert with Nashua Public Library and the Nashua Telegraph, televised by Access Nashua--read the Nashua Telegraph editorial in support of the forums and voters' access to make informed decisions Nov. 7, 2017, at the polls. <>

Lawsuit update Sept. 12, 2017

Judge Temple in Hillsborough Superior Court this morning issued a ruling that the procedures for voter registration under SB3 may be used for the special election today in the Laconia area, but that any penalty for failing to return papers shall not be imposed. He also directed the Secretary of State to educate the voters about the new registration procedures (something that has not happened, via website or a public information campaign, as of Sept. 12, 2017).

Lawsuit update Sept. 11, 2017

League had its day in court Monday, 9/11/17, although no "live" testimony was taken. The judge's ruling for a preliminary injunction is promised for 7 am Tuesday. Click here to read the article from the Union Leader.

Lawsuit update Sept. 6, 2017

Read the WMUR-TV article about the League's lawsuit in our attempt to stop implementation of the voter registration restrictions. Click here to read the article.

The hearing on the preliminary injunction is now scheduled for Monday, Sept. 11, 1:30 pm, at Hillsborough Superior Court, 30 Spring St., Nashua.

LWVNH lawsuit Aug 23, 2017

UPDATE Sept. 3, 2017 The state has moved the case from state court to federal court (their right), so the hearing on the preliminary injunction (see below) scheduled for Sept. 6 at 10:30 am in Hillsborough Superior Court, Nashua, is unlikely. Check back Tuesday, Sept. 5, for an update.

On Aug. 25, 2017, a preliminary injunction was filed on behalf of the LWVNH and others to halt implementation of SB3 voter registration provisions while the lawsuit (see below) moves forward. The scheduled Sept. 8 enactment means that people registering for city primaries and city elections in Sept-Nov will be subject to a law that is unnecessarily complicated, has not yet been explained to the public in simple language, and thus may intimidate otherwise qualified potential voters from even attempting to register. Click Here for link to Public News Service article on the injunction filing, 8/28/17

Look in Thursday's (8/24)newspapers for a press release, but this is a heads-up for League of Women Voters NH members about some exciting news:

LWVNH and three college students are the plaintiffs in the suit filed Wednesday morning in Hillsborough South court against NH Sec. of State Bill Gardner and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, to stop implementation of the unreasonably complicated new voter registrations procedures set to go into effect on Sept. 8. The new procedures are the result of the passage of SB3 last spring in the NH House. The League contends that the complexity of the forms and procedures will discourage new voters, particularly those in a state of transition in their lives in terms of where they live. SB3 created a process impossible to explain in short simple language, which is how we have to explain things in our voter information brochures and on our website. We hope to stop the implementation so we won't be compelled to attempt the impossible...and also so this solution in search of a problem can go away.

The suit itself is 86 pages and we can't post such a large document on the website. We hope the press release tomorrow will include a link to the court file stamped document.

The primary law firm is Perkins Coie LLP, who have prepared numerous lawsuits across the country on behalf of voting rights groups. The League proudly stands up for the rights of all to vote.

EIC request--response from LWVNH

The June 28, 2017 request by the Election Integrity Commission for voting records from all 50 states goes beyond anything the commission should need to do its work. Read the League of Women Voters NH press release on the issue here. June 30, 2017.

LWV national president Chris Carson also released a statement today. Read her statement here.

Electronic poll books bill

The League of Women Voters NH with its partner organizations issued the following press release on June 1, 2017, following the passed of a bill allowing for trials of electronic poll books. We are happy. Click here for the press release.

"Fake News, Tweets and Facts in our Democracy"

LWV/Hopkinton Town Library Program--

On Sunday, March 26, a standing room only crowd filled the Community Room at Hopkinton Town Library eager to learn what a distinguished panel had to share with them about "Fake News, Tweets and Facts in our Democracy." NH League of Women Voters President Liz Tentarelli served as moderator as Dan Barrick, news director of NHPR; Ralph Jimenez, Concord Monitor editorial writer; John Greabe, UNH Law Professor, and documentary maker John Gfroerer discussed the proliferation of fake news across the media spectrum and the challenge this poses to voters seeking solid, dependable information upon which to make decisions as to what policies or political candidates they should support.

Professor John Greabe emphasized the difficulty of legally challenging Fake News given the central importance in our society of the First Amendment which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." He cautioned his audience not to expect the courts to solve the challenges posed by fake news.

NH Public Radio News Director Dan Barrick spoke of the very human element of "bias" in all of us, and, reflecting fellow panelist Ralph Jimenez's observations, noted that a journalist's training is focused on the recognition of such natural bias and the intentional determination to examine issues from a variety of perspectives to ensure balanced and accurate reporting.

Ralph Jimenez challenged the audience to "not think of an elephant." In doing so Jimenez demonstrated the views of cognitive science and linguistics professor George Lakoff, whose research helps to explain how fake news works. Simply by hearing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called "crooked Hillary" over and over, voters automatically made a negative association.

Filmmaker John Gfroerer, whose presentation "Television: The Art and Ethics of Manipulation" is included in the NH Humanities Humanities to Go catalogue, shared a series of examples of the acceptance of far-fetched, unsubstantiated stories by uncritical news consumers.

The panelists spoke of a time not so long ago when there was justifiable public confidence in the solid reporting of journalists like Walter Cronkite. The internet and the growth of "infotainment" sources make the creation and proliferation of fake news a growth industry. Still, today there are many excellent and dependable journalists working diligently to provide the solid information citizens in a democracy rely. However, Ralph Jimenez cautioned his audience, it is now imperative that citizens practice "discernment" and rely on multiple reputable news sources and utilize fact-checking services whenever there is reason to doubt a news report.

As Doris Haddock, NH's own "Granny D." said, "Democracy is not something you have, it is something you do." In the era of fake news, that means we need to do what is necessary to get the information we must have to exercise our rights as citizens.

(League member Janet Ward was the driving force behind this program and wrote the above summary for us. More than 110 people attended. For more information on the topic of Fake News, people might want to seek out area libraries that offer presentations on how to recognize internet fake news sites, given by library personnel or by guest speaker Randall Mikkelson.)

League news story 3-4-17

The Valley News published an article about League on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Correspondent Nicola Smith conducted interviews with league president and several members in NH and VT. Read the story here.

Voter ID struggles on primary day

From Think Progress, this Feb. 9, 2016 article quotes LWVNH Election Law specialist Joan Flood Ashwell on the challenges that face people in voting under the current voter ID rules. Click here to read the article

Voting in the Presidential Primary

This NHPR article of Jan. 4, 2016, details potential confusion voters may have regarding voter identification in the presidential primary. Clear answers are given to voting questions, and the article references League election law specialist Joan Flood Ashwell. One item missing from this article that voters should keep in mind: By law, a voter without voter ID can ask an election official (moderator, town/city clerk, supervisor of checklist) to verify his or her identity. Such identification counts, and those identified do not have to complete the affidavit/photo-taking route. Click here to read the article

NH's Voter ID and Photo Laws

This article in The Nation (Feb. 8, 2016) reflects the League's issues with the increased voter requirements in NH and gives an explanation of how the restrictions developed since 2011. Click here to access the article

Voter Registration Court Victory

May 15, 2015 NH Supreme court struck down the 2012 law that added language to the voter registration form requiring car registration in NH as part of voting domicile. The League was a plaintiff in the original lawsuit, along with several college students. Read the press release from the NH ACLU that handled the case. League is happy.

State Rep Wayne Burton wrote this Op Ed piece about HB 112, on which the League has testified at every opportunity. We are opposed to the bill that links car registration to voter registration, and were part of the lawsuit challenging that in 2012. Read his piece from the Foster's Daily Democrat of March 24, 2015

League opposes 30 days domicile bill

April 29, 2015 Press release from America Votes and the League of Women Voters NH explains again opposition to SB179, which today was voted Ought to Pass by the NH House Election Law committee. This is the bill requiring a 30-days residency period before registering to vote and also revising wording on the registration form to include the following: "requiring a driver to register a motor vehicle and apply for a New Hampshire's driver's license within 60 days of becoming a resident." It will go to the entire House for a vote (it has already passed in the Senate). Download the pdf of the press release

This article (not League written) appeared in the Concord Monitor explaining the panoply of election law under consideration in NH this year.Concord Monitor article 4-6-15

Another election law court challenge

Feb. 3, 2015 Election Law This press release by the American Civil Liberties Union of NH refers to the situation in which LWVNH originally was a plaintive. The League agrees with the ACLUNH that the Secretary of State's letter to voters described in this press release is in violation of the court order. Download the pdf of the press release

Election Law HB 112 testimony

League testimony on HB 112 as amended was submitted to electronically to the House Election Law committee on Feb. 1, 2015. The League opposes this attempt to redefine "domicile" for voting purposes in an unclear and possibly unconstitutional way. Download the pdf of the League's testimony.

voting fraud rebuttal

Oct. 5, 2014 op ed piece, on which LWVNH is one of four signers, rebutting Secretary of State Bill Gardner's recent erroneous statements about widespread voter fraud. Download the op ed pdf