Fall election season nears, let’s remember value of voting

To the Editor:

This fall brings with it another election cycle when the phone will ring more often during the dinner hour and our streets will be lined with colorful political signs.

As candidates jockey for position, we should all be reminded of the importance of our election process. The question we should ask ourselves is, “Why is it that most of the rest of the world recognizes the value of voting and has established reasonable policies to protect that value, but we cannot?”

CBS Boston reported on Friday, July 25, “A New Hampshire judge has struck down a 2012 law as unconstitutional that effectively blocked out-of-state students and others from voting in New Hampshire unless they established residency in the state that extended to other activities beyond voting, such as getting a driver’s license.”

During the last election cycle, more than 99,000 people exercised the same-day-registration option afforded New Hampshire voters. That represents close to 14% of the 715,000 votes cast in the last election.

No one – Democrat, Republican or undeclared – wants to see our election affected by voter fraud. If we value the votes of citizens of New Hampshire, does it not also follow that we need reasonable policies to protect that value?

Many of the elections in New Hampshire, particularly when it comes to local issues important to the residents of small communities, are won or lost by tens and hundreds of votes. The outcomes of these votes can become skewed when voters, who are not members of those communities, participate in the election process.

Is it not the residents of these local communities who are disenfranchised when the outcome of the vote is skewed by inappropriate votes?

There is a simple step that we can take. One that we should all be able to agree on. The National Associate of State Election Directors in 28 states has created the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. This program – which costs nothing for participating states – uses voter records already required by federal regulation. The records are uploaded to a database maintained by Arkansas. The state of Kansas runs a crosscheck looking for duplicate voters. The results are provided back to the states to be resolved according to “local laws and regulations.”

There is no impediment to those participating in the election process, except maybe the deterrent of being caught if you are ‘cheating’ the system.

Frank Edelblut

State Rep. Candidate

District 38