According to Secretary of State Bill Gardner, the report will detail the how many duplicate records were discovered.
(TNS) — CONCORD — Now that New Hampshire has been comparing its voter checklists with registration rolls in 30 other states for the past year, Secretary of State Bill Gardner has a new trove of information on voter fraud that he hopes to present to the public at some point this spring or summer.
The state Legislature approved New Hampshire’s participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program in 2016, and Gardner provided data from the 2016 election.
The program, which started in Kansas, has been steadily enlisting other states since 2006, when four Midwestern states began to share voter data.
Gardner said he hopes to have his report on the results of the state’s participation in Crosscheck no later than June 15, the filing deadline for primary election candidates.
“We’re going to issue a report to the people of the state explaining and showing everything we’ve done since last year with regard to the Crosscheck program, as I’ve said all along,” said Gardner.
Gardner alluded to the upcoming report at a January hearing on SB 439, an unsuccessful attempt by Democrats to have the state withdraw from Crosscheck and adopt a different form of interstate voter verification known as the Electronic Registration Information Center.
The upcoming report on duplicate registration from state to state is part of participation in the Crosscheck program.
“We’ll get a report like this every cycle because of our participation in Crosscheck,” said Gardner.
Proponents of Crosscheck say it’s an important tool in preventing voter fraud, and will become more effective as more states join. Critics say the process is flawed and results in many false duplicates, mostly involving minority voters more likely to share common surnames, and younger voters who tend to be more transient.
Gardner said the state identified 94,000 duplicate registrations in the first round of matches, using only first and last name. After adding middle names, the number of matches was reduced to 30,000, and continued to shrink as additional data points were added.
The report will show how many true duplicates were identified and the outcome in each case.
Duplicate registration is not necessarily a sign of voter fraud. Often, a duplicate results from someone moving and not having their name removed from the checklist at their old location.
But in a handful of cases, Gardner said, voters admitted to voting twice. When asked his overall impression of the data, as regards the extent of voter fraud, Gardner says he’s reluctant to characterize the situation until all the data is in.
“I’ll talk about that when we’ve finished everything,” he said.
The Secretary of State’s office used information from other state sources to further investigate duplicate voter registration churned up in the Crosscheck program.
“We’re able to use databases that we have not actually used before,” he said.
For example, if a name turned up on two different checklists, Gardner’s office would obtain the voter registration cards for each checklist and compare signatures.
“There’s a long list of things we have to do for each duplicate, and we’re only going to release the data when there’s nothing more we can do,” Gardner said.
©2018 The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.