NH Secretary of State asked to serve on White House commission on voter fraud, suppression
CONCORD – The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office confirmed on Thursday that longtime Secy. of State Bill Gardner is under consideration to serve on a commission being created by the White House to review alleged voter fraud and voter suppression in American elections.
Deputy Secy. of State Dave Scanlon said the White House reached out to Gardner at least a month ago, and that Gardner had agreed to serve on the panel.
Gardner, a Democrat, has served as New Hampshire secretary of state since December 1976. He is the longest serving secretary of state in the nation.
News of the commission, which President Donald Trump is expected to establish by signing an executive order on Thursday, was first reported by ABC News. Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are expected to be announced as the chair and vice chair of the ‘Presidential Commission on Election Integrity’
The President won the electoral college vote and thus the White House, but lost the national popular vote in last November’s election by some three million votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump lost New Hampshire’s four electoral votes to Clinton by around 3,000 votes out of more than 700,000 cast.
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, Trump claimed widespread voter fraud across the country. And he singled out a couple of states, including New Hampshire. The President made unsubstantiated claims that thousands of people bused in from Massachusetts voted illegally in the Granite State in last year’s election.
Gardner has said numerous times to NH1 News and other news organizations that he’s seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud in New Hampshire. But he’s one of the only high profile state Democrats to support a GOP sponsored bill to tighten New Hampshire’s voting laws.
NH Secy. of State Bill Gardner observes, as presidential candidate Donald Trump files his paperwork to get his name on the ballot in the New Hampshire primary, at the Statehouse on Nov. 4, 2015