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The People’s Plan

A Voting Rights and Reform Agenda for New Hampshire

Real change comes from the grassroots, from our communities; and when the voices of those left out and left behind are finally heard. But, right now, our democracy is broken. It’s not just Washington, DC, it’s right here in New Hampshire too. The wealthy and well-connected have the power and everyday people — those without lobbyists or Governor’s cell-phone number — are left behind. These issues existed well before COVID-19, but this public health crisis is shining a new light on how critical it is that we change our system and elect leaders who are dedicated to these major reforms.

  • Release a public schedule.
  • Institute a multi-year cooling-off period before former legislators can become lobbyists.
  • Update legislative and executive ethics disclosure forms to include stocks and additional investments. The current form includes vague categories and falls significantly short of the federal disclosure standards.
  • Require the Governor to release their tax returns.
  • Prohibit Legislators and Executive Councilors from working at firms with lobbying practices.
  • Taxpayers deserve to know where their tax dollars are going; every dollar that gets spent should be accounted for with specifics, not simply broad categories.
  • Fund the Department of Justice elections division so they can properly enforce and investigate lobbyist and campaign finance violations.
  • Close the LLC loophole.
  • Prohibit self-funding above the legal contribution limit.
  • Prohibit foreign-owned or foreign-controlled corporations from spending in New Hampshire elections
  • Require campaigns and outside groups to disclose big donations of $1,000 or more within 48 hours.
  • Prohibit candidates from spending campaign cash for personal use.
  • Officially record New Hampshire’s support for overturning Citizens United.
  • Establish online voter registration.
  • Repeal SB 3 and HB 1264, two recent efforts by Governor Sununu to suppress the vote.
  • Establish permanent no-excuse absentee voting so there is a permanent vote-at-home option beyond any COVID-19 related changes.
  • Require employers give employees time off to vote on election day.
  • Establish early voting options in New Hampshire.
  • Invest in election security to ensure we have safe, secure elections.
  • New Hampshire will translate voting resources into any language spoken by at least .25% of the population (Spanish, French, Chinese, Nepali, Portuguese, German) and make it available on the SOS website and at polling locations. [Languages as of the 2018 ACS Survey] This does not include translating ballots, just resources. This would capture an estimated 65,000 Granite Staters.
  • Create at least a $100k fund using HAVA funds that municipalities can apply for to obtain grants to increase accessibility.
  • Pass enabling state legislation so that local towns and municipalities are enabled to go further with their translations and voting outreach documents as desired.
  • Permanently ban partisan and racial gerrymandering in New Hampshire
  • Processing: Our local election officials are the best in the country, but in this unprecedented situation they need help. We must adjust our processing laws so that our election officials can process the unprecedented number of absentee ballots.
  • Safe In-Person Voting: We know that for some individuals voting in-person is the only option. We must ensure that this process can be completed safely and in accordance with social distancing practices that will almost certainly still be in place come the fall.
  • Prohibit pay to play: There should be no involvement, either direct or indirect, of Governor Sununu in selecting or delivering any money to any private person, private entity, or corporation that either has been or who has committed to be, a campaign contributor benefitting Governor Sununu.
  • Prohibit conflicts of interest: There should be no involvement, either direct or indirect, of any person in GOFERR, including Governor Sununu, in selecting or delivering any money to any family member or to any entity or corporation that any family member has a private interest in. When Governor Sununu was given the authority to declare certain communities in New Hampshire “Opportunity Zones” for the purposes of receiving additional tax-breaks, he chose the region with his family’s ski resort.
  • Extend all existing ethics laws to newly formed committees: There should be compliance with all other executive branch ethics provisions, including RSA 21-G:21 et seq.

Written by

Dan served as a legal aid lawyer helping low-income NH families, seniors and veterans for almost a decade. Now serves as the majority leader in the NH Senate.

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