NH Democrats: Changing State Voting Laws is Mission: Impossible
It's an assignment Agent Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible character, might even have a hard time completing.
With a deadline looming for New Hampshire Democrats to meet the Democratic National Committee's requirements in order to keep New Hampshire in the first tier of the 2024 presidential primaries, New Hampshire Democrats threw up two white flags in hopes of getting a reprieve.
On Tuesday, the congressional delegation released a statement that with a Republican majority in the legislature and the governor's office, it will be impossible for the state Democratic party to meet Thursday's deadline. The DNC set the deadline for New Hampshire to agree to eliminate its state law requiring its presidential primary to be first. The DNC also wants the state to expand early voting options.
It's also a demand that the delegation — Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Reps. Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster — called "unrealistic and unfairly punitive."
"Just three years ago, our Republican governor vetoed voting reform legislation and neither he, nor the Republican-controlled legislature, is likely to take their cues on this issue from the DNC. Even worse, the DNC’s proposed punishment of New Hampshire Democrats makes it less likely that we will be able to elect more Democrats here who will help us expand voting rights," the delegation wrote.
Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy and Democrats in the Senate also sent a letter to the DNC, explaining that the Republican "trifecta" makes it is impossible for New Hampshire Democrats to change state election law.
"As Chairman (Raymond) Buckley and our federal delegation have explained previously, Democrats likely do not have the power to change our election laws, as Republicans control the House, Senate, and governorship. Given Governor Sununu’s 2019 veto, it is highly unlikely that he and the Republicans will change course now because of demands from the DNC," Soucy wrote.
Soucy said she will be introducing legislation for no-fault absentee voting in New Hampshire with the support of all nine state Senators.
The DNC will finalize its rules in February that moves the Democratic primary from first to three days after the South Carolina primary. Nevada will hold a primary the same day.
If New Hampshire Democrats hold the primary first, they risk losing delegates to the national convention. Republicans already plan to hold their presidential primary first in 2024.