NH's Reputation as a Leader in Fair Elections May Be in Jeopardy - New Hampshire is fortunate to have higher than average civic engagement. Our state leaders often point to our status as the first-in-the-nation Presidential primary and our well-run elections as proof of the Granite State's exceptional civic involvement. In March 2021, Governor Sununu recently called New Hampshire "the gold standard" for its electoral system.
Recently, though, proposed laws creating deliberate barriers to voting in New Hampshire have tarnished its national reputation. National press reports now include New Hampshire in the same breath as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina and other states known for their anti-voting bills targeting people of color, students and younger voters, the disabled, elders and other groups.
NH Needs an Educated, Civically-Engaged Workforce - Businesses and organizations large and small depend on an educated, civically-engaged workforce. In the 2011 U.S. Census, NH ranked as the 9th oldest state in the nation, and is again experiencing acute workforce shortages. The State of New Hampshire has recognized this, and supported programs like Stay, Work, Play NH to retain younger workers. We have excellent colleges, an amazing array of recreational activities, and cutting edge employers looking for employees.
Problem is, should New Hampshire's reputation slip further due to implementation of additional deliberate barriers to voting, students, younger workers, talent being recruited from out of state, and even companies considering expanding here may think long and hard before making a commitment.
Legislators Must Hear that Businesses Support a Healthy Democracy - Below is "Statement of Principles to Support New Hampshire's Democracy." We're asking your organization to consider signing on to these principles, which we will communicate to the whole of the New Hampshire legislature and executive branch.
We stand by to answer your questions about the Statement of Principles, or our nonpartisan, pro-voter organization, or to hear your suggestions and comments.
The Coalition for Open Democracy, a New Hampshire 501c3 nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which works on pro-voter democracy reforms.
Statement of Principles
by New Hampshire Businesses and Organizations which support a healthy democracy
I. We believe that a NH government of, by, and for its citizens must safeguard the precious freedom to vote for ALL of its eligible citizens.
II. For the NH Government to truly represent its citizens, it must guarantee universally accessible and secure voting, and ensure there are no existing or future barriers to exercise that right.
III. We will not support, with our contributions or our votes, any candidates or elected representatives who initiate, vote for, or support laws that make voting more difficult for NH citizens. Nor shall we support those who oppose laws to make the voting process more efficient.
IV. Just as true prosperity in NH requires that all businesses play on a level playing field, we must have a level playing field for our elections and politics. Our NH voting districts must be based on valid census information and be free of manipulation by partisan voting data, and to ensure this, the redistricting process must be public, and its methods disclosed.
V. Together, we believe that when the electoral system is fair, and the constitutional rights and values of our citizens are honored, our NH Government will truly be “of the people," our economy will be prosperous, and both will work for the greater good of all.
This statement and its signers will be communicated to
The Governor, the Executive Council, the NH Senate and House, and the NH Secretary of State