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NH Dem Blasts Pelosi Voting Reform Bill

Secretary of State Bill Gardner: Pelosi is 'attacking our state'

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• March 31, 2021 2:00 pm

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A New Hampshire Democrat panned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) for pushing a voting reform bill that would interfere with state election laws.

"Speaker Pelosi is once again attacking our state by using federal authority through H.R. 1 by rendering articles of our own state constitution null and void," New Hampshire secretary of state Bill Gardner said in a statement Tuesday. Gardner, who oversees statewide elections, said provisions in the bill, including mandated no-excuse absentee voting, would undermine New Hampshire laws and pave the way for further federal interference, potentially jeopardizing the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Pelosi's "For the People Act" would significantly increase federal oversight in elections, restrict how states can redraw congressional districts, restore voting rights to millions of felons, and help pave the way for Washington, D.C., statehood. Critics of the bill, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), say it amounts to a Democratic power grab and "federal government takeover" of elections.

The bill has near-unanimous support from House Democrats, who passed the legislation earlier this month.

Gardner blasted New Hampshire's House delegation and senators, who are all Democrats, for supporting H.R. 1., saying they should know "what's good for Speaker Pelosi in California is bad for us in New Hampshire."

New Hampshire's senators, Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, have defended their support for the bill, saying it would "limit the influence of special interests in politics and bolster widely supported voting protections." The two lawmakers have also said the legislation would not impact New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation status.

The bill will move to a split Senate where a few moderate Democrats could shoot down Pelosi's bill—Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) has publicly opposed provisions in the legislation.