(The Center Square) – A majority of New Hampshire voters are increasingly confident about the integrity of the state’s electoral system but have concerns about voter fraud nationally, according to a new poll.
The analysis, conducted by the University of New Hampshire's Survey Center, found that nearly two-thirds of Granite Staters voting in the 2020 presidential elections said they are "very" confident that their vote was accurately counted. Another 21% said they were "somewhat confident" and only 8% said they were not confident their vote was counted, the pollsters found.
But the responses to the survey differed along party lines, with nearly 95% of Democrats and 71% of independents saying they are confident their vote was accurately counted in the 2020 elections. By comparison, only 29% of Republicans said they were confident that their vote was counted accurately, the poll found.
Less than a quarter of New Hampshire voters think voter fraud is a serious problem in the state, but nearly half – including nine out of 10 Republicans – think voter fraud is a problem nationally, the UNH poll found.
Voter fraud concerns in NH subsiding
Overall, the poll shows increasing confidence among New Hampshire voters about the integrity of the voting system.
In 2017, 33% of respondents to a similar UNH survey cited voter fraud as a serious issue in New Hampshire. That number has dropped to 22%, according to the latest poll.
Election integrity has been an issue in New Hampshire since the 2016 election, when then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said busloads of Massachusetts Democrats were brought into the state to vote against him. Trump reiterated the allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 elections, which he ultimately lost.
Those claims were rebuked by then-New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a Democrat who said there was no evidence of voter fraud in the 2016 elections.
Despite that, Republican lawmakers cited a lack of confidence among the public about the integrity of elections as they pushed through a new law creating a specific kind of "affidavit ballot" for New Hampshire voters who don't have the required identification. Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, signed the legislation.
But the law is facing legal challenges from voting rights groups and Democrats who argue it will suppress voting and is unnecessary because there is no evidence of voter fraud.
State election commission to press forward
Meanwhile, Secretary of State David Scanlan, a Republican who took over for Gardner, has formed a new state commission to study public confidence in the election system.
The newly formed panel is expected to hold public "listening sessions" this summer to gauge input from citizens on how the state might improve transparency in the election process.
"Our challenge is to make the process more transparent, help people understand it, so that there is no mystery,” Scanlan told reporters in April. "If we can do that, it is much harder to create a situation where people can claim conspiracies."