Couple charged with N.H. 2016 voter fraud

NASHUA – Nearly two years after Democrats narrowly won New Hampshire in the 2016 presidential and U.S. Senate races, a man and woman face charges for allegedly casting ballots in both the Granite State … and Massachusetts during that election.

John S. Fleming Jr., 71, and Grace E. Fleming, 70, allegedly cast absentee ballots in Hampton, then voted in Belchertown, Massachusetts, on the same day, according to Attorney General Gordon MacDonald. It is unclear at this point if the Flemings voted Democrat, Republican or otherwise.

The Rockingham County grand jury for September handed up two identical Class B felony indictments against each of them, one on the charge of “voting in more than one state in the same election,” and the other for “wrongful voting – voting twice for the same office,” according to the documents.

If convicted, the Flemings could face prison time and fines, and, according to the New Hampshire Constitution, could also lose their right to vote in the state, MacDonald said.

An indictment is not an indication, or proof of, guilt, but represents the grand jury’s determination that enough evidence exists for prosecutors to move the case forward in Superior Court.

MacDonald said the investigation into the Flemings began when a multi-state database, maintained as part of the Interstate Voter Crosscheck Program, flagged their names.

The database was created to “compare voter information for the purpose of detecting voters who are registered in more than one state,” he said.

Representatives of the Secretary of State’s office are tasked with examining any irregularities the database may turn up, such as someone casting more than one ballot in a single election.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan confirmed the matter was turned over to the Attorney General’s office, but declined to comment further, referring questions to the AG’s office.

Phone messages left with Kate Spiner, director of communications for the AG’s office, were not returned as of late Wednesday.

Grace Fleming told WMUR-TV that she and her husband had spoken to an investigator, but they hadn’t received a copy of the report and didn’t know until the indictments came down that they would face felony charges.

“It happened … it was a mistake,” Fleming told WMUR.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.