Competitive race needed

Granite Staters spoke loud and clear when they elected a new Legislature early this November. Democrats now control both the House and Senate, and as a member of that young and diverse progressive caucus, I am writing to express my concern about the state of our democracy. As Barbara Liscord wrote in The Telegraph last week, ending voter suppression must be a top priority in 2019 and beyond. Here in New Hampshire, we have serious problems, and while we aren’t on the level of Georgia or Florida, Bill Gardner’s activist agenda is threatening the integrity of our elections. A competitive race is needed in that office, because we cannot allow government officials to become complacent. He welcomes destructive laws like SB 3 and HB 1264 and can’t hold himself accountable for misprinting hundreds of ballots in the Midterms. He won’t allow towns to move their meeting day because of a blizzard, and seems more interested in preserving his status as an “icon” than protecting free and fair elections. Turning the New Hampshire primary into a photo-op should not be the only thing supporters of Gardner tout as his successes. His office has not been audited in more than 11 years, and the last one revealed several material weaknesses. Luckily though, there is something we can do about it.

On Dec. 5, Bill Gardner’s fate as Secretary of State will be decided, and after decades in power, the House and Senate will get a chance to vote on his record once and for all. While Gardner thinks it’s OK to welcome the sham Trump voter fraud commission and sit on a panel with Kris Kobach, I know the citizens of New Hampshire do not agree. We believe that towns should own local control of their elections, and that officials in Concord should be held accountable for their mistakes. No one is entitled to this office, and on the issues, Colin Van Ostern is clearly the right choice.