Explosive new video released by muckraking journalist James O’Keefe exposes just how easy it is for non-residents to vote in New Hampshire’s primary, despite a change in the state’s laws aimed at curbing voter fraud.
The video — which was shared exclusively with The Daily Caller — shows poll workers advising undercover journalists working for O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Action (PVA) how to skirt the rules in order to vote as non-residents. The damning video also shows Bernie Sanders campaign staffers encouraging undercover journalists to claim false addresses in order to vote in the primary.
O’Keefe pulled off a New Hampshire sting operation during the 2012 primary and showed that poll workers provided undercover journalists posing as potential voters with ballots bearing the names of dead residents. (RELATED: NH Poll Workers Shown Handing Out Ballots In Dead Peoples’ Names)
In response to that story, New Hampshire legislators passed a law to require voters to provide either a photo ID or to sign an affidavit in order to vote.
Liberal groups have decried the new measures passed by state lawmakers. “But based on what we discovered this week, they did a lousy job,” O’Keefe asserts in his new film.
“The problem is that without identification and confirmation, someone could vote with a made up name and address and by the time the state found the fraud, the vote would have been long counted with no way to correct the wrong,” O’Keefe asserts in the video.
In one encounter, a poll worker in Nashua named Susan is seen telling a PVA journalist posing as a non-resident seeking to vote to make up a story that “sounds like it’s true” so that she could qualify to vote.
“I’m not living here, I am just trying to vote here,” the PVA journalist says, adding that she did not plan to remain in the state “indefinitely,” as required under New Hampshire law.
“If you want to vote today, you might want to tell them that you’re staying with a friend. And you’re here indefinitely, because it sounds like it’s true,” the poll worker advises.
“Ok, yeah. Not 100 percent true though,” the undercover journalist responds.
“Right, but you’re here indefinitely, and you’re staying at your friend’s house, and you’ll be about to vote,” Susan says. “Otherwise, I don’t know.”
Undercover PVA workers also set out to see how campaign officials operating in the state would respond to requests to skirt the domicile requirement.
In one instance, a PVA journalist talking with a Sanders campaign staffer named Peyor Gugal floats the idea of claiming an address that was not her own in order to vote.
“You should,” Gugal responded.
“The only thing is like I don’t know what address to use,” the journalist says. “Oh can I use yours?”
“You can if you want,” Gugal responds.
Sanders staffers appeared unconcerned with flouting state law by using fake addresses. And in one case, staffer Donna Waterman acknowledged that doing so could be voter fraud. Nevertheless, she bragged how “incredibly easy” it was for out-of-state campaign workers to skirt the law.
“Like, I think in many ways New Hampshire is incredibly proud of their first in the nation primary, and for that reason they make all of these really lax laws, surrounding voting, so people can, like, take advantage of it,” Waterman tells a PVA journalist.
“Why doesn’t just every volunteer, like, ever in the office, just…,” the journalist begins to ask.
“I think they all have honestly,” says Waterman. “And like, all of our paid canvassers have done it. It’s very, very easy.”
“It almost seems like…it’s better to have people from out of state. Because they can do that and it’s like more votes,” the journalist says.
“I don’t know the legality of it. Perhaps it’s voter fraud,” Waterman admits.
In another exchange, Mariel Brown-Fallon, a Sanders field organizer, suggests that a PVA journalist use the address of an office building in Manchester to complete the voter registration form.
“Ummm…could you say you’re staying at 345 Cilley Road?” Brown-Fallon says to the O’Keefe plant, using the address of the building they were occupying.
O’Keefe ended up confronting Brown-Fallon after he learned that she is from Massachusetts but voted for Sanders in the New Hampshire primary. But she told the muckraker that she was unable to speak to the press.
Poll workers caught in PVA’s sting seemed unconcerned with the prospect of out-of-state campaign workers voting in the primaries. And in some cases, they appeared supportive of the idea.
“When you come up here to work on a campaign, I think, you know, you’ve been working on a campaign and you want to vote. So I personally understand,” Barbara Ward, a registrar at large at Little Harbour School in Portsmouth told a PVA journalist, who did not have an ID.
“All I need is to sign the affidavit and that’s it. And I can vote in New Hampshire?” the journalist asks.
“Basically, what we’ve been told by the [attorney general], is that if you’re to sign this, you can vote here today. Because we can’t do anything about it,” Ward says, while noting that the journalist had admitted to her that she didn’t actually live in the state.
“And so that puts us in a difficult situation. You’re also signing…,” she continues.
“Reading it, it looks like it’s more appropriate for me to vote in Weare,” says the PVA journalist.
“It is. You know, if you feel comfortable doing this, it’s your call. I would say, you … ’cause my feeling is I would never want to deny anyone the right to vote.”
“I can’t stop you. I won’t stop you. I would just…It’s your call,” she continued.
Another election official in Hanover told a PVA journalist posing as an out-of-state campaign worker that his residency status “isn’t really our business.”
After placing a call to the attorney general’s office, the clerk told the journalist that he could complete the domicile affidavit. “The property might have issues with it, but that not what we’re trying to do here,” the clerk said.
“So in talking to the AG’s office, he just needs to complete a domicile affidavit, to say he’s resident in the dormitory,” she continued. “How long he’s going to be there, isn’t really our business, he’s just going to attest that that’s where he lives today to be able to vote.”
None of the PVA workers who posed as out-of-state voters actually completed the step of voting.