“I’m scratching my head here in confusion because I am having an “if A then B” moment here”
…believes in an originalist / literal interpretation of the NH Constitution? In a UL Op-Ed, Woodburn (D) is making the case that we need to encourage more votes (like anyone has a problem with that??) (reformatted, emphasis mine:
Granite State Debates — Jeff Woodburn: Encouraging voter participation
New Hampshire is a beacon of democracy. No one does it better. Our traditional town meetings predate our constitution and our first-in-the-nation presidential primary has put ordinary people, not big-shot politicians, in charge for a century. Our democracy’s greatness lies in the hearts and the hands of our people, not some distant bureaucracy. We rely on citizens on the local level to administer our elections, and I learned this awesome responsibility and grassroots philosophy firsthand as a locally elected checklist supervisor at the ripe age of 18. We live up to the ideal of full participation in our democracy.
OK, that’s good so far. However, it goes downhill from there – fast. First off, he complete twists the idea of a what a Right is:
The constitutional right to vote is our most fundamental right, and all other rights derive from it. That’s why attempts to change residency standards are so disturbing — its true aim is to discourage, depress, and even disenfranchise eligible citizens rather than ensuring all who want to participate can vote.
Actually, it isn’t the “most fundamental right” – far from it; there is a reason why it is #11 – our Founders wrote that the 10 previous Articles were of more importance (else why would they precede the 11th?) that included that we are free, independent (Article 1) and more importantly, Rights that have NOTHING to do with either voting or the presence or absence of Government (emphasis mine):
[Art.] 2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights – among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.
In this, Woodburn’s Progressive side shows – his quoting of the 11th makes it seem that Rights stem from Government (with the caveat that what Government gives, Government can then both regulate and take away). Articles 1 & 2 are contra his statement – our Rights self-exist because of who we are independently. Rights derive from one and only one thing – that we are human.
I could stop right here and have a decent post but while important, I wish to point out another level of hypocrisy (but this sets the table for it).
The right to vote is in [Art.] 11. [Elections and Elective Franchises.] from which Woodburn quotes:
The New Hampshire Constitution states: “All elections are to be free, and every inhabitant of the state of 18 years of age and upwards shall have an equal right to vote in any election.” It doesn’t say anything about excluding friends and neighbors or dictating how long someone must live in our state before they’re worthy enough to have their vote counted. And our laws shouldn’t either.
The big problem Woodburn is several fold – the first being he only partially quotes the Article and deliberately leaves out the important qualifiers on that “equal right to vote in any election” clause – those qualifiers designate WHO is able to vote in addition to one’s age:
[Art.] 11. [Elections and Elective Franchises.] All elections are to be free, and every inhabitant of the state of 18 years of age and upwards shall have an equal right to vote in any election. Every person shall be considered an inhabitant for the purposes of voting in the town, ward, or unincorporated place where he has his domicile. No person shall have the right to vote under the constitution of this state who has been convicted of treason, bribery or any willful violation of the election laws of this state or of the United States; but the supreme court may, on notice to the attorney general, restore the privilege to vote to any person who may have forfeited it by conviction of such offenses. The general court shall provide by law for voting by qualified voters who at the time of the biennial or state elections, or of the primary elections therefor, or of city elections, or of town elections by official ballot, are absent from the city or town of which they are inhabitants, or who by reason of physical disability are unable to vote in person, in the choice of any officer or officers to be elected or upon any question submitted at such election. Voting registration and polling places shall be easily accessible to all persons including disabled and elderly persons who are otherwise qualified to vote in the choice of any officer or officers to be elected or upon any question submitted at such election. The right to vote shall not be denied to any person because of the non-payment of any tax. Every inhabitant of the state, having the proper qualifications, has equal right to be elected into office.
Very important – Woodburn makes it seem that as long as you are over 18 years old, you’re good. The caveats are that:
- you are domiciled in NH legally. Not just visiting, not just in for a stroll, but have roots here, ties here, and that NH and that particular town is where you legally live as evidenced by registering to vote, have a NH drivers license, and in the case of students, having the ability to pay in-state tuition rates (else you are not legally domiciled here, right)?
- you are not a traitor. Well, after the last eight years, methinks that term and the willingness to prosecute such have made it moot.
- you haven’t bribed anyone for anything (although not having researched it, I would not be surprised if this entailed the person trying to vote, the exchange of money (or proxies for it), and a public sector worker or official doing something to benefit that person.
- you haven’t run afoul of election laws (like these precious snowflakes seem to have done).
- you have registered to vote in one and only one place.
Of all of these, domiciled is the most important, and the most abused term of definition. But I digress so back to Woodburn. I dryly note this assumption:
Some claim that we should tighten standards to eliminate fraud. But these attempts are solutions in search of problems — there is simply no evidence of widespread fraud taking place.
A report from the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice found that it’s “more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than he will impersonate another voter.” Senior Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan has said, “We haven’t had any complaints about widespread voter fraud taking place.”
Yo Jeff – want to speak to what Ed Naile of CNHT found? I think the term of legal art is “caught red-handed and with their pants around their ankles”. To first find it, you have to be looking for it. But our Attorney Generals of late (Kelly Ayotte, Joe Foster) weren’t all that willing to prosecute with the lone exception of James O’Keefe and his merry band of “show up the Government claims” but ONLY, in his case, he spoiled their voter fraud narrative and, far worse, made them look like foos. But again, I digress yet again..
And Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield goes on. But let’s do a thought experiment, shall we? Again, let us take him at his word that the NH Constitution is NOT a “Living Constitution” and that its words mean what they mean in the original intent when written. Let’s also put aside the caveats that are in Article 11 and take the first clause to be the Operative clause:
“All elections are to be free, and every inhabitant of the state of 18 years of age and upwards shall have an equal right to vote in any election.”
So ANY one can vote. Ok, let’s take that as Gospel – which also means that there are no restrictions. Thus, in trying to persuade us that additional words or RSAs are unnecessary as the NH Constitution is our Foundational Law. Good enough – everyone that is an inhabitant of NH can vote. No more prevarication, no more discussion, it is settled law.
Hmmm, at this point, I’m scratching my head here in confusion because I am having an “if A then B” moment here. If Article 11 is to be taken literally, does that mean that NH State Senator Jeff Woodburn (D believes the same for ALL of the Articles? That they mean what they mean and not to be otherwise interpreted?
How about this one – does he take this Article at face value?
[Art.] 2-a. [The Bearing of Arms.] All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.
That NH State Senator Jeff Woodburn (D) looks at that Article and thinks to himself “yep, all there, all done, and no other words or laws are to be added or subtracted from it”? That there should be no limitations placed on our ability to keep and bear arms because our NH Constitution places no caveats on that right to keep and bear arms in Article 2A. It does not mention handguns or long guns, it doesn’t mention calibers, single shot, semi-automatic, or fully automatic. Heck, it doesn’t mention guns at all – nor does it enumerate anything else that have been considered to be arms (e.g., knives, swords, suits of armor, cannons, howitzers, fighter or bomber jets, tanks, submarines, explosive devices) – nada, nein, nothing.
And NH State Senator Jeff Woodburn (D) is perfectly fine with it because even me, a simple man, understands “If A then B”. If Article 11 is to be taken as written, then he whole heartedly applies the same conditions to Article 2A, right?
OF COURSE not – silly me. That would smack of Consistency. No, Consistency is not operative in Woodburn’s reading and application of the NH Constitution. In fact, he is anti-gun and is perfectly fine putting restrictions on gun owners EVEN AS ARTICLE 2A doesn’t specify that a Legislator is allowed to do so.
He recently voted against Constitutional Carry (SB12). Ditto similar bills in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, he voted against banning confiscation of guns and ammo during an emergency, and it goes on.
So what are we to think? Simply this – he, at best, is a hypocrite when it is politically expedient to be so. Fine for voting but not for guns – yet both are Constitutional Rights.
And they wonder why we in the public do not trust them?