Politics

New Hampshire attorney general’s office warns DNC over ‘voter suppression’ after party lambasted primary


The
original letter
from the DNC committee to New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley,
obtained first by POLITICO
, accused state Democrats of disenfranchising voters by selecting delegates who won’t be seated at the convention and called the Jan. 23 primary “detrimental” and “meaningless.”

On Monday, O’Donnell told national Democrats to cut it out. “Regardless of whether the DNC refuses to award delegates to the party’s national convention” based on the primary results, “that election is not ‘meaningless,’” he wrote in the cease-and-desist letter.

Buckley responded to Monday’s demand letter by saying New Hampshire is just following state law — and that he expects “great Democratic voter turnout” on Jan. 23.

“Well, it’s safe to say in New Hampshire, the DNC is less popular than the [New York] Yankees,” Buckley said in a statement.

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Joe Biden and the DNC wanted South Carolina, a more diverse state that propelled Biden to the nomination in 2020, for the lead-off spot for this year’s presidential primary. But Republicans who control New Hampshire’s government refused to change the law that says the state must hold its primary a week before any similar contest, and scheduled it ahead of South Carolina’s Feb. 3 Democratic contest.

Biden skipped putting his name on the ballot for New Hampshire’s primary as a result. His allies in the state are now waging a write-in campaign on his behalf.

The DNC’s missive has reverberated across New Hampshire, angering both Republicans and Biden’s rivals for the Democratic nomination.

Rep. Dean Phillips blasted the DNC’s letter as “one of the most egregious affronts to democracy that I’ve ever seen in my entire lifetime as an American, period,” while debating Marianne Williamson in downtown Manchester on Monday, as part of a convention hosted by New England College. He brandished a copy of the letter to help make his point.

Asked about the letter after the debate, Williamson accused the party of “gaslighting” and “hypocrisy.”

Minutes later, at a press conference in Concord in support of the write-in Biden effort, visiting Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said he would “take exception to that characterization” that the primary is meaningless even though his party won’t count it.

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) argued that voters aren’t “focused at all about some committee in Washington” and that the results in two weeks “will demonstrate why the New Hampshire primary is so important” despite Biden’s attempts to demote it.



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