What is ACLU Voter 2020?

We believe civil rights matter when it comes to electing a governor. A governor has influence over what legislation is introduced every year and decides whether hundreds of pieces of legislation are enacted – or vetoed. The governor also nominates judges and commissioners, who further impact the state of civil rights in NH. Put simply, our civil rights are on the ballot this November.

We believe voters should know where their gubernatorial candidates stand on important civil rights issues. This means getting candidates on-the-record about their thoughts and plans for civil rights in the Granite State.

Key Issues

The governor plays a huge rule in protecting, defending, and expanding civil rights within the Granite State. We’ve identified six key areas on which we think voters should know where their candidates stand.
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Civil Rights Enforcement

The NH Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Unit is responsible for upholding NH’s non-discrimination laws, including on the basis of race. The Unit was created by executive order in 2017. We believe it should be codified in statute and strengthened.
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Criminal Justice Reform

The NH prison population has grown significantly—nearly nine-fold since 1980. We believe NH should help end mass incarceration by allowing inmates to earn time off their sentence for good behavior.
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Immigration

In NH, law enforcement agencies are required to notify the public in advance of a DWI checkpoint---but not an immigration one. We believe the public should be notified if CBP will conduct an immigration checkpoint in our state.

LGBTQ+ Rights

NH has made affirming and accurate IDs more accessible to transgender Granite Staters. We believe NH should allow for self-attestation when correcting a state ID, rather than requiring sworn statements from a medical provider.
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Privacy

Private information is private information, whether it is held by you or a third party. We believe third parties (whether it’s an internet service provider or a genetics company) should get your explicit consent before sharing your data.
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Voting Rights

The right to vote is meaningful if eligible voters are unable to cast ballots. We believe NH should implement early voting and no-excuse absentee voting, ensuring that eligible voters are able to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
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WHERE CANDIDATES STAND

Do you care about civil rights in the Granite State? Take a couple minutes and find out how your candidates for governor answered our important civil rights questions – and compare their answers.

Find out how the candidates for governor compare on civil rights.

Select County

WHERE CANDIDATES STAND

There are 3 candidates for governor.
Select two or three candidates to compare their views on key civil rights issues.

Dan Feltes

Democrat

Chris Sununu

Republican

Andru Volinsky

Democrat

Candidate views on

Civil Rights Enforcement
The NH Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Unit investigates complaints of hate crimes and discrimination, and can bring action to enforce Granite Staters’ civil rights. It should be codified in statute, strengthened, and receive additional resources.
The NH prison population has grown significantly in recent decades. NH can make progress in ending mass incarceration by instituting “good time”—earned sentence reductions based on good behavior.
In NH, law enforcement agencies are required to notify the public in advance of a DWI checkpoint. We believe the public should be similarly notified if Customs and Border Protection will conduct an immigration checkpoint.
NH has made accurate and affirming identification more accessible to transgender Granite Staters. We believe NH should allow for self-attestation when correcting a state ID, rather than requiring statements from a medical provider.
New Hampshire is a national leader on privacy, and we believe that should continue in this era of big tech. Specifically, we believe third parties shouldn’t share your data without your consent.
The right to vote is a pillar of our democracy, and we should ensure that all eligible voters are able to access the ballot. We believe NH should implement early voting and no-excuse absentee voting, to reduce barriers for eligible voters to vote.
ACLU Position: The NH Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Unit investigates complaints of hate crimes and discrimination, and can bring action to enforce Granite Staters’ civil rights. It should be codified in statute, strengthened, and receive additional resources.
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Would you support legislation to codify the Civil Rights Unit in statute, strengthen its authority to include subpoena power, and support state budget funding for additional full-time staff?
Would you support legislation to institute “good time” in NH and allow inmates to earn time off their sentence for good behavior?
Would you support legislation that would require NH law enforcement agencies to notify the public every time they are informed of an immigration checkpoint by CBP in NH?
Would you support legislation to allow for self-attestation in the correction of gender markers on NH government-issued ID documents, including drivers’ licenses and birth records?
Would you support legislation that prevents third parties from sharing individuals’ private information with the government without a search warrant or the individual’s consent?
Would you commit to supporting legislation that would allow for early voting in New Hampshire?
Would you commit to supporting legislation that would allow for no-excuse absentee voting in New Hampshire?

Dan’s Response

Would you support legislation to codify the Civil Rights Unit in statute, strengthen its authority to include subpoena power, and support state budget funding for additional full-time staff?

For almost a decade I served as a legal aid attorney with New Hampshire Legal Assistance. This included spending four years as the Director of the Housing Justice Project fighting against housing discrimination so I understand how important having a real, properly funded CRU is to the state of New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the current CRU has been used as a political talking point, but has never been adequately supported. We need real results for real people, which includes making sure the CRU has everything it needs.

Dan’s Response

Would you support legislation to institute “good time” in NH and allow inmates to earn time off their sentence for good behavior?

I believe it's important to look at all elements of the criminal justice system, especially innovative methods to reducing our prison population, while supporting public safety. I support instituting "good time" legislation for non-violent inmates, although I would need to look at the details of the proposed legislation to ensure public safety protections.

Dan’s Response

Would you support legislation that would require NH law enforcement agencies to notify the public every time they are informed of an immigration checkpoint by CBP in NH?

Yes. I would support legislation that would require New Hampshire law enforcement notify the public, provided there is a reasonable exemption for national security.

Dan’s Response

Would you support legislation to allow for self-attestation in the correction of gender markers on NH government-issued ID documents, including drivers’ licenses and birth records?

Yes

Dan’s Response

Would you support legislation that prevents third parties from sharing individuals’ private information with the government without a search warrant or the individual’s consent?

Yes. As we move into the 21st century, it's critical that our laws adapt to the changing times. Data is now one of the most valuable commodities in the country and our laws are woefully behind. I've worked in a bipartisan fashion offering amendments with fmr Rep. Neal Kurk to protect data privacy. Unfortunately, we've been met with strong opposition from corporate special interests -- but that's all the more reason to keep pushing.

Dan’s Response

Would you commit to supporting legislation that would allow for early voting in New Hampshire?

Since his election in 2016, Gov. Sununu has engaged in a deliberate strategy to suppress the votes of students. As HB 1264 was being debated by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, I wrote a brief on behalf of the Senate Democrats in strong opposition to the law. However, it's not just about repealing these restrictions, it's about expanding early voting, no excuse absentee, and automatic voter registration so we include more people in our political process. Politicians shouldn't pick the voters, voters should pick their politicians, which is why it is also stunning Gov. Sununu vetoed bipartisan, independent redistricting.

Dan’s Response

Would you commit to supporting legislation that would allow for no-excuse absentee voting in New Hampshire?

Since his election in 2016, Gov. Sununu has engaged in a deliberate strategy to suppress the votes of students. As HB 1264 was being debated by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, I wrote a brief on behalf of the Senate Democrats in strong opposition to the law. However, it's not just about repealing these restrictions, it's about expanding early voting, no excuse absentee, and automatic voter registration so we include more people in our political process. Politicians shouldn't pick the voters, voters should pick their politicians, which is why it is also stunning Gov. Sununu vetoed bipartisan, independent redistricting.

Andru’s Response

Would you commit to supporting legislation that would allow for early voting in New Hampshire?

As a lawyer with 20 years of experience protecting the right to vote in New Hampshire, we need to make voting easier in New Hampshire. I support legislation to allow for early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. It is outrageous that Governor Sununu vetoed expanding absentee voting. 28 states plus the District of Columbia already allow for this. New Hampshire should not make voting so inaccessible and stop using the excuse that expanding democracy conflicts with New Hampshire traditions.

Andru’s Response

Would you support legislation that prevents third parties from sharing individuals’ private information with the government without a search warrant or the individual’s consent?

I support legislation that prevents third parties from sharing our private information without a search warrant or the individual’s consent. I am very disturbed by the lack of regulation over tech giants that have amassed excessive power and control over our personal information. These tech companies function akin to modern day utilities and as such need to be properly regulated. “Live Free or Die” should encompass the right of Granite Staters to not worry about facial imaging, GPS tracking and other surveillance tactics intruding into our personal lives. We have seen the damage Facebook and Cambridge Analytica can do to our democracy. As Washington D.C. policymakers fail to crack down on the tech industry, we must do more at the state level. While the Constitutional Amendment is a good start, New Hampshire should take inspiration from other states that are already implementing privacy measures such as Illinois which is setting important limits on the commercial collection and storage of biometric information such as fingerprints and face prints.

Andru’s Response

Would you support legislation that would require NH law enforcement agencies to notify the public every time they are informed of an immigration checkpoint by CBP in NH?

I believe state law enforcement should inform the public of immigration checkpoints set up by the Customs and Border Protection. It is deeply troubling CBP is setting up checkpoints along I-93 and conducting illegal search and seizures. We should not be giving a blank check to the Trump Administration’s abuse of current law by allowing these checkpoints under the guise of immigration enforcement. These checkpoints have also caused traffic jams during high tourist season and far from the Canadian border. As governor I will prioritize the civil liberties of our citizens from overreaching CBP federal agencies.

Andru’s Response

Would you support legislation to allow for self-attestation in the correction of gender markers on NH government-issued ID documents, including drivers’ licenses and birth records?

Non-binary genders are valid and real, and non-binary Granite Staters should not be required to jump through gatekeeping hoops of a medical provider in order for the state to recognize a change to an “X” non-binary gender marker on their NH drivers’ licenses or birth records. This barrier can be especially preventative for non-binary Granite Staters who lack access to insurance, are in between primary care physicians, or lack access to trans-affirming care providers.​The bottom line: our government should follow the lead of states as diverse as Massachusetts, Oregon, California, Nevada, Montana, Washington, and the District of Columbia, which allow self-attestation on drivers license and/or birth certificates.

Andru’s Response

Would you support legislation to codify the Civil Rights Unit in statute, strengthen its authority to include subpoena power, and support state budget funding for additional full-time staff?

As the legal counsel for over five years for ACLU-NH with a lifetime of dedication to civil rights issues, I believe the Civil Rights Unit should be codified in statute and given the budget and resources to pursue hate crimes and discrimination. The Attorney General also needs to work with the Human Rights Commission to address the backlog of complaints and ensure no duplication. There is no evidence this is currently occurring despite being outlined in the Executive Order. As governor, I would also appoint an Attorney General who truly cares about civil rights and does not use his office for political purposes.

Andru’s Response

Would you support legislation to institute “good time” in NH and allow inmates to earn time off their sentence for good behavior?

The over-incarceration of people in New Hampshire prisons disproportionately impacts black and brown communities and is a drain on taxpayers. I would support legislation to institute “good time” and allow inmates to earn time off their sentences for good behavior. HB1611, a bipartisan bill, is a good example. We must however go beyond that and look at legalizing marijuana and we must treat drug addiction as a public health problem, not a criminal justice one. We need more diversion programs and to look at reforming parole and probation policies. The opioid crisis is causing a strain on resources as our prison guards work overtime and find themselves short staffed because we cannot hire people to work in prison.

Andru’s Response

Would you commit to supporting legislation that would allow for no-excuse absentee voting in New Hampshire?

As a lawyer with 20 years of experience protecting the right to vote in New Hampshire, we need to make voting easier in New Hampshire. I support legislation to allow for early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. It is outrageous that Governor Sununu vetoed expanding absentee voting. 28 states plus the District of Columbia already allow for this. New Hampshire should not make voting so inaccessible and stop using the excuse that expanding democracy conflicts with New Hampshire traditions.

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The ACLU of NH is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to liberty, justice, and equality. We actively defend the principles enshrined in the New Hampshire state Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. We fight discrimination against targeted and vulnerable communities.

FAQs

When is the election?

Primary election: Tuesday, September 8, 2020
General Election: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Does ACLU of New Hampshire endorse candidates?

No. The ACLU of New Hampshire is a non-partisan organization, and we do not endorse candidates or parties. Our goal is to provide voters with information about where the candidates stand on key civil rights issues that impact our communities.

Who else is running?

There are hundreds of NH elected official up for election this fall—including governor, state senators and representatives, county attorneys, and more.

Why is ACLU of New Hampshire involved in this election?

Elections directly impact our civil rights, whether it be through the legislation that is passed and enacted, the decisions that a county attorney makes on whom to prosecute, or the local ordinances passed by city councils. With a long history of defending civil rights, the ACLU seeks to educate voters with information about where candidates stand on important civil rights issues.