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 candidate 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 2 candidates for governor.
Select each to compare their views on key civil rights issues.

Dan Feltes

Democrat

Chris Sununu

Republican

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.
Select Candidate
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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.

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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.