NH 2017-18 legislative sessions
It is one thing for candidates to declare that they believe in open democracy and stand for political equality, quite another for office holders to vote in ways that move us in that direction. This scorecard is the second of what will be annual reports to N.H.'s citizens on how their state representatives and senators voted on these issues.
In its 2017 and 2018 sessions, New Hampshire legislators had the opportunity to pass a number of bills that would have taken strong steps toward returning our state government to the people it is obligated to represent. These bills would have closed campaign spending loopholes, strengthened enforcement of existing spending laws, and ended the practice of political parties establishing voting districts that favor their candidates. They also had the chance to encourage every legal voter to exercise their democratic right.
We encourage all who read this scorecard to become familiar with how their elected officials voted on these bills, to urge them to support legislation that would create a more open state government, and to question and organize against those who oppose these efforts.
Open Democracy Action followed more than a dozen bills during the 2017 New Hampshire legislative session and another 10 in 2018. Topics ranged from redistricting reform to voting procedures to transparency in campaign funding. Few of these were decided by roll call votes in both the Senate and House. (Roll calls provide a record of individual votes, so are essential for scorecard data.) Bills and resolutions that originated in the House (HBs and HRs), and were defeated in that chamber, were not considered in the Senate, and vice versa for bills originating in the Senate (SBs). Some bills were placed on the Consent Calendar (in which several bills are voted on in a batch) or decided by voice vote, so furnished no data for scoring. Still, seventeen votes--seven in the Senate and 10 in the House, provided information with which to score legislators on the issues we care about.
The score that appears in the red column on the following pages represents a legislator's percentage of pro-reform votes. Excused absences (A/E) and unexcused absences (A/U) were treated as anti-reform votes. Those legislators with fewer than two recorded votes were not scored and show N/S in the score column.