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New Hampshire House candidate voted twice in 2016 GOP presidential primary

Legal experts say Matt Mowers’ double primary vote could be a violation of federal law.

By Emily Singer - April 05, 2022
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Matt Mowers

Matt Mowers, a former Trump administration official who is now running for a House seat in New Hampshire, voted twice in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, once in New Hampshire and one in New Jersey, the Associated Press reported. Some election experts say Mowers’ double voting could be a violation of federal law.

Mowers was the New Hampshire director of then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s failed presidential campaign when he voted in the 2016 New Hampshire primary.

After Christie dropped out of the race, Mowers voted in the primary in New Jersey, using his parents’ address for his voter registration there, the AP reported.

Federal law explicitly prohibits people from “voting more than once” in “any general, special, or primary election” for president.

“What he has done is cast a vote in two different states for the election of a president, which on the face of it looks like he’s violated federal law,” University of Minnesota Law School professor David Schultz told the AP. “You get one bite at the voting apple.”

Not all experts agree that Mowers violated the law, however. Steven Huefner of The Ohio State University law school told the AP, “With the right set of facts, it could be construed as a violation, but it’s just not at all obvious to me that it is. It is a pretty murky question.” The AP noted as well that the statute of limitations on Mowers’ actions has run out.

Mowers, for his part, has made “election integrity” one of the pillars of his campaign.

According to his campaign website: “Nothing is more important or sacred than each American’s right to vote. To protect that right, we need to ensure that elections are secure, and the integrity of our electoral systems is strong. Just like President Trump, Matt supports establishing effective voter ID laws, regular audits of elections to verify vote totals and provide every American citizen with the certainty that their vote counts.”

Mowers is not the first former Trump aide to be accused of voter fraud.

Former Rep. Mark Meadows, who served as Trump’s chief of staff, is under investigation after he registered to vote in North Carolina in September 2020 claiming that his home address was a mobile home that he had neither lived in nor owned. In March 2020, Meadows had sold his North Carolina home when he left his House seat to work in the White House in March 2020.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, razzed Republicans after the latest allegation of a Trump official committing voter fraud emerged.

“Someone alert @GOPLeader, because the voter fraud has been found,” the DCCC tweeted.

Despite ongoing Republican charges that voter fraud was responsible for Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, it is actually exceedingly rare.

A Brennan Center for Justice report released in 2007 found that “most alleg­a­tions of fraud turn out to be base­less and that most of the few remain­ing alleg­a­tions reveal irreg­u­lar­it­ies and other forms of elec­tion miscon­duct,” according to the center’s website.

The few reports of voter fraud following the 2020 election have been about Trump voters.

Mowers, who worked as a senior adviser at the State Department during Trump’s tenure, is running for the seat in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District against incumbent Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas.

He ran against Pappas in 2020 and lost by 5 points.

Mowers faces a crowded GOP primary against at least six other Republicans, including GOP state Rep. Tim Baxter, former Trump White House aide Karoline Leavitt, and Gail Huff Brown, the wife of former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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