Republican candidate in New Hampshire voted in two states’ primaries in 2016

Mowers, then a top New Hampshire adviser to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, cast his ballot in the February critical primary in the Granite State, according to the official Manchester city voter list for the election. contest.

However, Christie’s presidential campaign was short-lived, and after the New Jersey chief executive finished sixth in the New Hampshire Republican primary, he dropped out of the race, eventually endorsing then-candidate Donald Trump.

Mowers, however, cast another ballot in a presidential primary four months later, according to documents obtained by CNN, using his parents’ New Jersey address to re-register in his long-time home state and cast his ballot in the Republican primary. state June.

The fact that Mowers voted twice in the 2016 primary, which was first reported by the Associated Press, exposes the Republican candidate to legal questions and accusations of hypocrisy, as the Republican has made electoral integrity a central issue in your campaign.

Mowers responded to the Associated Press report by attacking Democrats and saying that he was “proud to work for President Trump as the Republican establishment was working to undermine his nomination and took a job with his campaign in 2016, registered to vote and cast my vote in accordance with the law, and served as Trump’s elected delegate to the Republican National Convention.”

At no point in the statement does Mowers deny that he voted twice in the 2016 primary.

One of the most frequent attacks on Mowers in the New Hampshire Republican primary has been his link to the state he hopes to represent, something that will be fueled by his decision to re-register in New Jersey in 2016. Mowers also cast his vote in the 2016 general election in New Jersey, according to voting records.

“While I’m running the bill in NH for a full forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election, @mowers is potentially violating federal law by voting in BOTH NH and NJ,” Tim Baxter, a Republican state representative who is also running in the Republican primary, he tweeted on Tuesday. “My question for ‘#JerseyMowers’: Are you running to represent #NH01 or NJ?”
The story could be particularly powerful in New Hampshire, a state where Republicans have sought to crack down on who can vote in its elections, especially targeting transient populations and short-term residents like students.
Mowers is unlikely to face prosecution for voting in two states in 2016. While New Hampshire law says “a person is guilty of a class B felony if he” “knowingly” casts a vote in New Hampshire and “also casts a vote in the same election year in any election held in any other state or territory of the United States,” the law says a defense could be if the “person lawfully moved.”

Michael S. Garrity, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Justice, told CNN Tuesday that the state’s “electoral law team is aware of the Associated Press report and is reviewing the matter.”

Charlie Spies, a Republican attorney who has known Mowers for years, said the law on the issue of voting in two primaries is a “grey area” and called the chance the candidate would face legal trouble over it “nonexistent.”

“Mr. Mowers moved to New Jersey, took up residence there, and then had a voting pattern in New Jersey. It is an open question whether the election referred to in the statute would be a party-controlled primary in a state versus another state months earlier,” Spies said. “Even if it was a clear violation of a clear statute within the statute of limitations, which it’s not, but even if it was, there’s no evidence, to my knowledge, that anyone was ever prosecuted.”

However, the political ramifications for lawnmowers could be more dramatic than the legal ones.

Mowers’ Republican opponents have already seized on the story, wasting no time to note how a candidate who votes twice in the same primary cycle is out of step with the Republican approach to securing elections, an emphasis that has been spurred on by Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that he was robbed of the 2020 election.

“My opponent… potentially broke election law, and is hiding behind his attorney, calling the report ‘foolish,'” Karoline Leavitt, another former Trump aide running in the New Hampshire primary, wrote on Twitter. “This is a very, very serious allegation. The integrity of the election is important. Voters deserve the truth and @mowers owes them an honest answer.”
Gail Huff Brown, another candidate in the Republican primary, tweeted“The Republican Party is the party of electoral integrity, and we can’t nominate someone who has committed voter fraud and expect them to be taken seriously. We can do better.”

Mowers, like many Republicans running in 2022, cites electoral integrity as a central theme of his campaign, writes on his website that “nothing is more important or sacred than every American’s right to vote,” and endorses “making laws effective voter identification systems, regular election audits to verify vote totals, and provide every American citizen with the certainty that their vote counts.”

Mowers also specifically notes that he supports Republican efforts in New Hampshire to “improve our own voting laws so that only legal residents of New Hampshire are eligible to vote and voter ID is required.”

Republicans have made New Hampshire’s first congressional race a prime target in 2022, hoping a pro-Republican national environment will help unseat Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas, who defeated Mowers by 5% in 2020.

Mowers is married to a senior video producer at CNN.

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