NY Rep. Tenney rebuts Dems' 'voter suppression' meme, cites high turnout, strict safeguards in NH

"New Hampshire has among the highest turnout of any state," including women and minorities, even without early voting and no-excuse absentee voting, said New York Republican Claudia Tenney, co-chair of the House Election Integrity Caucus.

Updated: January 18, 2022 - 11:26pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

As the Senate convened Tuesday to debate Democratic legislation to federalize elections in the name of fighting "voter suppression," Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), co-chair of the House Election Integrity Caucus, criticized the effort, arguing that large majorities support election safeguards and states like New Hampshire show that high voter turnout and election security are mutually compatible.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Joe Biden said that state laws requiring voter ID or banning mass mailing of absentee ballots are an "assault on our freedom to vote," particularly for minority Americans.

Minority Americans, however, appear to disagree, as 78% of African-American voters said they support voter ID in a November poll by Scott Rasmussen.

Tenney told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Tuesday that she believes the Democrats' legislation is rigging elections so they'll always win.

"If they can completely rig the game where Republicans could never win, no matter how bad the Democrats' policies are, that's [what] they're going to do," she said.

Noting that 2020 "was a record turnout year," Tenney said "the only way that the Democrats were actually able to win the presidential race ... is that over $400 million was used to prime the pump in key swing states to vote harvest and to get the vote out" to help "Joe Biden squeak across the finish line."

"Because when you look at the rest of the year," she explained, "every Republican incumbent in the House won [and] 15 new Republicans were elected."

Democrats are trying to cover up the fact that their legislation would take away popular voting protections like voter ID, Tenney claimed. According to a national poll by Rasmussen, 85% of all voters want photo ID to be required to vote.

"Voter ID is popular, and people believe in it," she said. "They care about election integrity. And people are concerned about the ability to cheat with ballot harvesting, which is why, in New York state — a two-to-one Democratic state — the voters in a statewide referendum, mostly Democrat voters, rejected these ideas of same-day registration and partisan gerrymandering." 

That statewide referendum "was put up by the Democrats who control everything in New York," she emphasized. "So you can see even Democrat and independent voters aren't buying this."

Tenney cited the example of New Hampshire. Bill Gardner, a former Democratic secretary of state in the Granite State, told the Election Integrity Caucus that "he doesn't believe in early voting, doesn't believe in no-excuse absentee voting," she recounted. "And he said that New Hampshire has among the highest turnout of any state, in terms of voters.

"They also have among the highest turnout among women and minorities, and the state of New Hampshire ... had a law that required that the secretary of state has to announce the results of the election on election night.

"So all the shenanigans you hear about that's going on in these races where … if we don't do this, it's racist, or it's voter suppression — not true in the state of New Hampshire."

Tenney also adressed the case of a Saudi Arabian caught illegally crossing the southern border in December. Described as a "potential terrorist" by Border Patrol, he was wearing a jacket with an American flag patch and a Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance patch. The head of the upstate New York county's Central Oneida Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Thomas Meyers, said the 21-year-old Saudi man was not connected with his organization.

"But they have seen that some of their jackets and some of their apparel has been auctioned off on different sites on the internet," said Tenney, who visted the border in March, 2021. "So that's something to beware of, you know, these are people looking to deceive the border security, they're going to try every angle to get in. And right now, it's not very hard ... and it continues to get worse."