Forum, Jan. 6: Home Is Where the ‘Domicile’ Is

Friday, January 05, 2018
Home Is Where the ‘Domicile’ Is

In the 2008 presidential election, a Dartmouth College junior from Montana, employing a college-targeted social media campaign, was elected Grafton County treasurer on the strength of a large turnout of Dartmouth College and Plymouth State University students, some of whom cast straight party votes. The straight party votes went to congressional candidates and to other candidates for local office as well. It’s doubtful that the out-of-state students who voted knew who these candidates were.

Out-of-state students should not influence our state and local elections. Nor should they vote in New Hampshire for president, given our electoral college system for choosing our president.

The proposed law to limit voting in New Hampshire to bona fide residents is not discriminatory. Students and other non-residents can and should vote in their own cities and states. They should obtain and cast absentee ballots if they cannot vote there in person. And, in the case of Dartmouth students, the college should encourage them to do so as a basic lesson in responsible citizenship.

New Hampshire makes a clear distinction between resident and non-resident students in the university system. Its residency rules define a resident as one who is “domiciled” in New Hampshire, meaning the state is the person’s “true, fixed and permanent home and habitation, to the exclusion of others. It is the place where the person intends to remain.”

Further, for University System purposes, a person is not considered domiciled in New Hampshire until she or he “has been a resident of the state for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding registration.” Attendance at an educational institution in this state “shall not be evidence of intention to establish or establishment of a domicile in this state.”

The above should inform the discussion of pending legislation to update voter registration requirements in New Hampshire.

I don’t suggest that these criteria be applied directly to voter registrants, but they do indicate that it is possible to define residency status. Out-of-state college students are not New Hampshire citizens.

Walter Noll


N.H. Has ‘Duty to Warn’ on Alcohol

The state of New Hampshire has recently spent millions to build new state liquor stores at multiple locations. The state bemoans the facts of our addiction crisis yet makes money off alcohol, a legal drug that becomes lethal with high consumption.

It can no longer have it both ways because alcohol kills thousands more than drugs each year.

Does the state not have a “duty to warn” at its points of sale? The state provides speed limits on all roads because of speed can be lethal. Is the state not also obligated to provide consumption limits for alcohol at its stores where it is sold?

New safety guidelines put out by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism are two drinks per day for women and three drinks for men. This, and information about the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning, should be posted at all points of sale.

At some point, the public will awaken to these facts and a class-action lawsuit against the state will ensue and money made from the state’s sale of alcohol will represent a pittance compared with the payout to families destroyed by unsafe alcohol consumption. The governor’s newly formed council on drug addiction prevention should dedicate some serious thought to this.

Jackie Smith


Planned Liquor Outlet Won’t Help

A recent article in the Valley News announced the N.H. State Liquor Commission’s plan to build a 19,000-square-foot retail outlet near the Weathervane restaurant in West Lebanon (“New Liquor Outlet Set For Rt. 12A; Store Will Replace Powerhouse Plaza Site,” Dec. 28).

Think about this. New Hampshire is constructing another building to facilitate the population’s seemingly insatiable desire to consume alcoholic products. As we all know, alcohol is the leading cause of highway fatalities.

The slogan “don’t drink and drive” seems to be at odds with the state’s program to make alcohol available to consumers on such a large-scale basis.

John M. Farrell


Celebrate the Worth of All Women

The Women’s Walk for Action and Unity, the “pink-hatted,” global demonstration of women and girls, was spontaneous. Voices were raised against harmful political policies affecting reproductive health and rights.

The human female accounts for half of the world’s population. Women will no longer be relegated to apologetic caving in to the demands of power.

This applies to sexual improprieties and financial inequality, as well. Women will not be treated as novelties to be toyed with.

They are not just knitting hats in their copious free time after working and raising children, but have carved out enough time to organize and demonstrate against harmful and pernicious laws such as the “global gag rule,” which bans foreign nongovernmental organizations that receive American aid from having any involvement with abortion.

The capacity of Americans to care reaches far beyond our national borders, which is something to celebrate. We all should show gratitude abundantly to NGOs for their concerted efforts to help women and families locally and abroad. Planned Parenthood exemplifies dedication by providing health centers devoted to the standards demanded by the Women’s Walk of last January.

Celebrate women’s worth by creating a better, not bigger, but worthy nation.

Linn Duvall Harwell

New London

Christmas, Columbus and Pipelines

I never thought I’d say this, but I found Steve Nelson’s Christmas Eve op-ed piece very refreshing (“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice, and Muslims, Jews and Atheists: All Can Acknowledge Christmas in Their Way,” Dec. 24).

Even if it was a “Christmas truce” from his usual militant fare, it helped me to see a kinder, gentler side of him, whether he meant it or not.

Even as a self-proclaimed atheist, he shared an appreciation of Christmas with those of us for whom it has a spiritual significance. I’ll grant his use of an oxymoron, “secular reverence,” for the special effect Christmas has on us regardless of faith or the absence thereof.

I was encouraged to hear him admit that his Christmas concert experience in a Cleveland church gave him an unprecedented feeling of closeness to the God he doesn’t believe in. I certainly agree with him that what this world needs is more peace and love. Who better to establish these than the One who is called the “Prince of Peace” and is love personified?

On a more mundane subject, what possesses some newer members of the Hartford Selectboard to set aside their primary charge to look out for the interests of the citizens of Hartford in the face of budgetary and infrastructure challenges and to act like wannabe state legislators and members of Congress to pursue an agenda that would pit Native American citizens of our town against those of Italian and Hispanic descent (Columbus sailed under a Spanish flag) by renaming the Columbus Day holiday?

And while we’re at it, what empowers them to advance the globalistic and socialist goal of tampering with free-market forces to recommend imposition of restrictions on infrastructure for fossil fuel development and distribution?

While I personally do not favor pipeline construction in our region when the logical transportation choice for gasoline, fuel oil and propane is rail, I would hate to see the local fuel depot in the rail yard shut down or blocked from expansion.

William A. Wittik


More on Intelligence and Guns

Sydney Lea’s response (“A Useful Comparison to Our North,” Dec. 28 ) to my previous letter (“Of Intelligence and Guns, Dec. 21”) indicated a considerable degree of displeasure with what I wrote.

Are we then to understand that, had I taken the opposite tack and suggested that the enthusiastic embrace of helplessness in the face of violence and a fear of weapons are the hallmarks of a superior intellect and robust mental health, and that profoundly dysfunctional people absolutely should be encouraged to vote, Mr. Lea would have written to congratulate me on the perceptive nature of my observations?

His statement to the contrary notwithstanding, I don’t for a minute believe that he is really that stupid.

Anthony Stimson