85-Year-Old Convicted of Voting Twice in 2016 Election

May 28, 2024 by Dan McCue
85-Year-Old Convicted of Voting Twice in 2016 Election
The New Hampshire state capitol ahead of this year's presidential primary. (Photo by Dan McCue)

CONCORD, N.H. — An 85-year-old man has been convicted of one felony count of wrongful voting after a three-day jury trial related to his voting twice in the 2016 presidential election.

When he’s sentenced in July, Richard Rosen, the principal in an indoor salad greens growing company, faces a penalty of 3 ½ to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

In addition, pursuant to a provision in the New Hampshire Constitution, he may also lose his right to vote in the state.

The jury found Rosen knowingly checked in at a Belmont, Massachusetts, polling place and cast a Massachusetts ballot after having already cast an absentee ballot in the same election in Holderness, New Hampshire.

According to witnesses called by Myles Matteson and Matt Conley, prosecutors with the state Justice Department’s Election Law Unit, Rosen showed up at the town clerk’s office in Holderness several days before the Nov. 8, 2016, election and requested help filling out an absentee ballot.

Prosecutors said Rosen later drove 112 miles to Belmont, Massachusetts, where he checked in at a polling place on election day and cast an in-person ballot.

Matthew Conley of the state attorney general’s Election Law Unit, said Rosen lives in Belmont and owns property and a business in Holderness.

Richard Rosen

Prior to the trial, Conley also said the reason Rosen voted twice didn’t matter, adding that “casting two ballots in the same election is a crime” and breaks with the precept of “one person, one vote.”

Rosen pleaded not guilty to the charge, explaining that he typically voted in one state or the other, but never both, depending on where he was living at the time of an election.

He also suggested at one point that a former business associate had stolen his identification and voted in Massachusetts, though the state has no Voter ID requirement and asks only that voters state their names when they arrive to vote.

Unlike in New Hampshire, there was no eyewitness who could definitively say they saw Rosen vote in Belmont on Election Day in 2016, and the evidence against him appeared to be only that someone using his name checked in and out of the polling place that day, making pencil marks next to his name.

During the trial, Connolly attempted to impeach that evidence, calling it “flimsy at best.”

However, due to a pre-trial ruling by New Hampshire Superior Court Judge Peter Bornstein, the prosecution was able to introduce evidence that suggested Rosen may have double voted in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in at least four other elections.

Connolly argued that information was irrelevant because the charge against his client was only that he voted in both states in 2016.

In a written statement released Tuesday, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella thanked the prosecutors and election officials in both states for their assistance and cooperation in the investigation .

“The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable those individuals who commit voter fraud and attempt to take advantage of our election systems,” Formella said.

The exact date and time of Rosen’s sentencing has yet to be set by the Grafton Superior Court in Haverhill, New Hampshire.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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