Casey McDermott | New Hampshire Public Radio

Casey McDermott

Investigative & Data Reporter/Editor

Credit John W. Hession

Casey McDermott covers politics and policy, with a focus on data and accountability reporting.

Prior to joining NHPR, Casey worked at The Concord Monitor and held internships at ProPublica, the Student Press Law Center and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

She studied journalism and sociology at Penn State but spent most of her days (and nights) in the newsroom of the independent student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. The Collegian was recognized nationally for its work during Casey's time as its managing editor and editor-in-chief.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed bills to create a paid family leave program, to expand absentee voting and to provide relief for people who have trouble making housing payments due to COVID-19, continuing a string of vetoes that has already set a record for a New Hampshire governor.

Three New Hampshire voters and a coalition of groups who advocate for people with disabilities are suing the state over its COVID-19 absentee registration and voting procedure. They allege that the state is denying voters with disabilities the equal opportunity to cast a private, independent absentee ballot without extra assistance.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire's pollworkers will be outfitted with masks, face shields, gloves and gowns for the September primary and November general election — but local officials will need to reuse some of those items, including face masks, in both elections, according to new guidance from the Secretary of State.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Any eligible New Hampshire voter who wants to cast an absentee ballot can do so this fall due to COVID-19 — and election officials across the state are preparing to process a potentially massive increase in absentee ballot requests in the months ahead.

OSHA

Hackett Hill Center, a skilled nursing facility in Manchester, is facing a federal workplace safety investigation into the recent death of an employee. 

Zoom Screenshot

New Hampshire should distribute protective gear to all of its polling places, reimburse municipalities for increased absentee balloting costs and take a more proactive approach to voter education, according to a state committee tasked with evaluating how to plan for fall elections amid COVID-19.

NHPR Staff

The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire is suing the governor and the state's top election official for not adjusting ballot access requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Two Manchester hospitals at the center of New Hampshire’s COVID-19 response have identified new outbreaks among patients and staff not directly connected to their coronavirus treatment units.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union and the New Hampshire Democratic Party are withdrawing a federal lawsuit against a new state residency law that, they argued, would infringe on voting rights. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that anyone – including college students – who lives in the state for at least six months a year, and drives their own vehicle during that time, needs to comply with New Hampshire licensing and registration requirements.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

An inmate detained by federal immigration authorities at the Strafford County correctional facility has tested positive for COVID-19, county officials confirmed Saturday.

This is the first confirmed infection in an inmate at the correctional facility in Dover. It also comes amid a federal lawsuit over how to protect immigrant detainees at the facility from the coronavirus.

Zoom Screenshot

In New Hampshire, elections are largely an in-person event, but it's hard to socially distance at a polling place. And many poll workers and voters are trying to figure out how to conduct elections safely during the COVID-19 crisis. 

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has assembled a six-person "select committee" to advise his office on how to spend the $3.2 million in emergency election funding the state has received as part of a recent federal COVID-19 relief package. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The number of new coronavirus tests being processed each day in New Hampshire has remained relatively flat for about a month, according to an analysis by NHPR. This comes even as state health officials say they want to see more testing here.

This story originally published when the state issued its first memo on COVID-19 election rules, on April 10. It was updated April 17 with additional information state election officials provided on the state's absentee voter registration process.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A superior court judge has struck down a controversial New Hampshire voting law known as SB3, saying it’s unconstitutional and unreasonably burdens the right to vote, but the decision is expected to be appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Clean Wal-Mart via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/zH94N

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has issued an emergency order limiting the prescriptions of certain drugs due to COVID-19.

DHHS Chief Legal Counsel Melissa St. Cyr said the state is responding to reported shortages of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, as well as albuterol inhalers.

“We wanted to make sure that we could ration the use of that to ensure there was enough for people who are in need of the medication,” St. Cyr said.

Via Hanover Hill's Facebook page

At a press conference earlier this week, state officials acknowledged that they’re aware of cases of COVID-19 at a number of New Hampshire health facilities serving the elderly or medically fragile — but they have declined to identify those facilities, citing privacy concerns.

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NHPR / Michael Brindley

Gov. Chris Sununu and other state authorities have spent the past few weeks urging employers across the state to make big changes to how they do business, to stem the spread of COVID-19.

But New Hampshire state government is itself one of the state’s largest employers, with nearly 10,000 full-time and more than 2,000 part-time employees across dozens of state agencies. 

Courtesy DDA604 via Flickr/Creative Commons. (https://flic.kr/p/6H6XSo)

The state is seeking childcare providers to apply to a new emergency childcare collaborative, meant to provide support to parents who must still go to work in jobs deemed “essential” during the COVID-19 emergency.

The Department of Health and Human Services expects to open applications for its Emergency Childcare Collaborative no later than Monday and hopes to launch the program one week after that, by April 6.

Governor Chris Sununu says the state is exploring the option of offering curbside pickup at New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlets as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, while allowing the outlets to remain open.

Sununu said the details were still being worked out.

The governor signed an executive order last week allowing people to purchase beer and wine directly from local restaurants, which have been limited to offering only carry-out or delivery service due to the virus.

Photo Courtesy of Todd Bookman

Things are feeling pretty heavy right now. Whether you are practicing social distancing at home, caring for a loved one who is ill or trying to make sense of an uncertain and fast-evolving public health crisis — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. 

FILE

In light of COVID-19 concerns, the New Hampshire State House has closed. But, the Secretary of State's office, which is inside the building, remains open. 

David Scanlan is the Deputy Secretary of State for the state of New Hampshire. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello earlier today to discuss how their office is conducting business during this time, and if they plan to expand the state's vote-by-mail criteria given the current pandemic. 

Can you explain how your office came to the decision to stay open?

NHPR Staff

Questions about how New Hampshire’s new residency law works — how it affects everything from voting, to vehicle licensing requirements, to library cards and hunting licenses — were in front of the state’s highest court Tuesday.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

An effort to more tightly regulate how New Hampshire politicians can spend their campaign money needs closer study, according to a House panel reviewing the proposed reforms.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers continue to wrestle with questions about where to draw the line between their work inside and outside the State House. 

NHPR

Gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes is running ads on Facebook that claim “he isn't taking corporate PAC or LLC contributions, so the public can be sure their governor is working for them — not himself.”

That message is consistent with Feltes’ record in the state Senate, where he’s sponsored bills to outlaw corporate campaign donations and to limit political activities of limited liability corporations.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Seven Republican lawmakers were reprimanded on the floor of the New Hampshire House Thursday for not completing newly mandatory anti-harassment and discrimination training — but it didn’t happen without objection. 

NHPR Photo

Responding to a pair of high-profile ethics cases that highlighted the lack of clear restrictions on conflicts of interest at the State House, lawmakers are weighing how best to balance their role as citizen legislators with a desire to prevent politicians from exploiting public office for private gain.

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