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.

This screenshot shows the front page of New Hampshire's vaccine registration portal as of April 1, 2020. It includes a question screening out registrants based on their age.
Screenshot from www.vaccines.nh.gov

When Dan Frye, of Concord, tried to book his vaccine appointment, he ran into a pretty common security step: a CAPTCHA, a tool that asks people to prove they’re not a robot.

A sign says "Vaccine Entrance" outside a vaccination site.
Dan Barrick / NHPR

New Hampshire continues to see persistent racial disparities in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, according to the latest data from the state health department.

A sign says "Vaccine Available," next to other signs pointing to "Vaccines"
Todd Bookman, NHPR

State officials are urging patience ahead of a busy week for New Hampshire’s vaccine registration website and asking people to consider not registering first thing in the morning on their designated eligibility date.

A sign outside a Plymouth vaccination site reads "COVID-19 vaccination site by appts only"
Sarah Gibson, NHPR

New data from the federal government shows that New Hampshire's northern rural counties are closer to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 than other more populous regions.

A photo shows Manchester election workers reviewing returned absentee ballots ahead of the 2020 November election. They're inside a large event space the city rented out to accommodate the high number of ballots and people needed to process them.
Casey McDermott, NHPR

In each major election, hundreds of New Hampshire absentee voters are disenfranchised because of simple paperwork mistakes — and often, they might not know until it’s too late to fix their error. But a new proposal, building off of changes implemented during the pandemic, could provide a solution that ensures more people can have their votes counted in elections to come.

Community health workers prepare for a vaccine clinic next to a sign that says "Clinical observation 15 minutes after your vaccination" in English and Spanish
Casey McDermott, NHPR

Black and Latino people in New Hampshire have faced disproportionate harm from the COVID-19 pandemic, including higher rates of infection. But they're falling behind in New Hampshire’s vaccine rollout, according to new data from the state health department.

A sign outside a Plymouth vaccination site reads "COVID-19 vaccination site by appts only"
Sarah Gibson, NHPR

Editor's note: This post was updated after publication with additional information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

More than one in five New Hampshire residents has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. That puts the state narrowly ahead of most other states, according to CDC data.

A large crowd of Ossipee residents sits in front of town officials during a 2017 town meeting
Annie Ropeik, NHPR News

As voters head out to cast their ballots this town meeting season, the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation is highlighting gender disparities in select board and school boards across the state.

Gym polling location with no lines
Annie Ropeik | NHPR

 

College students, voting rights advocates and others packed — virtually — into the House Election Law Committee Monday morning to oppose a batch of Republican bills that would, in various ways, make it harder for some people to vote in New Hampshire. NHPR's Casey McDermott spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello about the changes up for debate.

The 2020 general election is November 3. A sign that says "vote" in capital letters sits in a yard.
Britta Greene for NHPR

Republicans in the New Hampshire Senate voted to advance a bill Thursday that would add new identification requirements to the state’s absentee balloting process, over the objections of disability rights advocates and others who warned it would create unnecessary burdens on voters who cannot easily obtain the necessary documentation.

A sign says "Vaccine Available," next to other signs pointing to "Vaccines"
Todd Bookman, NHPR

Some in New Hampshire’s disability community say the state needs to do more to ensure people with disabilities and their caregivers can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Casey McDermott / NHPR

Escrito originalmente en inglés por Casey Mcdermott, traducción de María Aguirre 

En Nashua, dentro de una de las clínicas de vacunación en contra el COVID-19, antes de que lleguen los pacientes, las enfermeras, trabajadores de salud pública y emergencistas preparan sus uniformes y cubrebocas, recopilando y clasificando documentos y papeles para administrar las vacunas. 

A sign outside King Kone in Merrimack reads: "Dr Fauci Needs You / Wear A Mask"
Emily Quirk, NHPR

After scaling back contact tracing efforts last November amid surging cases, New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services says it has resumed investigating all new COVID-19 infections.

Community health workers prepare for a vaccine clinic next to a sign that says "Clinical observation 15 minutes after your vaccination" in English and Spanish
Casey McDermott, NHPR

Inside one of Nashua’s community COVID-19 vaccine clinics, before patients arrive, nurses, public health workers and first responders are suiting up in scrubs and protective masks, sorting through paperwork and assembling supplies to administer the shots.

A line of cars awaits at the Lebanon vaccination site
Courtesy of Barbara Pontier

Starting next week, New Hampshire will begin a large-scale effort to get more vaccines to people who are unable to get to fixed vaccine clinics — either because they lack transportation or have other medical conditions that prevent them from leaving home.

A sign says "Vaccine Available," next to other signs pointing to "Vaccines"
Todd Bookman, NHPR

Earlier this year, state leaders were eager to tout New Hampshire’s progress getting COVID-19 shots into the arms of its residents.

“Here, in New Hampshire, we continue to administer vaccines at a higher rate than most states,” Gov. Chris Sununu noted during a Jan. 14 press conference. “I think we're currently ranked about 12th on the CDC chart, in terms of administration.”

A sign along the road in Durham reads, "Thank you for voting absentee."
Annie Ropeik, NHPR

Expanded absentee voting eligibility helped propel New Hampshire to a new voter turnout record in 2020, despite lots of uncertainty around how the pandemic would affect the election. Now, policymakers are split — largely along partisan lines —  about what the future of absentee voting in New Hampshire should look like.

Michael Brindley / NHPR

Right now, New Hampshire voters aren’t allowed to wear clothing or accessories advocating for or against a candidate, political party or measure on the ballot. Rep. John Potucek, a Derry Republican, is trying to change that — in part because of his own experience at the polls.

Karen Collman and Jamie Cunningham, during a pre-pandemic visit with their sister, Erica, who lives at Lafayette Center in Franconia.
Courtesy of Jamie Cunningham and Karen Collman

This time last month, Karen Collman was feeling cautiously optimistic. She knew that the first COVID-19 vaccines were coming to New Hampshire and, like many, saw the moment as a turning point — a sign that help was coming soon, at least to those most at risk.

justice.gov

The United States Attorney for New Hampshire says he will investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any New Hampshire residents who committed crimes during the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol following a rally for President Trump earlier this week.

Facebook

The chair of Troy’s Board of Selectmen is standing by the local police chief amid calls for his removal, after he attended President Trump’s “Save America” rally in Washington that devolved into a violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol and left at least four people dead.

Annie Ropeik, NHPR

Plymouth Town Clerk Josie Girona Ewing wants to be clear: She doesn’t do this job for the money. She does it because she wants her neighbors to be able to trust their elections. But living up to that goal in 2020 took a lot of extra effort — and extra hours.

The pandemic is adding strain to existing winter workforce challenges at the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

photo of vaccine vials
CDC

It's been nearly 300 days since New Hampshire reported its first COVID-19 case. Since then, there have been 36,542 cases, 889 hospitalizations and 656 deaths.

At NHPR, we've been keeping track of these numbers to help us, and you, better understand the impact of the pandemic here in New Hampshire.

YWCA NH CEO Jessica Cantin (right) at a 2019 press conference with Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS) DirectorMukhtar Idlow and Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig.
Sarah Gibson, NHPR

Two New Hampshire organizations, the YWCA of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, recently received donations from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

New Hampshire hospitals are seeing more COVID-19 patients than at any other point in the pandemic. As of Thursday morning, 248 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide, according to the latest numbers from the New Hampshire Hospital Association. Another 39 patients suspected of having COVID-19, though not yet confirmed, were also admitted on top of that.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Wednesday marked another career milestone for New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who sailed without opposition into a 23rd term, upholding his position as the longest-serving Secretary of State in the nation.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

When the New Hampshire Legislature meets for Organization Day Wednesday, it will select the Secretary of State. Bill Gardner, who's held the position for the last 44 years, is likely to sail smoothly into re-election for a 23rd term.

YouTube Screenshot

New Hampshire is in the minority of states that don’t routinely audit their election results. But on Monday, the Secretary of State’s office tested out how such an audit might work in future races.

This photo, from the Windham Town Clerk's Facebook page, shows the totals initially reported on election night.
Windham Town Clerk's Office on Facebook

New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission has joined a bipartisan chorus calling for the state attorney general's office to review why the recount totals in a contested Windham State House race differed substantially from what was recorded at the polls on Election Night.

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