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.

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.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire delivered to your inbox.  

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.

Casey McDermott / NHPR

New Hampshire’s tradition of midnight voting was on display last night. In Dixville Notch, a crowd of reporters, photographers and TV cameras captured the moment when the community’s five registered voters cast their ballots just minutes past midnight. But just up the road, next door in Millsfield, twice as many voters gathered at midnight – with much less fanfare, but a lot of hometown pride.

Sixty-five voters scattered across three communities in Northern New Hampshire cast the first ballots of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, just after midnight Tuesday morning.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

There are few traditions more closely associated with tomorrow's New Hampshire primary than the midnight vote in a place called Dixville Notch. As Casey McDermott of New Hampshire Public Radio reports, this tradition isn't always what it seems like on TV.

Allegra Boverman

The 2020 New Hampshire primary is Tuesday, Feb 11. Here's a primer on what you need to know before heading to the polls.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The New Hampshire primary is just eight days away, and will bring with it a caravan of presidential candidates, campaign staffers and national news teams. The state's largest city, Manchester, is eager to capitalize on its impending moment in the political spotlight — and to celebrate its role as the primary's epicenter. 

Casey McDermott / NHPR

At first, the scene at the Manchester field office for the Bernie Sanders campaign looked pretty typical: Volunteers milled around after a presentation from campaign higher-ups, fielding invitations to sign up for canvassing shifts from campaign staffers armed with clipboards.

But in one corner of the room, a smaller group huddled together, listening intently to field organizer Susmik Lama, who was delivering a parallel set of instructions for the final weeks of the campaign — in Nepali.

While many New Hampshire towns still count votes by hand, most of the state’s ballots are tallied by machines. A plan to check that those machines are counting votes correctly was the subject of debate before the House Election Law Committee Tuesday.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Supporters of redistricting reform in New Hampshire are making another push to put political map-making in the hands of an independent commission rather than lawmakers.

A similar proposal earned widespread bipartisan support last year, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Chris Sununu.

Related: How gerrymandering in N.H. skewed the 2016 elections

Amidst fears about cybersecurity and the spread of disinformation, New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary — along with the guardian of that tradition - is under scrutiny like never before.

Dan Gorenstein, NHPR

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has long projected confidence about the security of the state’s elections. In the fall of 2016, as national security officials were warning state elections offices to “be vigilant and seek cybersecurity assistance” from federal partners, Gardner declined — saying New Hampshire didn’t need the extra help.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The rules for how New Hampshire politicians can spend their campaign money could be tightened in the coming year.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Did you know that people who are incarcerated pre-trial, or serving time for a misdemeanor, have a right to vote by absentee ballot in New Hampshire?

Not many do. But some lawmakers are hoping to change that.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

People who register to vote in New Hampshire and plan to drive here will have to obtain an in-state drivers license within 60 days of registering, if not sooner, according to guidance issued by state agencies who enforce elections administration and driving laws. 

NHPR

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from the couple charged with the voting violations.)

A couple who split their time between New Hampshire and Massachusetts pled guilty on Monday to charges that they voted in both states during the November 2016 election, but they told NHPR they only did so to avoid prolonging an already onerous court battle with the state. 

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

State attorneys have been in court the past two weeks defending a new voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3. 

The trial is part of an ongoing debate about voting rights in New Hampshire. NHPR's Casey McDermott has been following the issue closely. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with McDermott about what happens next.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

Okay, first, can you remind us what this law is all about and what it changed to the voting registration process?

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Two college students who are suing the state over its new voter registration rules took the stand on Thursday as part of an ongoing trial over the future of the law behind them. While both students said they found the law confusing, both acknowledged that it did not prevent them from registering to vote.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

A trial over the voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3 continued in Hillsborough County Superior Court on Wednesday.

The League of Women Voters of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Democratic Party are suing the state over the 2017 law, which added new language to voter registration forms and new steps to the process asking people to prove they live in the community where they’re trying to vote.

Casey McDermott / NHPR

You might have heard that the New Hampshire primary is coming up on a big 100-year milestone in 2020. The Secretary of State’s office has marked the occasion with a commemorative centennial poster and — just last week — a special ceremony featuring the families of people who’ve shaped the primary’s history.

But if the idea of a 100th anniversary sounds familiar, it’s because you might have heard something similar four years ago.

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