BY: Citizens Count
According to a recent study, New Hampshire gets a D- for state integrity.
The study is by the Center for Public Integrity, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that describes itself as an investigative news organization.
No state scored higher than a C+ in the study. New Hampshire ranked 34th overall.
New Hampshire’s low score was driven by a lack of auditing and a lack of searchable data. According to the report, New Hampshire almost never audits or investigates the financial reports of candidates or elected officials.
The report also criticized the state for how it makes records available online. New Hampshire will scan the original records and make them available to the public as images, rather than making the data in the documents searchable online.
“A common sentiment is that the political culture of the state is small and collegial enough that folks would take note of funny business. … This may be, but New Hampshire is changing,” the report concluded.
On the other hand, regular auditing and investigations of financial reports would require additional bureaucracy, which translates into more costs for New Hampshire taxpayers. Instead, the current system allows the public to serve as the investigators.
Other defenders of New Hampshire’s integrity note that New Hampshire’s citizen legislature is protected from corruption because of its size (over 400 legislators) and because legislators are only paid $100 a year. That low pay removes any monetary incentive for holding office.
How would you score the Granite State’s integrity? Comment below!