NH Press Release
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jason Sorens, President
Free State Project picks New Hampshire
·Group aims to recruit 20,000 liberty-minded individuals to move
·Membership vote selects NH out of ten candidates for planned migration
·Free Staters hope to reinforce, enhance "sphere of individual liberty" in the Live Free or Die state
·Project has earned backing of NH governor, some state legislators
·Trickle of early movers expected to start this year
Aiming to preserve one bastion of freedom in the age of intrusive government, members of the rapidly growing Free State Project (FSP) have made a crucial decision. Voting via mail-in ballot after months of feisty debate, Free Staters chose New Hampshire as their future home.
Founded in 2001, the FSP's goal is to concentrate 20,000 liberty-oriented voters in one state. There, it is hoped, they will work to enhance and extend its existing culture of liberty. But until this week, it was anyone's guess whether that state would be
Montana, Wyoming, Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Idaho, North
Dakota, South Dakota, or Alaska.
The membership election took place through the innovative Condorcet's Method, which allowed voters to rank all states and selected the state that received a higher ranking than each other state from a majority of voters. The runner-up state was Wyoming, which defeated every other state but fell to New Hampshire by the decisive margin of 55 per cent to 45 per cent. The vote was counted and certified by EEMBC Certification Laboratory, who also published a white paper on the results.
"New Hampshire is clearly the consensus choice of Free Staters," commented FSP President and Yale political science professor Jason Sorens. "New Hampshire won a plurality of first-preference votes from every region of the country except the West."
"It's not difficult to see the reasons for New Hampshire's victory," adds Vice-President Elizabeth McKinstry, who is originally from New England. "The state boasts the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the leanest state government in the country in terms of government spending and employment, a citizen legislature, a healthy job market, and perhaps most important, local support for our movement."
Over 100 New Hampshire residents have signed up for the Free State Project already, willing to move elsewhere but hoping to bring the movement to their home state. Governor Craig Benson even pledged to support the aims of the FSP, and several members of the legislature have signed up as members.
According to FSP Director of Member Services and Florida attorney Tim Condon, Free Staters should also be a boon for the economy of New Hampshire. "According to a member survey conducted concomitantly with the vote, 50% of our members have at least a Bachelor's degree, with 18% having done postgraduate work. Seventy-five per cent are under age 50, with 38% between the ages of 18 and 34. Those earning $60,000 or more per year constitute 44% of all members. The clear picture that emerges is one of a largely young, well educated, upwardly mobile group."
Several hurdles still face the movement, which currently has about 4,500 members pledged to migrate to New Hampshire. These challenges include recruiting another 15,500 members and continuing to build support for their cause within New Hampshire. If current recruitment trends continue, the group expects to reach 20,000 commitments by 2006, after which point members have five years in which to move.
But as Condon notes, "The member survey shows that 53% of members plan to move within three years, not waiting for the 20,000-member benchmark. Early movers should help recruitment by building a record of success."
REGIONAL MEDIA CONTACTS:
Phil Boncer, California, firstname.lastname@example.org, (619) 280-3410
Kelton Baker, California, email@example.com, (559) 999-8572
Lars Hedbor, Oregon, firstname.lastname@example.org, (503) 722-3849 cell (503) 781-0227
Devera Morgan, Texas, email@example.com, (972) 636-7503
Keith Murphy, Maryland, firstname.lastname@example.org, (410) 358-6284 cell (443) 570-3162
Doug Hillman, Alabama, email@example.com, (256) 449-9261
Amanda Phillips, Massachusetts, firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 763-1996
Michelle Dumas, New Hampshire, email@example.com, (603) 743-4957
James Maynard, New Hampshire, firstname.lastname@example.org, (603) 358-5079
Jason — Color