The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office says Secretary of State William Gardner is required by the state’s right-to-know law to provide publicly available voter information to President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
Attorneys for the state and for the American Civil Liberties Union and two state lawmakers are scheduled to face off in Hillsborough County Superior Court on Monday to argue before a judge whether New Hampshire law allows Gardner to send the information to Washington.
“The secretary’s provision of the voter data to the commission is not only permissible, but required under RSA chapter 91-A (the state’s right-to-know law) as the secretary has received a request for specifically described, publicly available information from the commission and, by law, must respond,” Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards wrote in her answer to the ACLU suit.
Gardner, who is a member of Trump’s commission, said last month that he would comply with panel vice chairman Kris Kobach’s request for voter information, but said that only public information would be shared.
Kobach asked for the information in a June 28 letter to election officials of all 50 states, saying the information would help the commission “fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting.”
Gardner said that only voters’ names, addresses, party affiliations, if any, and voting history would be shared. Voting history is whether someone voted in a general election, and in what party someone voted in a primary election.
Gardner has the support of Gov. Chris Sununu in his intention to comply with Kobach’s request.
State Rep. Neal Kurk R-Weare, state Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, and the ACLU immediately filed suit, asking a court to order Gardner not to send the information.
Citing two statutes, their suit says that state law allows people to view the statewide public checklist on the centralized voter registration database at the State Records and Archives Center during normal business hours, but that the information cannot be printed, duplicated, transmitted or altered.
The other way to view the information is to “obtain hard copies of the public checklist from local municipalities on a town-by-town/ward-by-ward basis at a fee of at least $25 per municipality or ward,” the suit says.
Those restrictions are in place to prevent “mass dissemination of this statewide voter…