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NH Almost Sends Private Voter Information About Domestic Violence Victims To Trump’s Commission

Today, the Attorney General’s office announced that the Secretary of State became aware of confidential voter information included on some marked voter checklists submitted to the State Archives.  The error was found during preparation to send personal voter data to President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission.

“A very small number of handwritten entries related to voters who at one time were entitled to vote non-publicly by absentee ballot because they had domestic violence protective orders issued by courts but were added to the public checklist as voters who voted in person at the 2016 General Election,” stated Secretary of State Gardner in a press release issued this morning.

“Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan told WMUR Tuesday that a total of 39 people statewide were under protective order at the time of the 2016 general election and that “approximately seven” of them were incorrectly placed on the public checklists submitted to the state archives by “a handful” of communities,” reported WMUR. 

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) released the following statement:

“Today’s announcement by the Attorney General’s office regarding the public release of private voter information is very concerning.  This episode leaves more questions unanswered about the safety of Granite Staters’ voter information and reinforces the belief that New Hampshire should join the many states that have chosen not to share personal voter information with the Trump commission.”

“Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking are protected under New Hampshire law and the careless release of this protected personal information may place a victim and their children in danger from an abuser.  Endangering the health and welfare of these victims because of unfounded voter fraud accusations is unconscionable.”

“After spending considerable time and effort in recent years lobbying for legislation that increases documentation requirements on voters, it is imperative that the Secretary of State’s office focus on providing guidance to our hardworking local election officials and assuring that current laws protecting voter information are not jeopardized.”

NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement:

“New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die spirit puts a high value on privacy. Today, we learned that New Hampshire’s attempt to comply with Trump’s sham Election Integrity Commission request interfered with the most sacred privacy imaginable. And for what? To soothe Trump’s fragile ego and manufacture proof of Trump’s voter fraud conspiracy theories?

Domestic violence victims deserve to have their vote protected and non-public. This was never a consideration for Governor Sununu when he went on TV to say ‘comply’ with the commission or you’re ‘playing politics,’ nor did he consider the questionable legality of handing over the information in the first place. This kind of unthinking snafu is why states default to protecting their voters’ information. We can’t trust this info with a leak-happy White House who has proven they’re not even capable of keeping code word secrets. This should be a moment of reckoning: New Hampshire must stand up to this sham Election Integrity Commission along with the vast majority of states around the country.”

Secretary of State Gardner stressed in his press release that the State “has not released any public records and will not release the requested copies of the marked checklists until an ongoing process of redacting handwritten non-public information is completed.”

State House Report Cards Available

Website provides voters with level of detail rarely found in down-ballot races

A friendly reminder that Granite State Progress has made publicly available a State House Report Card of more than 200 roll call votes from the past session, categorized by issue and legislator; and a State Senate Report Card of just over 50 roll call votes. The website makes available the same type of resources and attention that top of the ticket races have enjoyed for years.

GSP State House & State Senate Report Cards

http://www.granitestateprogress.org/service/legislator-report-cards

“Granite Staters looking to cut through the election rhetoric can visit our website and see for themselves the voting record of their current legislators, many of whom are running for re-election,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Granite State Progress Executive Director. “We’ve removed the confusing legislative jargon around these bills and instead explained in a straight-forward way what they really mean for Granite State families and small businesses. State legislators make big decisions about local roads, public schools and the economy. It’s long overdue that voters are provided with the same type of resources and attention for down ballot races that top of the ticket candidates have enjoyed for years.”

Examples of the roll call vote descriptions include:

  • Rep. Will Smith voted for repealing major sections of the anti-bullying law and leaving our children vulnerable to bullying on-line and off school grounds. (HB370, Roll Call #69, 3/15/2011)
  • Rep. Will Smith voted for urging Congress to privatize all aspects of Social Security. Privatizing social security puts at risk benefits for New Hampshire’s current and future retirees. *ALEC Model Legislation* (HCR39, Roll Call #190, 3/21/2012)

“Whether or not you agree with Granite State Progress’ particular take on a piece of legislation, one thing is clear: you will know exactly which legislators you side with,” Rice Hawkins said. “We are very proud to provide this resource to Granite State voters.”

For the full, original press release, visit http://www.granitestateprogress.org/press-releases. The website was built by Hoeferweb, an Internet Marketing and Strategy Agency based in Keene, New Hampshire and online at www.hoeferweb.com.

 

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