The Secretary of State will proceed with the release of information from voter checklists to a presidential commission on election fraud, now that a lawsuit filed by two New Hampshire lawmakers and the ACLU to stop the release has been resolved. The resolution was announced in a Nashua courtroom just as a hearing was about to get under way Monday on a request for an injunction to stop Secretary of State Bill Gardner from providing the information to the election commission. The case came down to interpretation of language within the same state statute (RSA 654), which in one part states “the information contained on the checklist of a town or city … is public information subject to (the Right to Know law),” but in another section regarding the statewide database maintained by the Secretary of State, says “The voter database shall be private and confidential and shall not be subject to (the Right to Know law).”
The state maintains that Gardner is releasing information from the paper checklists kept by cities and towns, not the statewide electronic voter database launched in 2002 in compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act.
The voter database contains information that is broader than what is contained on voter checklists, including current information on the voter registration form, accepted absentee ballot applications, information from the voter checklist and voter actions as recorded on the checklist (voted, did not vote).
The checklist itself contains only full name, domicile address, mailing address and party affiliation. Gardner pledged in a letter to the ACLU and other plaintiffs that he would release only the information from the checklist, in PDF format, essentially a picture of each document.