A court petition by the American Civil Liberties Union and two state lawmakers seeking to block the secretary of state from sending voter data to President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission cites a 2006 state law that restricts how such voter information can be disseminated. But the sponsor of that bill 11 years ago, former House Speaker William O’Brien, said Monday the legislation was not intended to keep voter information that is already available publicly from the federal government. The ACLU’s reinstated petition to block Secretary of State William Gardner from sending publicly available voter data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on which Gardner serves, says that in 2006, Gardner’s office supported the O’Brien-sponsored bill that restricted the use of the data.
“The secretary of state has no statutory authority to release a copy of the statewide public checklist to anyone other than a political party, political committee or candidate for New Hampshire office,” wrote ACLU legal director Gilles Bissonnette in the petition filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court last Friday.
The lawsuit by the ACLU; state Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua; and state Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, was reinstated after the commission vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, renewed an earlier request for publicly available data from all states. That request followed a federal court ruling in Washington, D.C. denying a voter-privacy nonprofit group’s attempt to block the transfer of data.