Secretary of State William Gardner has released dozens of documents related to his participation in a presidential commission on voting integrity, responding to a Right-to-Know request from the New Hampshire office of the American Civil Liberties Union. Many of the documents relate to logistics for a meeting the commission held in New Hampshire last month, and preparations by the Secretary of State’s office to submit voter data the committee has request. Some of the most colorful material consists of emails and postcards from New Hampshire residents urging Gardner to boycott the effort. The commission, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, held its first meeting outside of Washington at St. Anselm College in Manchester last month.
The Right-to-Know request by the New Hampshire ACLU is part of a national campaign by the organization targeting commission members who currently serve as secretaries of state. Similar requests were sent to Kobach, Connie Lawson of Indiana and Matthew Dunlap of Maine, as well as Christy McCormick, commissioner of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
“We believe the outcome of the commission’s investigation is preordained,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, when the requests were announced. “It’s time to shed light on whether any commission members were crafting policy recommendations before their investigation was launched or the commission was even formally announced.”