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Video: Liberal group protests over voter information

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader

July 07. 2017 9:33PM
Voters cast ballots at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry. (Union Leader file photo)



CONCORD — New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner told a left-wing, special interest group that the use of personal voter information will top the agenda of the first meeting July 19 of the Election Integrity Commission on which he serves.

Activists for Granite State Progress met and videotaped an impromptu meeting they had with Gardner in his office Thursday afternoon.

The group posted three short videos with those interviews on YouTube.

Gardner told the group that he believes Commission Vice Chairman Kris Kobach will author a “retraction letter,” making it clear that the requested voter roll information will not be made publicly available but instead will be used by the commission for its research into whether there was significant voter fraud in the 2016 election.

“I understand that he sent out a retraction letter. I haven’t seen it but I was told that last night,” Gardner said.

As seen in the following video, Gardner assured the protesting activists he would gain an assurance at the commission’s first meeting that the voter records will remain private before he turns over New Hampshire voter file information.



“I want to make sure that this is not in the public domain, and what the guarantees are for that, and I expect that is the case, and before it gets turned over, I will make sure that I’m satisfied that’s the case,” Gardner said.

Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins said she appreciated Gardner’s candor and hopes the commission will declare their intentions.

“We call on all of the commission members to speak out about the goals of this massive data collection and articulate exactly what they plan to do with this information once collected,” Rice Hawkins said. “Americans should be able to have confidence that this commission will not further jeopardize our elections and thus the commission should first outline its objectives and strategies before casting a wide net for voter data, especially when security experts have stated that the process selected is shaky and unsecured.”

President Donald Trump’s election commission requested detailed voter rolls from states, including the last four digits of Social Security numbers, birth dates, party affiliation, and voting history, as well as felony convictions, overseas voting, and registration in another state. Gardner said he plans to send name, address, party affiliation, and voter history.

Gov. Chris Sununu and Gardner have said they will turn over to the commission information on public voter files — names, addresses, voter history and party affiliations — that routinely is then sold to political parties, candidates and data management groups.

On Friday, U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, both D-N.H., joined 22 other Democratic senators with a letter urging the commission to rescind its request and if not, to answer several detailed questions about what they intend to do with the information.

“This request is unprecedented in scope and raises serious privacy concerns. The requested data is highly sensitive and after recent data breaches and cyber-attacks targeting our election infrastructure, we are deeply concerned about how the commission will maintain the security and privacy of the data,” the senators wrote.

Sununu and others have charged that attacks on the commission are partisan and that gathering this information can help rebuild voter confidence in the electoral process.

State GOP officials have also criticized the New Hampshire Democratic Party practice in 2007 of obtaining the voter list and then selling it to presidential candidates for lucrative fees.

The other two videos taken by the activist group can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVpEoWwOysY&feature=youtu.be and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGHY1vKFRRA&feature=youtu.be.

klandrigan@unionleader.com


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