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NH hearing on release of voting records cancelled in light of national lawsuit

By DAVE SOLOMON
State House Bureau

July 11. 2017 12:04PM

NASHUA - A Superior Court hearing challenging the Secretary of State's decision to provide New Hampshire voter information to a federal Commission on Election Integrity was postponed at the last minute Tuesday in light of a national lawsuit filed by a group focused on electronic information privacy.

The hearing, which had been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court, was canceled after lawyers representing State Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, and Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, filed a motion to stay the hearing, citing a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The complaint names the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and seeks a temporary restraining order on the data collection effort in all 50 states until the privacy center can argue its case in court.

On Monday, a representative of the commission wrote to election officials in all 50 states, including New Hampshire, requesting that they not submit any data until the district court in Washington, D.C., rules on the temporary restraining order.

“We will follow up with you with further instructions once the judge issues her ruling,” the email states.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has agreed to comply with the commission's request and will hold off on submitting any data until receiving further notice.

“Therefore the parties agree that immediate resolution of the petitioner's request for a preliminary injunction is, at this juncture, no longer necessary,” wrote attorney Gilles Bissonnette, legal director for the ACLU-NH, in a motion filed Tuesday morning.

Bissonnette, along with attorney Paul Twomey of Chichester, is representing Lasky and Kurk in the New Hampshire case.

“If the commission renews its request or defendant (Gardner) plans on submitting any data, notice will be provided … and if necessary, petitioners will make a formal filing renewing their request for a preliminary injunction hearing,” Bissonnette wrote.

(This article will be updated)


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