This week, controversy was raised when New Hampshire’s governor and secretary of state announced they would comply with a request from the Trump administration for information about New Hampshire voters.
The information was requested by a new election commission, charged with investigating alleged voter fraud.
"We fully intend to comply," said Republican Gov. Chris Sununu. "This is a bipartisan commission looking at integrity in the election process. That is something we take seriously here in the State of New Hampshire.”
“All voter information in this state is public, and that's the information we'll be providing. Nothing else."
- Gov. Chris Sununu
What information NH will provide
New Hampshire will give the commission names, addresses, party affiliation and records related to whether a person voted and, for primary elections, which party ballot they requested, going back to 2006. This is information that has previously been available to political parties for purchase during each election cycle. Any citizen can also view the same information at the state archives, though they are not permitted to print or manipulate the data.
It is not yet clear whether the election commission will be asked to pay for the data.
Democratic Secretary of State William Gardner, who is also a member of Trump’s commission, pointed out that the records to be shared did not include private information.
"We don't have boxes full of personal information about people in our archives. What we have is what we've publicly shared for decades.”
- Sec. of State William Gardner
However, Sununu and Gardner’s compliance isn’t complete. The commission had also requested voter birthdates, records of election law violations, and the last four digits of social security numbers. That information will not be released by New Hampshire.
Opposition to sharing data
Opponents of the move expressed concern about the broader implications of the request, citing concerns about a potential violation of voter privacy or misuse of the data.
"I am very concerned that the requested information would be used to create a national voter database that can be used to disenfranchise voters.”
- U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan
Others argued that the decision to release the information shouldn’t lie with Gardner, who as a member of the commission could be said to have a conflict of interest.
Several states, including New York, Virginia and Kentucky, have stated they will deny the commission’s request outright, while many states will echo Gardner’s approach, only releasing publicly-available information.
Do you approve of the decision to submit publicly-available New Hampshire voter data to Trump’s election commission? Cast your vote—yes or no—and tell us why in the comments.