by Ed Naile
Taxpayers fund the Secretary of State’s Office and with it our State-Wide Voter Database. But there is a catch. Us common folk have little access to zero information on the database that would be usable in showing who is really voting in our state.
Here comes RSA 654:31-a, which slams a lid on useful public information.
654:31-a Right to Know Exemption. – The information contained on the checklist of a town or city, specifically, the name, domicile address, mailing address, town or city, and party affiliation, if any, of registered voters, except as otherwise provided by statute, is public information subject to RSA 91-A. All other information on the voter registration form, absentee registration affidavit, qualified voter affidavits, domicile affidavits, affidavit of religious exemption, application for absentee ballot, and contact information, including but not limited to a phone number and email address, provided to the secretary of state or other election officials for the purpose of receiving information about elections shall be treated as confidential information and the records containing this information shall be exempt from the public disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A, except as provided by statutes other than RSA 91-A. Notwithstanding the foregoing, qualified voter affidavits are public records subject to RSA 91-A for the sole purpose of challenging an individual registering to vote or voting, challenging ballots to be recounted, to the extent that such ballot challenges are specifically authorized by law, or determining the accuracy of any qualified voter affidavit. Election officials and law enforcement personnel in furtherance of their official duties may access and may disclose information from the voter registration form, qualified voter affidavits, affidavits of religious exemption, absentee registration affidavits, and applications for absentee ballots, if necessary to resolve a challenge to an individual registering to vote or voting, or if necessary to investigate or prosecute election law violations or any crime. Law enforcement access and use of such records for the investigation or prosecution of crimes unrelated to election law violations shall be limited to the records of the specific individuals who are the subject of the investigation or prosecution.
Source. 2003, 289:53. 2006, 94:1; 305:3. 2009, 278:2. 2010, 366:3. 2012, 284:12, eff. Sept. 1, 2015. 2017, 205:10, eff. Sept. 8, 2017. 2019, 331:3, eff. Oct. 15, 2019.
If you notice, the changes to this statute occur about every year making it tighter and tighter.
There are all kinds of excuses for not letting NH citizens see who is voting here, but there are ways to keep certain voter information non-public without shutting the entire database down.
Vermont sends me their updated checklist from their state every 30 days. I can look up many other states entire database of voters on-line. No charge. I simply ask.
If you look at the recent NH indictment of DC and Ct. resident Mary Kate Lowndes, you can see how important it is to let the public check out voter’s information. Ms. Lowndes was in our state and voted twice, 2016 and 2018, from an address in a shopping center. If she had voted in DC or Ct. we would be able to discover that – as was done by The Coalition of NH Taxpayers after Michael LaSean Williams flew here from Miami to vote in Hooksett in 2016, as well as Georgia, and Florida’s same general elections.
Our old pal Carl Robert Gibson was caught committing voter suppression and posing as a candidate in a 2015 special election. He was awarded a slap on the wrist forgery charge. But Carl also voted in Madison, Wisconsin, here in NH, and was registered in several other states, all while he was domiciled in Kentucky. I got most of the information from – other states.
Back to Lowndes.
Here is what the Windsor Town Clerks Office sent me by email, for free, about her. Why is this impossible for our state? There is no plausible excuse.