CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner is defending a request for voter roll information from President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission and says he will provide the state’s publicly available information, though not all state’s concur.
Gardner is a member of the president’s commission which this week asked states to send voter information including names, birthdates and partial Social Security numbers if such information is public in their states.
In New Hampshire, the public database consists of names, addresses, party affiliations and voting history, including whether people voted in a general election and which party’s primary they voted in. It does not include Social Security numbers or birthdates.
Gardner said the information is already public and is in fact routinely sold to outside groups.
“If only half the states agree, we’ll have to talk about that. I think, whatever they do, we’ll work with that,” said Gardner, adding that the commission will discuss the survey at its July 19 meeting.
He said he has received calls from unhappy constituents who said they didn’t want Trump to see their personal information.
“But this is not private, and a lot of people don’t know that,” he said.
Massachusetts is among the states that will not comply with the order. Some of the most populous states, including California and New York, are also refusing to comply.
But even some conservative states that voted for Trump, such as Texas, say they can provide only partial responses based on what is legally allowed under state law.
Trump asked in a tweet Saturday what states are trying to hide.
Given the mishmash of information Trump’s commission will receive, it’s unclear how useful it will be or what the commission will do with it. Trump established the commission to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 elections, but Democrats have blasted it as a biased panel that is merely looking for ways to suppress the vote.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted the decision by some governors and secretaries of state not to comply.
“I think that that’s mostly about a political stunt,” she told reporters at a White House briefing Friday.
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican serving his third term, said in a statement he had not received the commission’s request.
If he does receive it?
“My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” he said. “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)