Poll of New Hampshire Voters Shows Clear Support for Ending the Patriot Act in Its Current Form
May 18, 2015
CONTACT: Devon Chaffee, 603-224-5591,  devon@aclu-nh.org
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union released the results of a poll today showing decisive support among New Hampshire voters for substantive reform to the U.S. government’s surveillance practices. The survey found nearly two-thirds of respondents in New Hampshire believe that the Patriot Act should not be reauthorized in its current form.
This support remains constant regardless of age, gender, or party affiliation – including Republicans who favor reform by a 20 point margin. This uniform agreement that the government’s surveillance authority must be reformed is in notable contrast to the views expressed by some GOP presidential hopefuls such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. While Governor Christie has expressed doubt that Americans need or want their privacy protected, the Republican voters he is currently courting in New Hampshire clearly disagree.
The poll also found more than three in four New Hampshire voters are concerned that the government is storing American’s personal information. There was considerable consensus around several arguments in favor of strengthening American’s privacy rights. Eighty-five percent of respondents found it persuasive that the local police and the FBI should have a get a warrant in order to search phone and email records. Similarly, 75 percent believed that the government’s current ability to access personal conversations was a reason to implement reform.
Congress is currently considering reauthorizing components of the Patriot Act, including the controversial Section 215. This provision is being used to authorize bulk collection of telephone metadata despite a federal appeals court ruling earlier this month finding the program illegal – a case brought to court and argued by the ACLU.
The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, surveyed 400 likely voters in New Hampshire between April 24 and April 28, 2015.
The poll results are at: