The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, created by Donald Trump to investigate alleged voter fraud and other violations of the integrity of our election system, has asked secretaries of state in all states to submit personal data on all registered voters. Shockingly, the letter from commission vice-chair Kris Kobach says the commission would make this sensitive information public:
The letter asked state officials to deliver the data within two weeks, and says that all information turned over to the commission will be made public. The letter does not explain what the commission plans to do with voter roll data, which often includes the names, ages and addresses of registered voters. The commission also asked for information beyond what is typically contained in voter registration records, including Social Security numbers and military status, if the state election databases contain it [Jessica Huseman, “Presidential Commission Demands Massive Amounts of State Voter Data,” ProPublica, 2017.06.29].
I contacted the office of Secretary of State Shantel Krebs to ask what if any of the data requested by the commission she would submit. Her assistant Jason Williams replied this afternoon by e-mail, “Secretary Krebs will not be responding or sharing voter information with the commission.”
Kobach and the commission can still obtain South Dakota’s statewide voter registration file, just as any other citizen can, by submitting the proper form and $2,500 to the state. South Dakota voters are required to include on the registration form either the last four digits of their Social Security number or their driver’s license number; if they have neither, they can still register at their county auditor’s office by signing a statement swearing they have neither (SDCL 12-4-5.4). However, voter registrations are public records, state law (SDCL 12-4-9) prohibits the secretary and other election record keepers from giving the public access to those driver’s license and Social Security numbers.
In other words, Kris Kobach, also a secretary of state (from Kansas), working under the authority if Donald Trump, has asked our secretary of state to violate the law. Her office’s response to my e-mail indicates Secretary Krebs will choose to follow the law.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon is also refusing to surrender this data to the commission:
“I will not hand over Minnesota voters’ sensitive personal information to the commission,” Simon, a Democrat, said in a statement Friday. “I have serious doubts about the commission’s credibility and trustworthiness. Its two co-chairs have publicly backed President Trump’s false and irresponsible claim that millions of ineligible votes were cast in the last election” [Rachel E. Stassen-Berger, “Minnesota Refuses to Hand over Voter Information to Presidential Commission,” Pioneer Press, 2017.06.30].
The commission is asking states to submit their voter files through a government file transfer website, which the Kobach letter cites as https:/
And on Firefox:
I head for the weekend feeling much more confident in Shantel Krebs’s ability to protect the integrity of our election system and our voter data than in Kris Kobach’s or Donald Trump’s.