Bending to widespread resistance, public outcry, and court challenges, Donald Trump’s election fraud commission (or should I say fraud election commission?) has asked told states not to send their voter data yet:
[Commission vice-chair and Kanses Secretary of State Kris] Kobach said in a court filing Monday that the commission has sent states a follow-up notice asking them to hold off on submitting the voter records until after a federal judge rules on the temporary restraining order. The commission will also not download the voter data Arkansas has already submitted using the DOD Safe Access File Exchange, Kobach said in the filing. Arkansas is the only state so far to share voting records with the commission [“Trump Voter Commission Tells States Not to Send Data—Yet,” Tribune News Service via Governing, 2017.07.10].
The Electronic Privacy Information Center is seeking a temporary restraining order against the Trump/Koback commission, contending that the commission is violating the E-Government Act of 2002 by collecting personal data before establishing adequate data protections:
Specifically, an agency must prepare and publish a Privacy Impact Assessment that explains its methodology, outline how it would secure its data, and state whether the data would be disclosed to others. EPIC claims the Pence-Kobach commission has ignored this safeguard while storing voter records on an unsecure system that is not designed to protect personal data. By doing so, EPIC insists, the commission has run afoul of federal law [Mark Joseph Stern, “Trump Voter Fraud Commission Halts Data Collection Amid Torrent of Lawsuits and Complaints,” Slate, 2017.07.10].
In a supplemental brief filed yesterday, Kobach and commission lawyers say that the commission will not use the Department of Defense file transfer website provided in the original request to state election officials “In order not to impact the ability of other customers to use” the DOD site. Arkansas has already submitted data to the DOD SAFE site; Kobach tells the court the commission will not open that file and will delete it from the DOD site. Instead, the defendants tell the court, “Director of White House Information Technology is repurposing an existing system that regularly accepts personally identifiable information through a secure, encrypted computer application within the White House Information Technology enterprise.”
So instead of letting the Pentagon handle data security, Team Trump will do it themselves. Team Trump… which named to Trump’s election fraud commission a former Ohio Secretary of State who twice leaked the Social Security numbers of more than a million Ohio voters. My confidence is not roused.