White House Panel Asks States For Their Voter Rolls

Kristopher Drake
July 1, 2017

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson says she can not fully comply with a request from President Donald Trump's newly established Commission on Election Integrity.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican, said Friday the state would not release personal information, but would treat the letter as a public records request and provide only information that is considered in the public domain under the law.

Georgia's Secretary of State's office will provide the Trump Administration's new Election Integrity Commission the state's publicly available voter list.

A letter sent Wednesday from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asks secretaries of state to provide about a dozen points of voter data and respond to questions about fraud and election integrity.

Williams re-affirmed Thursday that successful voter fraud is rare in Colorado, and said he was happy that the federal government was seeking input from state officials on how to improve election administration.

It's against this backdrop that Donald Trump has decided Hans von Spakovsky should serve on the White House's "elections integrity" commission, which exists to find evidence of widespread voter fraud - a popular myth in far-right imaginations, thanks to people like Hans von Spakovsky.

Several voting rights organizations have also condemned the request, including the League of Women Voters, whose president, Chris Carson, called it a "fishing expedition" and a "distraction from the real issue of voter suppression" in a statement.

The letter was followed by a separate one from the US Justice Department, which asked states to reveal how they maintain their voter rolls.

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill also released a statement, saying that she would share publicly available data with the commission but complaining about a "lack of openness" about what the panel is looking for. But what specific information each one keeps, and for how long, is up to them.

In letters to other states, the federal commission also requested military status, overseas citizen information and other information.

Under federal law, each state must compile a statewide voter database. Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center have warned that the commission will be a distraction from these laws, which they say are the biggest voting-related problem of our time.

The commission is asking for the data by July 14. The commission is chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a voter-fraud hardliner. Lotter said the goal of the commission is to have a report to the President within a year.

Even though any voter suppression is yet to be proved for the 2016 elections, the fact that of the more than 231 million eligible voters in the nation, 49.6 percent did not vote on November 8, raised a number of concerns among people and election authorities alike, Pacific Standard reported. Secretary Kobach was fined for misleading the courts in his own state of Kansas, where his attempts to disenfranchise Kansas voters have been overthrown by the courts.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article