Ashcroft Defends Working With Trump Voter Fraud Commission

Frederick Owens
July 6, 2017

President Trump's quest to reign in the millions of supposed illegal voters has hit a snag.

Bringing every state on-board with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) - a nationwide network of states, which includes IL, that securely shares voter registration data - so that voter information nationwide would be accurate and up-to-date.

"Protecting the integrity of elections is a top priority, but it has been the policy of the Division of Elections to protect private personal information and only provide publicly available data to those who file a proper open public records request", Guadagno said in a statement Sunday on Facebook.

Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide certain types of voter information to the Trump administration's election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states.

President Donald Trump's election integrity commission should be allowed to collect voter information, the administration argued, opposing a lawsuit challenging the panel's work as infringing on privacy rights. That information - which includes voter names and addresses, birth dates, party affiliations if available, voting histories and the final four digits of social security numbers - would be stored and made publicly available, a practice EPIC's lawyers said was "without precedent and insane".

"It's not that they shouldn't [request the data], it's that they can't", said EPIC president Marc Rotenberg, who also represents the organization in the case. It was established by Trump to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 elections, but Democrats across the country have blasted the voter commission as a biased panel that is merely looking for ways to suppress the votes. "We will not give the commission information that is not public in our state". Kobach himself, as the secretary of state in Kansas, said he will not comply with the portion of the request that asks for Social Security numbers. "What are they trying to hide?"

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"That's not publicly available under the laws of our state", said Bryan Dean, spokesman for the Oklahoma State Election Board.

But the commission, which is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, seemed to misunderstand voter privacy laws nationwide.

Furthermore, this comes at a time when Republicans have sought to defund the Election Assistance Commission, a truly bi-partisan Commission. He said no information will be given out if it doesn't "follow the appropriate legal process for information requests". "This is an attempt to create a dossier on every voter in America".

As of Tuesday, Florida and Nebraska are still reviewing the commission's request; Hawaii and New Jersey did not returned CNN's request for comment.

"I'm appalled that they even included that in their (letter)", Jim Condos, the Vermont Secretary of State, told NBC News.

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