Arkansas is the only state so far to share its voter registration data with President Trump’s voter integrity commission after the panel requested that all states submit voter information, according to multiple reports.
Arkansas officially submitted the data electronically on Thursday and later issued the following statement on being the first to comply with the commission’s directive:
“It may be that our submission was the only one so far, we have no idea on what schedule other states have for submitting their data,” said Chris Powell, the assistant director for communications and education at the Arkansas secretary of state’s office. “Since we were submitting the data electronically, we saw no reason for delaying our submission.”
As Arkansas became the only state to turn over data, a federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington heard arguments Friday on the legality of President Trump’s voting commission request to collect voter data, including voter names, birth dates, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and political party affiliation.
Kollar-Kotelly has pledged to rule swiftly on the request for a temporary restraining order to halt the data collection sought by the watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in its lawsuit filed against the commission, citing that such a request breaks federal data and privacy laws.
Most states have refused to comply with the commission’s request or have stated they would only provide partial information, according to what is permissible under state law, and exclude what they deem as “sensitive information.”
Powell weighed in on how Arkansas views submitting voters’ sensitive information:
“Voter lists are considered public information and the commission’s request was essentially no different than any other data request that we receive on a routine basis,” Powell told reporters at The Hill. “We are certainly mindful regarding voters’ sensitive information, and we are also mindful of the law in Arkansas.”
Meanwhile, other secretaries of state not only took issue with the type of data being requested but the method in which the commission is collecting data by uploading it online.
At Friday’s hearing, Judge Kollar-Kotelly reportedly expressed concern about housing the information on a government server that may not be properly certified to contain such sensitive data about American citizens.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent a letter to all 50 states on June 28, requesting registered voters’ names, addresses, dates of birth, partial social security numbers, political party affiliation, voter history, felony convictions, and whether voters have registered in more than one state.
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