After getting the cold shoulder from nearly all the states asked, Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has renewed its request for states to overturn their voter data.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), vice chairman of the panel, said in a letter to election officials this week that the data will only be looked at in terms of broad statistical conclusions, attempting to quench privacy concerns.
“The only information that will be made public are statistical conclusions drawn from the data, other general observations that may be drawn from the data, and any correspondence that you may send to the Commission in response to detailed questions the commission sought,” Kobach wrote. “Let me be clear, the Commission will not release any personally identifiable information from voter registration records to the public.”
Earlier requests for data by the panel were suspended July 10, after a lawsuit was filed in D.C. district court by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law attempting to delegitimize the panel on a technicality. Now, that the effort has failed, Kobach’s letter has been sent as a follow-up.
Nonetheless, it is difficult to foresee a scenario in which the states will be more forthcoming with their data, as initial requests were met with overt contempt. Mississippi’s Republican secretary of state told the commission it could “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”
But some secretaries of state are indeed changing their tune based on Kobach’s reassurances about privacy. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (R) said the revised request was “a significant improvement” over the initial request.
“It’s my hope that citizens who withdrew their registration will re-register, particularly once they realize that no confidential information will be provided and that the parties and presidential candidates already have the same publicly available information from the 2016 election cycle,” Williams said in a statement.
But deep blue states don’t appear to be close to budging.
“The commission’s new request does nothing to address the fundamental problems with the commission’s illegitimate origins, questionable mission or the preconceived and harmful views on voting rights that many of its commissioners have advanced,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement. “I will not provide this commission with Californians’ personal voter data.”
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