State election officials express frustration after meeting feds

Trump's voter commission safeguards our rights

The commission was set up by President Donald Trump's administration.

Perhaps California's open government laws give their elected officials the right to pick and choose whose request is acceptable and whose is not.

As for voter fraud, reality is probably somewhere between those who naively claim voter fraud is nonexistent and those who claim voter fraud is widespread.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he'll only hand over voter information that is already public record.

"We want the president and the Congress to recognize we are the authorities who operate these elections on a day-to-day basis", said Paul Pate, Iowa's Republican Secretary of State. "The thought process is to get this data and look at it in a comprehensive and bipartisan manner".

"What the administration describes as public information is in fact highly regulated and rarely disclosed", EPIC President and Executive Director Marc Rotenberg told reporters after an hour-long hearing.

"They have withdrawn their request for now so there's no reason for us to send them the data", says Williams' spokeswoman Lynn Bartels.

The U.S. does not have a federalized voting system, relying instead on 9,000 different voting jurisdictions and more than 185,000 individual precincts.

"The standard statewide list also includes whether a voter has participated in the last two statewide primaries and general elections", he said. "My response to the Commission is, you're not going to play politics with Louisiana's voter data, and if you are, then you can purchase the limited public information available by law, to any candidate running for office".

At least 44 states have indicated that they won't provide all of their voter data, with some saying they would provide nothing and others providing what information they could under state laws. Those states are: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Lousiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Montana, Connecticut and Vermont. A judge in Washington, D.C., federal court is now considering EPIC's request.

The lawsuit seeks to "prevent the unauthorized collection of state voter information data" and to prohibit the Florida secretary of state from providing the information.

Those yet to offer a decision are: Idaho, Illinois, New Jersey, West Virginia and Hawaii.

Kobach said the commission would cross-reference the data provided by states against federal databases to determine the number of non-citizens registered in each state, dead people still on the voter rolls and people registered in more than one jurisdiction.

Kobach said in the court filing that Pence chairs the presidential commission and named other members of the panel. "We deem the President's Election Integrity Commission to be a baseless tool to promote voter suppression and Mr. Kobach's unlawful abuse of his role as head of the Commission for partisan ends only underscores the illegitimacy of the Commission itself".

"I urge the Board of Elections to reconsider compromising voter's privacy and security and refuse the commission's request in its entirety", Adams said.

A spokeswoman for Kobach did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday. "In 2016, we are proud that Florida had record turnout and a smooth, secure election".

The Washington-based ACLU's lawsuit filed Monday in federal district court claims that the commission violated the law by not giving the public notice of the commission's meetings and not supplying documents related to the group's work.

What is most troubling to voting rights and civil rights activists is the potential that this commission is ramping up and institutionalizing voter suppression, which has always been central to Republican electoral strategy.

The fomenters of outrage are trying to play us for the idiot, directing their sound and fury at the wrong target, for perverse purposes: they do not want to cooperate in rooting out voter fraud all across America.



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