The chair of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission has penned a letter to all 50 states requesting their full voter-role data, including the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security number digits and voting history back to 2006 of potentially every voter in the state.
In the letter, a copy of which was made public by the Connecticut secretary of state, the commission head Kris Kobach said that “any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.”
On Wednesday, the office of Vice President Pence released a statement saying “a letter will be sent today to the 50 states and District of Columbia on behalf of the Commission requesting publicly available data from state voter rolls and feedback on how to improve election integrity.”
Under federal law, each state must maintain a central file of registered voters. States collect different amounts of information on voters. While the files are technically public records, states usually charge fees to individuals or entities who want to access them. Political campaigns and parties typically use these files to compile their massive voter lists.
In May, Trump created a commission to investigate alleged acts of voter fraud after he claimed, without evidence, that 3 million to 5 million undocumented immigrants voted illegally in the 2016 election. The commission is chaired by Kobach, who is the Kansas secretary of state and a voter-fraud hard-liner.
Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill said in a statement that Kobach “has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas” and that “given Secretary Kobach’s history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this Commission.”
Earlier this month, a federal judge fined Kobach $1,000 for “presenting misleading arguments in a voting-related lawsuit,” according to Politico.
Advocates for voting rights and civil liberties are also sounding alarms over the letter. “The concern is that this is going to be used to justify regressive and disenfranchising federal law,” Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the democracy program at New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice, said in an interview.
Vanita Gupta, chief executive of the Leadership…