You might have seen recent news reports about the state voter data requests from Trump's voter suppression commission… now is a critical time to speak out.
Trump's sham 'Election Integrity' Commission is forging ahead with its efforts to get voter data from the states.
Many governors and state election officials have spoken out against the commission's efforts to collect YOUR data and have stated their refusal to comply with all or part of the data requests. Their resistance is slowing down the commission, but it's not stopping them. Just the other day, the commission sent a request to New York State under the state's Freedom of Information Law to get the information they wanted, over the continued objections of New York officials who have expressed privacy concerns about submitting the data.
It's clear that the commission will be relentless in seeking this information so it's even more important now that states not make it easy for Trump's commission, because we know that commission leaders want to use the data to devise ways to block eligible voters from voting.
Commission co-chair Kris Kobach is even currently fighting to keep secret a memo that could unquestionably expose the real motives behind this commission.
Trump's bogus 'election integrity' commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is starting to build steam and will have a major meeting in less than two weeks.
To refresh your memory, this is the commission developed to justify Trump's outlandish conspiracy theory about millions of "illegal" voters in 2016. And Kris Kobach is perhaps America's foremost architect of voter suppression laws.
Last week, Kobach sent a letter to election officials in every state requesting comprehensive data on ALL registered voters, including the last four digits of their social security numbers, their addresses, their dates of birth, their political affiliations, and their voting histories.
This commission, ostensibly established to investigate "fraud" is a fraud itself, and includes some of the most notorious vote suppressors from the Far Right. There is no shortage of mischief they could seek to do with the requested data in their efforts to make it harder for certain eligible voters to cast their ballots.
National security experts fear that allowing the federal commission to compile all of this data in one place is a grave security risk — making the data much more vulnerable to cyber-attack. In fact, perhaps the main firewall against deeper Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and efforts by would-be election hackers in general, is that the US has dispersed voting systems with databases maintained at the state and county levels.
And the likelihood of voter suppression being the driving motive of this commission is something we all need to be sounding the alarm about.
The newest announced addition to the commission is Hans von Spakovsky of the right-wing Heritage Foundation. Von Spakovsky, a former Federal Elections Commissioner and DOJ official, has done more than anyone to propagate the myth of widespread voter fraud — which, in turn, laid the foundation for Donald Trump's conspiracy theory about 3-5 million "illegal" voters in 2016.
Kobach himself instituted policies in Kansas that disenfranchised tens of thousands — including an onerous proof of citizenship voting requirement that landed 1 in 7 of new registrants — 35,000 eligible voters — on the state's suspended voter list.
And last year, Kobach recruited a few other states to join him in a program called Crosscheck, which was found to grossly inflate claims of voter fraud with sloppy data matching between states' voter rolls. We fear that the Pence-Kobach voter suppression commission could be looking to replicate these efforts on a much larger scale.
Thank you! Your vigilance defense of voting rights is needed now more than ever.
Katie O'Connell, Digital Communications Coordinator
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