Kris Kobach just asked for help building a national voter file in two weeks. That’s massively irresponsible. And it might well be illegal. Yesterday, on behalf of a federal commission that seems slapped together to validate precooked but half-baked conclusions, Kris Kobach asked states to send him all publicly available information in the state voter files. First, let’s be clear about the scope of the behemoth he wants to assemble in the span of two weeks, with no public conversation. He’s aiming for a national file with hundreds of millions of records. It would include the name, address, political party affiliation (why is this relevant?), and voting history of virtually every voter in America. For some states, it would include at least some, and occasionally all, information about date of birth. For some states, it would include telephone numbers and email addresses. For some states, the voter rolls will include information about minors, who are not yet eligible to vote but are “pre-registered” so that they can vote without undue delay when they turn 18.
Kobach has also asked for Social Security digits and signatures, among other pieces of data. Thankfully, much of that, at least, will be confidential, and should not be turned over. Two weeks is a very short turnaround for a request like this, though — and the “voter files” for states with millions of records are often not in one neat spreadsheet. Which means that we’d all better hope there are absolutely no mistakes in the compilation and transmission process. Fingers crossed, everyone.
Because Kobach’s commission is subject to federal public records requirements, the data become public the moment they arrive. Yes, they should theoretically only be getting “public information.” But there are a few big differences between the information in each state’s voter file and one national file with hundreds of millions of records.
Full Article: All Your Voter Data Are Belong To Us | Take Care.