A Texas district judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos from handing voter information to President Donald Trump’s voter fraud investigation commission. The order, which came out Tuesday, adds Texas to a growing list of states not complying with the president’s investigation into the 2016 elections, which Trump says suffered from large-scale voter fraud. Judge Tim Sulak of the Austin-based 353rd Texas Civil District Court issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed July 20 by the League of Women Voters of Texas, its former president Ruthann Geer and the Texas NAACP against Pablos and Keith Ingram, the Texas Elections Division director in the the secretary of state’s office. The lawsuit seeks to stop the state from handing over voter data from the state’s computerized voter registration files to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The suit argues that doing so would reveal voters’ personal information, “which may be used to solicit, harass, or otherwise infringe upon the privacy of Texas voters.” The secretary of state’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment for this article.
The League’s current president, Elaine Wiant, said the organization is especially concerned that releasing the data could make millions of voters’ personal information public, making it vulnerable to commercial use. Texas law forbids public voter information from being used commercially, but with the presidential commission, Wiant said “there is no guarantee how it will get used.” Wiant also said the League is concerned that releasing the data would make voters’ birthdates public.
“In today’s world, that is just way too much information to be made available to the public,” Wiant said. “There are serious security concerns.”