A federal judge didn’t buy the Justice Department’s argument that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach couldn’t speak to what was being done with the data collected by the now-defunct voter fraud commission he led. The judge ordered that Kobach or another commission member file a declaration giving a full explanation. The declaration will state “what information was collected or created by the Commission and/or its members on behalf of the Commission, where that information was and is being stored, by whom the information has been accessed, and what plans were made by the Commission to maintain or dispose of the information,” U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke said Thursday.
The order came in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Florida against the commission and Florida last year, for turning over state voter roll data Kobach had requested.
President Trump dissolved the commission earlier this month, citing the many lawsuits that it faced. Litigation around the ACLU-Florida case, and some of other legal challenges, has continued. The Justice Department had previously submitted a declaration from a White House information technology official in charge of its storage of the data in which he said the data will not be turned over to the Department of Homeland Security, where Kobach has said the voter fraud investigation will continue.