Much ado was made earlier this year when the Trump administration asked all 50 states for their voter-registration rolls. Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney told Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, that the commission could have only the voter registration information available under Idaho law — name, address, party affiliation and election-participation history. Denney assured the public that other personal information collected on Idaho’s voter registration forms — a voter’s date of birth, driver’s-license number and the last four digits of the Social Security number — is not releasable under Idaho’s public records law. Kobach, he said, could not have it. In fact, Denney had already given it to Kobach. In February, Denney gave Kobach information on all registered Idaho voters, including two pieces of voters’ non-public personal information — their birth dates and abbreviated Social Security numbers. And that was not the first time. Kobach received the same information about Idaho voters in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Why did this happen?
Kobach wears two hats: In addition to his role on Trump’s commission, he is the Kansas secretary of state. In Kansas, he runs a program that collects voter registration records from around the country and compares them to ferret out voters who may be gaming the system.
Idaho voluntarily joined that program in 2014. Since then, the state has been sending Kobach voter rolls each year, including protected personal data.
Kobach started the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program in 2006 as a multistate compact to identify duplicate voter registrations and instances of multiple votes by the same individual.