Following the Trump administration’s request for voter registration data as part of the newly established Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, some U.S. states have seen an uptick in citizens moving to keep their information out of the federal government’s hands. Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and vice chairman of the commission, sent a letter asking officials in each state to provide personal records of voters — including name, birthdate, last four digits of Social Security numbers, party affiliation and felony convictions. A total of 16 secretaries of state and Elections Board members spoke with ABC News about constituents’ responses to the request. Ten states noted at least a slight increase in citizen calls and emails, and some citizens inquired about the process to unregister to vote, or how to secure their personal information.
… Chief deputy secretary of state for Idaho, Tim Hurst, estimated a ”gazillion calls and over 500 emails” of voters asking to not share their confidential information.
Kobach has been called the ‘king of voter suppression’ by the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Voting RightsProject, Dale Ho. The Kansas secretary of state was already involved in four lawsuits filed by the ACLU before the commission’s letter was released, all of which dealt with voter disenfranchisement.
… No state has yet to comply with the request in full, with 48 states either refusing to comply completely or only providing a portion of the information. Hawaii and Nebraska have not responded to the request. Critics of the letter include the ACLU and the advocacy groups Public Citizen, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. All four organizations have filed lawsuits against the commission’s requests.