North Dakota state officials are unable to provide requested voter information to a controversial committee studying alleged voter fraud, Secretary of State Al Jaeger told the commission this week. In a letter to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity dated Tuesday, Sept. 5, Jaeger said North Dakota doesn’t register voters and state law doesn’t allow information maintained in its Central Voter File to be shared “except with certain individuals and groups and for a specific limited purpose.” He said information in the CVF is only available to candidates, political parties and political committees and may only be used for election-related purposes. “The commission does not qualify as an eligible recipient,” Jaeger, a Republican, wrote.
Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum said last month they may provide some information after Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the commission’s vice chairman, provided assurances that the commission wouldn’t release voters’ “personally identifiable information” and would dispose of the data “as permitted by federal law.” But Jaeger said in an interview that “after review, and looking at exactly what the law says, the commission … doesn’t meet the qualifications.”
“We can’t distribute it to someone where the law doesn’t allow us to distribute it to,” he added.
In his letter, Jaeger said concerned citizens have asked his office to not share information on their taxes or voting record. But the CVF doesn’t include tax information, Social Security numbers or records on how people voted “since voting is conducted by secret ballot,” he said. “The integrity of the election process is essential and it is my sincere hope that the commission will abide by its stated goal of improving the voting process,” Jaeger wrote.