The Trump administration announced plans to keep voter roll data it has requested from all 50 states and the District on White House computers under the direction of a member of Vice President Pence’s staff, it told a federal judge Thursday. The disclosure of the White House role came in a government filing required in a lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a watchdog organization that has asked a federal judge in Washington to block the requests for voter data until the impact on Americans’ privacy can be fully assessed. A decision on the request for a temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is expected as early as Friday afternoon. The commission’s request for voting information has caused a nationwide uproar.
The states that won’t provide all of their voter data grew to a group of at least 44 by Wednesday, including some that said they would provide nothing. Others said that they will provide what information they can but that state laws control what can be made public.
The vice president’s office said the commission’s letter asked only for publicly available data under state laws, stating that 20 states have agreed to share at least some data and 16 more are reviewing the request.
President Trump has made claims widespread voter fraud cost him the popular vote in November, although critics say the claim is unsubstantiated and is a pretext for voter suppression.