President Trump’s voting commission on Monday asked states and the District to hold off submitting the sweeping voter data the panel had requested until a federal judge in Washington decides whether the White House has done enough to protect Americans’ privacy. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a watchdog group, has asked U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to block the commission’s data request, arguing that the panel had not conducted the full privacy impact statement required by federal law for new government electronic data-collection systems. Separately Monday, two civil liberties groups filed lawsuits to prevent the commission from holding its first scheduled meeting next week, alleging that the panel had been working in secret and in violation of government regulations on public transparency.
The two new lawsuits add to the potential roadblocks faced by the commission, whose request for voting information from more than 150 million registered voters has drawn bipartisan criticism across the states as an assault on privacy and states’ rights and a stealth attempt at voter suppression.
At least 44 states have indicated that they won’t provide all of their voter data, with some saying they would provide nothing and others turning over what they could under state laws.