A public interest watchdog group said Thursday that the Trump administration has complied with an agreement to destroy sensitive voter registration information that was collected by a now-defunct advisory commission on which Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach served as vice chair. The action came in response to two lawsuits, both of which have now been dismissed, in which separate groups sought to block the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity from obtaining or keeping those records. “President Trump’s now-disbanded voter fraud Commission was flawed from the start,” Paul Seamus Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at the Washington-based group Common Cause, said in a statement. “Common Cause and its 1.2 million members celebrate the end of this litigation and the destruction of the commission’s illegally collected voter data.” Common Cause was the lead plaintiff in one of the lawsuits. The other suit was led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, which agreed to dismiss its suit last week.
In July 2017, Kobach, who is now the Republican candidate for governor in Kansas, presided over the first meeting of the commission, which was chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. During that meeting, he touted a controversial multistate computer database system called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which the Kansas secretary of state’s office manages.
That system is intended to identify voters who are registered in multiple jurisdictions. But it has been the subject of intense criticism for producing false-positive matches and for its lack of security.
In June, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court in Kansas seeking to halt Kansas’ participation in the program until adequate security systems are put in place.