President Trump is taking the next step in his effort to crack down on possible voter fraud in the 2016 election. Veuer’s Nick Cardona (@nickcardona93) has that story.

A leader of President Trump’s commission on voter fraud has made a new request to Arizona for voter data previously denied by Secretary of State Michele Reagan

Reagan’s office received the request from Kris Kobach, vice chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on Thursday. It follows a ruling from a federal judge earlier this week that allowed the commission to continue seeking voter records.

The secretary of state’s legal team is reviewing the request. They “hope to have a decision at some point soon,” Matt Roberts, Reagan’s spokesman said.

In Kobach’s latest request, he said the commission won’t release any “personally identifiable information” about any individual or group from records submitted to them. He wrote that these records will be kept “confidential and secure,” and that the data will be discarded once the commission’s analysis is finished.

In an earlier request, information provided to the commission was to be made publicly available.

Statistical conclusions taken from the data will be the only information made public, the new request states. 

“Let me be clear,” Kobach wrote in the request. “The commission will not release any personally identifiable information from voter registration records to the public.”

This updated language won’t persuade Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes to release data, however.

Fontes said he doesn’t trust Kobach, and regardless of Reagan’s decision, he is the custodian of these records for Maricopa County. 

“I have no reason to believe that the sudden change of attitude he’s got is going to extend to reality,” Fontes said about Kobach.

Roberts said the Secretary of State’s office also has the ability to export the data, though whether either Reagan or Fontes can refuse the commission’s updated request — since the information is a public record — will be a question for attorneys.

This latest request for voter data was not discussed at the commission’s first meeting on July 19, according to a press release from Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, who also serves on the commission.

Dunlap said it raises concerns about the commission’s process.

“If we’re going to act as a commission, we should really be considering the entire request for data as a body, and determining what it is we’re researching and how to look for it,” Dunlap said in the release.

The debate over voter data started when President Trump alleged, without proof, that “millions” of people voted illegally in the November 2016 election. In May, he created the voting commission via executive order to investigate that.

The Commission originally requested the data from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.,  on June 28 but halted their request due to the legal challenge.

Many states have indicated they won’t provide the Commission with the data it wants in full. Some have completely denied the request while others have said they will withhold some confidential information. 

The commission originally requested names, addresses, dates of birth, last four digits of Social Security numbers, voter history from 2006 onward and party registrations, among other information. The latest request does not indicate this has changed.

In her response letter to Kobach’s original request, Reagan said she shared concerns of Arizona citizens that the Commission’s request “implicates serious privacy concerns.”

She initially released a statement June 30 saying she would send only certain kinds of data to the Commission, excluding things that would violate state law, such as partial Social Security numbers and dates of births. 

Then, after receiving hundreds of complaints, she announced she would deny the request for data altogether

Arizona already shares the same voter information that the Commission is requesting with the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, Roberts said. 

This program was created by Kobach in 2005. 

The difference, Roberts said, is that the information is not publicly accessible online. 

An individual can request to see this data, but confidential information — such as partial Social Security numbers — would be redacted. 

The program has a dual purpose: to find outdated voter registrations of individuals who are registered to vote in two states, likely because they moved, and to uncover voter fraud. 

Arizona has submitted this data to Kobach’s program since around 2009. Using this information, about 20 people have been convicted of voter fraud in the state.

“We’ve been a part of that for a number of years, and it’s been by-and-large very successful,” Roberts said. 


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