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Washington state will send some voter data to Trump commission, but not confidential info

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman (Photo: blogs.sos.wa.gov)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Friday her office will send some of the voter information requested by President Donald Trump’s commission investigating alleged 2016 election voter fraud.

A Wednesday letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, i.e. voter fraud, gives secretaries of state about two weeks to provide about a dozen points of voter data. That also would include dates of birth, the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers and any information about felony convictions, language preference and military status. It also requested each voter’s party registration and voting history.

As of Friday afternoon, at least 27 states had publicly expressed reservations or legal barriers to turning over all of the requested information.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said of the letter: “My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

Wyman, a Republican, said on Thursday she would consider the request over the weekend, but on Friday she tweeted the state will send the commission names, addresses and dates of birth of registered voters because that information is available to the public.

She says she will not send the commission any information about Social Security or driver’s license numbers, phone numbers or email addresses. Those are not considered public information, she says, and not releasable.

Washington Democratic Party Chairwoman Tina Podlodowski called for Wyman to reject the request entirely, calling it a voter suppression effort.

Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted Friday night: “Is spoke with Secretary of State Wyman this afternoon about the Trump administration’s request for voter data. My fear is that this request will only further the President’s unfounded claims about voter fraud and will be used for voter suppression. I can assure you that our state won’t share any information that isn’t already accessible to the public. Personal information like social security numbers, phone numbers, email addresses and driver’s license numbers will be protected.”

The ACLU-Washington said, “President Trump’s so-called ‘Presidential Commission on Election Integrity’ is a sham commission that uses false claims of voting fraud as a pretext for voter suppression. Commission vice chair Kris Kobach has requested that state officials provide the commission with detailed information about every registered voter in the nation. This information would likely be used in commission efforts to keep citizens from exercising their fundamental right to vote.”

It added, “Kobach, former Kansas Secretary of State, has a shameful record of anti-democratic actions and false statements. The ACLU has successfully challenged him numerous times over his voter suppression policies. He has been rebuked by a federal appeals court judge appointed by George Bush for the ‘mass denial of a fundamental constitutional right’ for a voter restriction law he championed. He was also recently fined by a federal magistrate for making ‘patently misleading representations to the court’ about documents related to the National Voter Registration Act….

“The ACLU urges all levels of government to do everything they can to encourage more people, not fewer, to participate in our democracy,” said ACLU of Washington Executive Director Kathleen Taylor.  “The commission serves no useful purpose, is a waste of taxpayer money, and should be disbanded.”

Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton but has alleged — without evidence — that up to 5 million people voted illegally, and apparently all for Clinton.