Voting is a sacred act and for many people, it remains a private one. That will change under President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission.
The commission chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Vice President Mike Pence is charged with investigating voter fraud. The problem is that this is not a widespread problem, no matter what Trump tweets. The Washington Post found four cases in the entire country for 2016. That’s out of 135 million ballots cast. And in Michigan, a state audit found no evidence of voter fraud in Detroit.
The commission has been flying under the radar. But this week, the group sent a letter to all 50 secretaries of state.
Everyone — Republicans, Democrats and independents alike — should be alarmed by the information this commission is demanding. The Chicago Tribune’s headline sums it up well: “Trump’s voter fraud commission wants voting history, party ID and address of every voter.”
But it gets even worse when you read the fine print:
The chair of Donald Trump‘s Election Integrity Commission has penned a letter to all 50 states requesting their full voter role data, including the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security number digits and voting history back to 2006 of potentially every voter in the state.
And here’s the kicker: Kobach said that “any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.”
So when you went to the polls, did you expect that your name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, voting history and part of your Social Security number would be released for public consumption?
California, Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut have already rejected the commission’s intrusive request.
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson should quickly follow suit to protect voters’ privacy and not contribute to this waste of taxpayer dollars.
Michigan’s SOS races tend to be quiet affairs, especially as nominees are picked at party conventions. But an issue like voter privacy could become explosive in next year’s open race.
UPDATE: If you’d like to weigh in on this, the number for the Michigan Secretary of State’s office is 888-SOS-MICH (888-767-6424). It is staffed Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can also send comments through their website HERE. You can also try the Michigan Bureau of Elections at 517-373-2540.