The following post was written by Ingham County Clerk and former state legislator Barb Byrum.
You may have first learned of the Trump Administration’s request for voter information from Susan Demas’ blog post.
You have probably since learned that many states are denying the request either completely or partially.
Michigan’s Secretary of State Ruth Johnson stated that her Office will only release information that is already publicly available. This includes the voter’s name, year of birth, address and voter participation history. It is important to note that how a specific voter voted on a ballot is unknown in Michigan and is therefore, unavailable.
In addition, in Michigan voters are not registered as a Democrat, Republican or Independent. They are registered simply as a voter.
Secretary Johnson said she has declined Trump’s Election Integrity Commission’s request for voters’ full dates of birth, the last four digits of the Social Security numbers and their driver’s license numbers.
I have since been contacted by voters requesting to be removed from the voter rolls as they do not want their information shared with the Trump Administration. I caution voters on this request, as the information being turned over is already publicly available. If a voter wishes to remove themselves from the voter roll, that will only be in effect for future elections and their information will have already been shared with the Trump Administration. Most importantly, if a voter removes themselves from the voter roll, they will no longer be a qualified, registered voter and unable to vote in future elections.
The Trump Administration’s claims of voter fraud in the November 2016 Election as the basis for their Election Integrity Commission and, subsequently, this request for voters’ information, are completely unfounded. In fact, Michigan’s recently retired Elections Director, Chris Thomas, who served in that capacity for nearly 40 years, said that massive voter fraud at the polls did not exist, and if it did, it would have been easily documented.
I firmly believe this request from the sham committee is just another attempt to intimidate and disenfranchise voters. Requests like this, just like unnecessary election rules for voters and claims of voter fraud, are made to intimidate voters.
Don’t be intimidated. Remain a vigilant and active voter. Resist and persist.
To check your voter registration, please click HERE.
The deadline to register to vote for the August Election if there is one in your area is this Monday, July 10, 2017.
To request an absentee ballot, please click HERE.