Utah won’t release private voter data to election commission

Vote sign outside of the Washington County Administrative Building, St. George, Utah, June 28, 2016 | Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – While Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Utah’s top election official, said Friday his office would hand over public voter records requested by President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission, that was as far as his office would comply.

Trump’s commission investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 elections has asked states for a list of the names, party affiliations, addresses and voting histories of all voters, if state law allows it to be public.

It is the duty of my office to protect certain private voter information – we will not share any protected data with the Commission,” Cox said in a statement Friday. “However, similar to most other states, Utah law requires voter registration records be public documents that can be obtained by any person or entity who submits an appropriate records request.”

A Wednesday letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity 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 and military status.

“While my office is required to provide public records to this Commission, as we would to any other person or entity, I assure the voters of Utah that we will only provide information that is otherwise available to the public,” Cox said.

Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton but has alleged that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally. In addition to the voter information, the letter asks state officials for suggestions on improving election integrity and to share any evidence of fraud and election-related crimes in their states.

The data will help the commission “fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting,” vice chairman and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach wrote.

Trump formed the commission in May through an executive order.

Cox has previously called the allegations of voter fraud “dangerous.”

There has been no evidence of mass voter fraud in Utah and we look forward to helping the federal government better understand the steps we have taken to ensure the security and validity of Utah’s elections,” Cox said.

While Utah makes voter records public to a degree, the commission’s request goes too far, Utah Democratic Party chair Daisy Thomas said in a statement Friday.

“The demand for Social Security numbers, dates of birth, military status, political party, and voting history raises inquiries about Mr. Trump’s reasons behind creating such a commission,” Thomas said, further stating, “The Utah Democratic Party is committed to election integrity and transparency, but we do not support this childish task of the commission to fabricate evidence that election fraud caused the president’s loss of the popular vote.”

According to The Hill, Utah and 20 states are refusing to provide voter data to the commission in whole or in part. These states include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments

  • Not_So_Much July 1, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Well, I’m glad that’s cleared up. Of course all public record information must be provided and any state withholding information that their law states is public should have penalties imposed. Change the law if you’re not happy with it.

  • Craig July 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    This needs to be looked at and we need voter ID. The people of Mexico are able to understand how to get voter ID. The people of South Africa not only understand how to get voter ID, they proudly show their ID card.

    Why then do some groups think Americans are too ignorant to figure this out? Americans, in this day and age, can get voter ID. The claim that many people will not be able to vote is a smoke screen. Certain groups want illegal aliens voting, dead people voting, and people voting multiple time.

    Our right to vote deserves more respect.

  • DRT July 1, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Voting histories? I hope this is no more than when and where people voted. I’ve been concerned about the “secret ballot” ever since they went to computerized voting.
    Share my tinfoil hat for a moment. Once Trump declares himself king, or czar, or dictator, or whatever, will he be using the information to go after people who didn’t vote for him?
    OK, let’s put the tinfoil hats away now, and get back to life…

  • hiker75 July 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Why do they need to know who I voted for? That has nothing to do with my being a legal voter! Something is very unusual here. I would rather that information remain out of the hands of the Feds.

  • utahdiablo July 1, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Each state needs to mandate showing you license or ID card. That is the only way you can vote in Utah, what is wrong doing that in each of the 50 states?

  • riccie July 1, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    I am wondering about this voter fraud. Only closer to our area.
    Colorado City, Arizona & Hildale, Utah. What would stop the exiled pligs who have left because they believe the UEP has stolen the property from them and will not agree to the new State laws to inhabit the homes they were living in. So they chose to leave instead of subcomming to the evil empire. Now they are looking for homes to live in, in Washington and Iron County and other places. What would stop them, that have left, to still show their old address. Or use a factious address to swing the election for those 2 cities? Even though they have moved to other areas, they still could vote to keep the Warrens Clans people in power. Right now those that are running are also the in-combatants, and have the advantage. I think Arizona & Utah really needs to tighten up the restrictions and security at those 2 twin cities. Voter fraud could be rampet there.

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