Press Releases

CBC, Judiciary to Secretaries of State, Election Officials – Trump Administration Requests Will Likely Lead to Voter Suppression, Privacy Violations

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Washington, June 30, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Judiciary Committee Democrats sent letters to the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors raising concerns that recent requests of them from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the White House voter fraud commission (Commission) may lead to voter suppression and privacy violations. In letters sent this week to secretaries of state and election officials in all 50 states, DOJ asks states to provide voter registration list maintenance procedures and the Commission asks states to provide detailed voter-roll information. Both letters appear to encourage greater voting purges by states.

“We have little doubt that if complied with, these letters – issued unilaterally without any vote or public discussion – would lead to an unprecedented, nationwide voter suppression effort,” wrote CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), and Co-Chairs of the CBC Task Force on Civil and Voting Rights, John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.).


Department of Justice Letter

“The letter from the DOJ appears to signal the initiation of a federal effort to prevent lawful voters from being able to vote, either by bullying states into removing such voters from their rolls, or by suing the states outright. We have previously seen such purging efforts conducted at the state level, littered with errors and inaccuracies, and inevitably performed in a manner which discriminates against minority voters.”

 

White House Voter Fraud Commission Letter

 “We also have grave concerns that compliance with Mr. Kobach’s letter would result in unprecedented violations of American’s privacy rights and potentially violate federal law.  The breadth of the information requested, including name, address, birth dates, political party affiliation, voting history, Social Security numbers, and military status, among other personal information is not only overwhelming, but chilling from a civil rights and liberties perspective.  In addition to being used to conduct further discriminatory voter purges, one shudders to think of the many ways this information could be misused.” 

The letters are online (Election Directors and Secretaries of State) and attached. 

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