What's Really Behind President Trump's Voter Commission?

Lewis Eisenberg has been nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Italy

Donald Trump has appointed J Christian Adams, a controversial conservative activist, to his election integrity commission. Democratic officials have suggested the commission, which was started in May, is tactic to introduce voter suppression tactics.

After pushback and inquiries from across the country, the Federal Election Commission is telling states to hold off on fulfilling its request for voter data following a lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The organization filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the Commission for its failure to operate in a transparent manner under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Only Arkansas has complied so far, but federal officials say that information will be deleted now that the commission is facing legal challenges. The commission could only obtain the same information that is available to the general public.

The bipartisan panel, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, asked the 50 USA states for a host of voter data, including birth dates and the last four digits of voters' Social Security numbers.

Neither the White House, nor Pence's office commented on the ACLU's lawsuit when contacted Monday.

He, along with all the other state election heads, have been asked to not only give suggestions on how to improve voter security in their states but to also provide all the publicly available information from their voter rolls to the commission. The chief election officer in each state should be told if there was or is an attempt to hack the voter registration.

The commission told a federal judge Monday that the states can hold off on supplying the requested data until the District of Columbia federal court decides whether the commission may require the states to hand over the data. Other states will provide data to the commission, but will withhold the partial Social Security numbers.

Arkansas has been the only state to comply. Responded Mississippi's Delbert Hosemann, another Republican, "They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from".

The hasty efforts of the Kobach commission to compile an vast amount of personal data, in the process trampling over democratic rights and legal processes, have exploded in their face.

The lawsuit identifies four of the first six Trump appointees - New Hampshire secretary of state Bill Gardner, former OH secretary of state Ken Blackwell, commissioner of the Election Assistance Commission Christy McCormick and Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach - as having previously exaggerated voter fraud claims or having supported polices that have disenfranchised voters.

Republicans have long known that as a distinct minority whose policies directly conflict with the interests of their targeted voter base, their only chance for electoral success in many races depends entirely on regressive gerrymandering.

A full print out of the publicly available voter rolls would cost upward of $32,000, Merrill said, considering that more than 3.2 million people are registered to vote in Alabama. In an email, Rotenberg said he was unsure whether Kollar-Kotelly would rule on the temporary restraining order since the commission had agreed to stop using the DOD website. The pros of cracking down on rare instances of voter fraud may not outweigh the possible risks, the plaintiffs say.

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