Idaho voter data withheld from Trump commission

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Following a lawsuit by the Idaho Democratic Party, Idaho Secretary of State Lawrence Denney announced this week he will not release voter information to President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission.

The announcement strengthens Denney’s original stance earlier this month, when he said he would only send information contained in public records to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. According to the Associated Press, Idaho joins 17 other states refusing to comply with the commission’s request in its entirety.

“If Secretary Denney considers sending the information in the future, he has agreed to give us 10 days of notice so we have time to re-file our lawsuit and fight for the privacy that Idaho voters expect and deserve,” IDP Chairman Bert Marley said in a press release.

Idaho Democrats based their July 11 lawsuit around an Idaho law prohibiting the release of public information for commercial use. They argued that giving any private information to the commission could open Idaho residents to exploitation by commercial interests.

Days after the commission requested voter information, Denney announced he would not send any information restricted from a public records request. Protected voter information includes dates of birth, felony convictions and the last digits of social security numbers.

According to Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst, the commission’s original request for voter data provoked a massive backlash among state residents. Over the course of the weekend and into Fourth of July week, the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office received hundreds of calls and emails opposed to the request.

Supporters of the voter fraud commission say it is a much-needed investigation into  the integrity of voting procedures. Critics, meanwhile, call it a thinly-veiled attempt to justify Trump’s claim, presented to date without evidence, that mass voter fraud cost him the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election.

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