The Buzz

White House, Kobach's voter commission didn’t redact personal info in email release

Kris Kobach speaks on Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Lenexa, Kansas. File photo.
Kris Kobach speaks on Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Lenexa, Kansas. File photo. skeyser@kcstar.com

The Donald Trump White House published a batch of emails this week that featured criticism of Kansas Republican Kris Kobach’s nationwide request for voter info. That email batch had essentially not been redacted, though, so the names, addresses and phone numbers of several individuals writing in to share their thoughts were also made public.

Opponents of Kobach’s initial request have levied concerns that the voter information Kobach is calling for would not be kept secure and private if it’s turned over to the commission.

“Understand you are collecting voter information,” one person wrote. “...As far as I’m concerned, you can go pound sand.”

“DO NOT RELEASE ANY OF MY VOTER DATA, PERIOD,” another wrote.

“I removed my name from voter rolls,” another email said. “And I’m a Republican!”

The emails commenting on the request weren’t all critical, however.

One said, “this is a necessary investigation.”

Kobach and Trump have claimed widespread voter fraud in the wake of the 2016 election. Neither have been able to definitively prove such fraud in last year’s race.

“Any member of the public wishing to submit written comments for the Commission’s consideration may do so...,” according to the commission’s White House page. “Please note that the Commission may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted.”

Late last month Kobach asked every state and the District of Columbia for “publicly available voter roll data,” that included the names of registered voters and their addresses, birthdays, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers if available, voter history and other personal information.

The request from Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sparked controversy and a flurry of legal action. Kobach wrote to one judge earlier this week that he was asking states to hold off on submitting the data until a ruling is made on a federal lawsuit filed by a privacy organization.

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

In November 2016, the top election official in Kansas claimed that millions voted illegally in 2016, but can't point to hard evidence to support that.

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