Government & Politics

Kobach says White House will keep personal voter data requested by Trump commission

Kris Kobach said in a court filing Thursday the White House would collect and store nationwide voter data that a Trump commission led by Kobach is seeking.
Kris Kobach said in a court filing Thursday the White House would collect and store nationwide voter data that a Trump commission led by Kobach is seeking. File photo

Kris Kobach said Thursday that the White House would store the personal voter data he requested in his role with President Donald Trump’s voting commission.

In a court filing in response to a lawsuit over the requests, Kobach also disclosed the members of the commission that was created after both Trump and Kobach claimed widespread voter fraud they have not yet been able to prove.

Kobach has asked every state and the District of Columbia for “publicly available voter roll data,” including 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.

Kobach’s response Thursday came after the court requested answers to five questions, including one about the collection and storage of the data.

“As this is a Presidential advisory commission, the White House is responsible for collecting and storing data for the Commission,” Kobach wrote.

The suit was filed earlier this week by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The Washington, D.C.-based organization asked the court for a temporary restraining order to halt the data collection.

A court hearing is scheduled for Friday afternoon in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

“There is nothing in the Executive Order or the Commission’s Charter that provides authority to gather hundreds of millions of voter records from the states or to create a secret database stored in the White House,” the legal team for EPIC wrote in a court document filed Thursday.

It also alleged that “voters’ personal data will not be secure,” and pointed to an exhibit EPIC said showed that the website touted by Kobach for the file exchange in his data request letter is “not a secure website for the transfer of personal data.”

According to Kobach’s court filing, the membership of the commission includes six Republicans and four Democrats.

Kobach, the Republican who serves as the Kansas secretary of state, is vice chairman of the Trump commission. Vice President Mike Pence is the chairman.

The other members are Connie Lawson, the Republican secretary of state of Indiana; Bill Gardner, the Democratic secretary of state of New Hampshire; Matt Dunlap, the Democratic secretary of state of Maine; Ken Blackwell, a Republican and former secretary of state of Ohio; Republican Christy McCormick, Election Assistance Commission; David Dunn, a Democrat and former Arkansas state representative; Mark Rhodes, a Democrat and Wood County, W.Va., clerk; and Republican Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

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