As of yesterday, 44 states have called foul on providing some of the requested voter data from the state rolls, as requested by Kris Kobach of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission was established to corroborate Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election. The data collected from the states will eventually be made public. Kobach has clarified the request of the letter sent to the states, stating that it is asking for what is publicly available in each state. Still, the letter asks for date of birth and last four digits of social security number, as well as elections voted in. 19 states have outwardly criticized the commission’s request. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) stated,
“At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.”
Many state laws prevent the release of the requested data, and public officials are pointing to specious claims of voter fraud with the intent of voter suppression, as well as complete disregard to privacy.
In response, Trump brings up the flawed “something to hide” argument, so often used to flout privacy concerns. Equating privacy with criminality and clandestine activity is the classic way to disregard the benefits of privacy and shame those who resist oppression. Pointing to the “distinction” of a group requesting private data does not mean that group will handle data responsibly. Especially in this case, where the purpose is to link the data with other sources and make it public.