LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF MISSOURI
July 28, 2017
In regard to the Pence-Kobach Commission Request for Voter Information
The League of Women Voters is dedicated to ensuring that all eligible voters – particularly those from traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities– have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. Encouraging all eligible voters to participate in our elections is the mission of the League of Women Voters since its founding almost 100 years ago. Every vote counts, and our votes make a difference.
At this time, the newly appointed Pence-Kobach Commission on Election Integrity has asked every state to provide sensitive voter roll data, including the names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliation, past voter history, partial social security numbers of registered voters and even criminal history. This is a violation of privacy and has ominous implications for voting rights and election integrity. The League has serious concerns about the collection of this personal information by the Commission as well the release of the information by the states. The Commission’s request for voter data should be alarming to any American who values privacy, security, or integrity of our elections.
We are concerned that the Pence-Kobach Commission is laying the groundwork for potential voter suppression by the wrongful removal of eligible voters from the rolls. It appears to be a part of a wider effort of the Commission to suppress the vote and undermine our elections by spreading falsehoods about our election system. Our democracy is stronger when more, not fewer, citizens are involved in the electoral process.
We are concerned that this effort by the Commission may lead to dangerous election policy that would limit the eligibility and right of individuals who are fully qualified to vote.
We are greatly disturbed that this Commission is undermining the public’s confidence in our elections. We’ve already seen thousands of voters around the country cancel their voter registration since the Commission’s request for personal voter information from all 50 states.
In Missouri, Secretary of State Ashcroft has publicly agreed to Mr. Kobach’s request for voter information and that the release will be consistent with Missouri law imposing conditions on what voter information can be released, for what purposes, and in what circumstances.
As we understand it, voter information includes name, address, date of birth, county, precinct and voting history (not how you voted but which elections in which you voted).
There are specific conditions in the Missouri statutes which apply to obtaining and using the information, as well as paying the required fee for any organization requesting the information.
The League of Women Voters of Missouri urges the Secretary of State to ensure that the Kobach Commission follow Missouri law in obtaining the information and using the information. For the sake of all Missourians, we expect that he will follow through with this commitment.
We encourage all Missouri voters to contact the Secretary of State’s office at (573) 751-2301 or(800) 669-8683 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your concern.