Kaine, Warner join colleagues in effort to rescind voter data requests
U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined 24 colleagues in demanding the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity rescind its request that state election officials provide sensitive voter roll data.
Warner and Kaine oppose the unprecedented request that threatens the privacy of millions of Americans and risks improper removal of eligible voters from voter registration lists in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.
In the letter, the Senators warn that voting rights are at risk.
“This request is unprecedented in scope and raises serious privacy concerns. The requested data is highly sensitive and after recent data breaches and cyber-attacks targeting our election infrastructure, we are deeply concerned about how the Commission will maintain the security and privacy of the data,” the Senators wrote. “We are also concerned about why the Commission is requesting sensitive voting data and how it will be used. Leaders of the Commission said they intend to compare state voter information with federal databases in order to prevent voter fraud. Experts have raised significant concern that false-positive results from such a cross-check will lead to the improper removal of eligible voters from voter registration lists. Improperly removing Americans from registration lists is a violation of the National Voter Registration Act and will hamper Americans’ right to vote.”
Election officials from more than forty states have shared the Senators’ concerns, including Governor Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, who refused to comply with the request, and Republican officials from Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio.
The letter was led by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and also signed by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tom Carper (D-DE), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).