ACLU Seeks Information on Alaska's Compliance with Trump's Election Integrity Commission

Affiliate: ACLU of Alaska
July 19, 2017 10:30 am

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Yesterday, as part of a nationwide effort by ACLU offices in 19 states, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed an open records request with the Alaska Division of Elections and a letter to Lieutenant Governor Mallott, both about Alaska’s compliance with President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission. That commission requested states submit voters’ full names, the last four digits of their social security numbers, their voting histories, and information regarding felony convictions.

The ACLU of Alaska’s open records request seeks all communications between the Alaska Division of Elections and the federal Election Integrity Commission, including records relating to the “views and recommendations” Alaska submitted at the Commission’s request.

“The true threat to Alaska’s elections is voter suppression, not voter fraud,” said Tara A. Rich, legal and policy director of the ACLU of Alaska. “Alaskans have no reason to believe our elections have been compromised, and even less reason to believe that the President’s Election Integrity Commission is anything other than political theater. The nonsense of voter fraud is nothing but carefully orchestrated window dressing designed to distract Americans from noticing its intent to keep minority and low-income Americans away from the polls. We filed our public records request to ensure that our public officials are doing everything they can to help more people vote, not fewer.”

The ACLU of Alaska’s request comes days after the ACLU national office sued the Trump administration over the Commission’s failure to comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a law that guarantees transparency and public accountability of advisory committees.

“We’re glad that because of the myriad lawsuits filed in response to the President’s Election Integrity Commission, including ACLU v. Trump, Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Mallott paused Alaska’s response to the Commission. But, Alaskans’ privacy shouldn’t rest only on our litigation alone,” said Joshua A. Decker, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. “The President’s Election Integrity Commission is a voter suppression machine, pure and simple: it threatens our privacy and endangers our democracy. That’s why the ACLU of Alaska’s asked Lieutenant Governor Mallott to refuse to turn over voters’ sensitive data and to reaffirm that Alaskans’ right to privacy protects us from this baseless federal overreach.”

The Commission’s vice chairman Kris Kobach, who requested the sensitive voter information, was recently fined $1,000 by a federal magistrate judge in a voting-related lawsuit for “deceptive conduct and lack of candor.” The judge said that Kobach and his legal team had “made patently misleading representations to the court.”

The ACLU of Alaska is not requesting any information related to private voter information or voter roll data.

Read the ACLU of Alaska’s open records request and letter to Lieutenant Governor Mallott.

The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to preserve and expand the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The ACLU of Alaska, founded in 1971, is one of the 53 state ACLU affiliates that strive to make the Bill of Rights real for everyone and to uphold the promise of the Constitution—because freedom can’t protect itself.

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