(HELENA) Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s office says it will not release some personal identifying information about voters to a federal commission looking into U.S. elections.
President Donald Trump set up the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate election procedures and the possibility of voter fraud. Vice President Mike Pence chairs the commission.
Earlier this week, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the vice-chair of the commission, wrote a letter to election administrators in all 50 states. It asked them to submit “publicly-available voter roll data,” so the commission could analyze issues with voter registration. The letter said that information could include voters’ names, birth dates, party registration, voting history and even the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, depending on state laws.
Derek Oestreicher, Stapleton’s elections director, said Friday the office hadn’t received Kobach’s letter yet. But he said if they do release voter data, it will be public information that anyone can access on the Secretary of State’s website by paying a fee. He said that data would not include confidential information, like Social Security numbers. It would include voters’ names, addresses, and whether or not they have voted in previous elections.
CNN reported Friday afternoon that election officials in more than half of states had expressed reluctance to turn over some of the information suggested in Kobach’s letter, especially Social Security numbers.