Civil Rights Groups Praise States for Refusing Voter Commission Request

A coalition of over 100 groups including many civil rights organizations are praising state election officials for resisting a presidential commission’s request that they turn over voter registration data, The Hill reports.

The Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights, which represents a coalition of over 200 groups, sent a letter Thursday with more than 100 groups to 51 secretaries of State and 13 election administrators.

The majority of the signatories of the letter are national human and civil rights advocacy organizations. Signers included the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Bar Association, among others.

The letter praises the “principled actions” and “swift and bipartisan condemnation” by state representatives and election officials in opposing the request of President Trump’s advisory commission for states to turn over voter registration data.

“We strongly believe that the commission’s request is an unprecedented overreach and a brazen assault on the founding principles of our democracy,” the letter reads. It expresses concern that the commission is “laying the groundwork for potential voter suppression” of minority voters.

A letter signed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the election integrity commission vice chairman, was sent to all 50 states last week requesting voter information, including the names, addresses, political affiliation and voting history of registered voters in each state.

The request for voter data comes after Trump previously claimed without offering evidence that widespread voter fraud cost him the popular vote against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Kobach said Wednesday that 36 states have agreed to, or considering cooperating with the White House’s request for voter registration data.

The Leadership Conference said that the commission’s request for data was “unfortunately not surprising given the individuals leading the effort and their longstanding pursuits of voter suppression in the name of phantom voter fraud”.

“All secretaries of state and election administrators should stand united in protecting the voting rights of our nation’s citizens and rejecting the commission’s outrageous request,” the letter said.

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