Rural States Lead in Opposing Administration’s Bid to Get Our Private Data and Voting Records Amid Fears It Could End Up in Wrong Hands

It’s completely understandable that Rural States have taken the lead in opposing the Trump administration’s inquisition to try to prove widespread voter fraud exists in America. The whole effort reeks of politics, like a dark quixotic quest to prove an absurd accusation of widespread election chicanery, or a poorly disguised attempt to wage a wholesale voter suppression campaign.

More so than politics, however, protecting their privacy is one thing Rural Americans hold dearly, and the potential for that information to be abused and misused is a legitimate fear all across the country.

It’s well known government databases are not the most secure chambers in cyberspace, having been hacked before. The idea of their private data in the hands of the government scares the heck out of Americans, especially with the Russians and other unsavory identity thieves lurking in the dark reaches of the Internet.

So far at least 45 states have refused to hand over to the panel sensitive information, especially names combined with Social Security numbers. None, however, has mocked the request for information as colorfully as Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, who told Trump’s voter fraud commission to “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the latter notorious for his heavy-handed voter suppression tactics in his home state, head the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Kobach has even been fined in a lawsuit charging he violated the National Voter Registration Act, but in perhaps the most baffling revelation in the process, he refused to comply with his own directive to hand over some of the information he requested for the commission.

According to the commission’s letter, the panel astonishingly is seeking “full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.”

The suspect effort on the part of the Trump administration may have already been rendered null and void, between the nearly unanimous opposition to the commission’s demand for private voter information by the states, and a wave of anticipated lawsuits, some of which have already been filed. There is a pretty sound case that’s being made that the Voter fraud commission violated the law, so hopefully the witch hunt ends before some innocent American gets burned.

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