- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A privacy group has filed an emergency request to block the Trump election integrity commission’s demand for states to turn over voter data, saying the information, if made public, would be a severe invasion of Americans’ rights.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed its lawsuit Monday afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has scheduled the administration’s reply by Wednesday afternoon.

The lawsuit is the latest resistance to the voter commission, run by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Mr. Kobach’s letter last week requesting voter information from all 50 states — including names, dates of birth, addresses, voting and registration history and partial Social Security numbers — has set off a firestorm of criticism.

A number of Democratic governors and state elections officials said they would refuse to cooperate, as did some Republicans.

Dozens of voting and privacy groups have also called on the National Association of Secretaries of State to weigh in, calling the Trump request an unprecedented demand and urging states to refuse to play ball. The association says it is gathering input from its members.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center says in its lawsuit that the voter commission’s request has several problems, starting with the way the panel has asked for information. It says the email address and the file-sharing system that the commission suggested are insecure.

Under federal law, the commission was required to conduct a privacy assessment before asking for this type of data.

The privacy center also says all information could become public, creating a road map for identity theft.

“There is already evidence in the record that the Commission has placed and will place voter data at risk,” the lawsuit says.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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