“Commission on election integrity” (SNORT)

Lots of news stories out about how various states are refusing to comply with the request from the so called president’s “commission on election integrity” for information about all voters in each state.

The Donald himself is whining about the resistance.

The so called president, unsurprisingly, fails to appreciate that U.S. citizens have the right to “hide” confidential information about ourselves and his “commission” has no legal authority at all to demand it from us. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The word nowhere appears, but one could reasonably summarize this as “the right to hide.”

Below is the text of a letter I recently sent to the relevant official in the state where I live, Oklahoma. Feel free to copy and paste. Obviously, if you live in another state, you will need to modify by inserting the name and address of the appropriate official in your state:

Steve Curry
Chair, Oklahoma State Election Board
PO Box 53156
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

June 30, 2017

Dear Mr. Curry:

Various outlets have recently reported that Kris Kobach, in his capacity as Vice Chairman of President Trump’s “commission on election integrity,” has requested from all fifty states “publicly-available voter roll data  including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the 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, [and] voter history from 2006 onward.” [sic] http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/340117-trump-election-integrity-commission-requests-years-of-voter-data-from

I write to you to demand, respectfully, that you reject this request. My reasons for this demand are several:

First, all reputable sources agree that the president is grossly mistaken in his ridiculous claim that massive voter fraud occurred in 2016. No credible source exists to substantiate this absurd statement. See, e.g., http://www.factcheck.org/2017/01/trumps-bogus-voter-fraud-claims-revisited/; https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-noncitizen-voters/; http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/06/donald_trump_s_voter_fraud_commission_is_itself_an_enormous_fraud.html; http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-illegal-voting-clinton-231860; https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/26/fact-check-trumps-bogus-voter-fraud-claims-revisited/97080242/.

I should think you and your fellow members of the Oklahoma State Elections Board, to say nothing of the thousands of hard working election workers across the state, would find this claim insulting. I see no reason to doubt the basic integrity of elections as we conduct them in Oklahoma. If such reason exists, we should investigate and correct it at the state level, seeking federal assistance only if necessary.

Second, a Republican firm recently left voter data on nearly 200 million voters exposed on the internet because of improper security measures. http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/19/technology/voter-data-leaked-online-gop/index.html That this commission operates under the auspices of the president is no comfort. This is a president who handled information about a major international incident in full view of the public at his golf club and asks foreign leaders to call him on his personal cell phone. He has consistently and signally failed to exhibit any appreciation for the protocols the federal government routinely uses to ensure the safety and security of information. I do not want his commission to have any information about me at all.

Third, insofar as the predicate for this request is a claim of voter fraud, the information request has the legal effect of suggesting that we are all guilty of voter fraud. This is an obvious, galloping violation of our right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. I have the right to decide what information about me is confidential and I expect you to treat all information about me as such until and unless some valid legal reason exists to do otherwise. This request is not a valid legal reason. As with so many things this president does, this request is insulting.

Fourth, a federal judge recently fined Mr. Kobach for making “patently misleading representations” to the court. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/kobach-sanctioned-deceptive. For a Secretary of State to attempt to mislead a federal judge is deeply disturbing and indicates that neither you nor I should trust Mr. Kobach with any information about anyone from Oklahoma.

I am prepared to file suit to prevent you from submitting information to this commission, and will hold you liable for any harm that results to me as the result of any such submission, and will publicly encourage all of my fellow Oklahomans to do the same.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your response at your earliest opportunity.

Very truly yours,

William B. Turner, Ph.D., J.D.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *