New Jersey Says It Will Give ‘Election Integrity’ Commission Public Data

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and his wife Mary Pat Christie look on as President Donald Trump signs House Joint Resolution 41 in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

The director of New Jersey’s division of elections said Wednesday that the state would provide only publicly available data — or data that adheres to “the appropriate legal process for information requests” — to President Donald Trump’s shady “election integrity” commission.

“To date, no information has been released nor will any future information be released that is not publicly available or does not follow the appropriate legal process for information requests,” Division of Elections Director Robert Giles said in a statement, according to NJTV News’ Shoshannah Buxbaum:

The commission recently sent requests to all 50 states for voters’ personal information, including the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and data related to potential criminal history, military status and overseas citizen status.

A number of states have refused the request outright. Many, including the home states of the commission’s chair and vice chair, Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, have said that state law prevents them from providing certain data, including partial social security numbers.

Voting rights advocates and election experts say the committee is a veiled attempt to justify Trump’s evidence-free claim that millions of illegal votes lost him the popular vote in the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton. Many argue it will use states’ data to recommend tight restrictions on voting at the federal level.

A lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed Monday accused the commission of improperly requesting that data be transferred to it electronically without first completing and making public a privacy impact assessment as required by law.

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