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Denney gets new voter data request from Trump Commission, ponders response

UPDATED: Thu., July 27, 2017, 10:06 p.m.

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (Idaho Public Television)
Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (Idaho Public Television)

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has received a new letter from President Trump’s election integrity commission requesting Idaho voter data, and this time it includes new assurances that none of the data will be publicly released. “I am a little more reassured by the wording in this letter, certainly, than the last,” Denney said.

His office is reviewing the new request, and on Thursday sent, as required by a court filing, a 10-day notice to the Idaho Democratic Party about it. The party sued to block Denney from responding to the last request; both sides agreed to a settlement in which the lawsuit was dropped without prejudice, in exchange for a guarantee that Denney would give the Democrats 10 days notice of any new request, so they can refile their lawsuit if they choose.

Denney said if no legal action prevents him from doing so, he will respond to the request by providing voter information that Idaho law already makes public. “I do still see it as a public information request,” he said. “I still have concerns about what they’re going to use it for and how they’re going to use it, but with the assurances that it’s not going to be made public, I think that’s relieves a lot of my concerns.”

Trump created the commission to investigate his allegations, offered without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally in 2016. The requests for voter data from all 50 states have drawn angry rebuffs from most, with Mississippi’s Republican secretary of state responding that the Trump commission can “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The initial request asked for such personal information as voters’ birth dates and partial Social Security numbers; and it said any documents states submitted would be “made available to the public.”

Denney’s office was besieged with calls and emails from Idahoans who opposed supplying any Idaho voter data to the federal commission; concerns included invasion of privacy and enabling identity theft.

Denney’s office has posted the commission’s new letter online at bit.ly/2uGYoQO; and the original June 28 letter online at bit.ly/2w4Puw2.


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