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Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Condemns Action Undertaken Today by Election Integrity Commission

For Immediate Release June 29, 2017

Letters Issued by Kris Kobach to Secretaries of State Seek Disclosure of Identifying Information on All Voters Across Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement today in response to news that Kris Kobach, vice-chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, issued letters to Secretaries of State seeking disclosure of identifying information on voters across the country:

“We fully condemn actions taken today by the President’s Election Integrity Commission seeking disclosure of data and personal information on virtually every voter across the country.  This meritless inquisition opens the door for a misguided and ill-advised Commission to take steps to target and harass voters and could lead to purging of the voter rolls. We urge Secretaries of State who received a letter from Kris Kobach to reject this request and discourage state and local officials from participating in this Commission’s dangerous activities.  Today’s action underscores the fact that the Election Integrity Commission is operating in a reckless manner and its activities threaten to have a chilling effect on minority voters.  We encourage the public to contact 866-OUR-VOTE to report complaints or any suspicious activity regarding the activities of the Election Integrity Commission.  We know that voting discrimination and voter suppression are the real threats to American democracy and we will resist the Commission’s attempt to divert federal resources and attention away from these problems.”

Secretary Kobach requested state voter roll data, including: The full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party, last four digits of social security number if available, voter history 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.

This week, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announced the launch of a special effort to safeguard the rights of voters in the wake of the Election Integrity Commission.  Through its Election Protection hotline (866-OUR-VOTE), the Lawyers’ Committee invites concerned individuals, communities and local officials to report instances of intimidation and discrimination that result from the Commission’s activities.  Staffed with trained volunteers, Election Protection’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline will be live Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT to assist any voter who experiences intimidation or needs information to understand their rights.

 

About the Lawyers’ Committee:

The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.  Now in its 54th year, the Lawyers’ Committee is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.

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