President Trump’s election integrity commission has prompted thousands of Colorado voters to cancel their registrations out of concern their personal information might be shared with investigators.
Earlier this month the commission — led by Kansas’s Secretary of State Kris Kobach who made a name for himself championing voter suppression in the state — requested detailed voter roll information from all 50 states. Some information in voter rolls is public, but the commission requested data like social security numbers and voting history.
While the majority of states have refused to comply with the commission’s demands, including Colorado, voters in the state are not taking their chances. The Denver Post reported that 3,394 people had canceled their voting registration following the commission’s request.
According to The Post, election officials are dumfounded. “I never expected to come to work and see such a sudden increase in voter registration withdrawals,” Amber McReynolds, an election administrator wrote in a July op-ed. “I never expected to see more withdrawals in a day than new registrations.”
The Post noted that the number of canceled registrations is low compared to how many registered voters there are in the state — approximately 0.09% of its 3.7 million voters.
Most people who canceled their registration cited the voter integrity commission’s request directly, others said they were unaware that so much information was publically available.
The complaints to Denver’s election board were direct. “I have concerns that my individually-identifiable information would be misused for illegitimate purposes,” one Colorado resident said. “I sincerely hope that the Denver Elections Division does not support, or respond to, any such requests involving private information in the future.”
Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who agreed to send the commission Colorado’s public voting information, reiterated that private information would not be shared with the commission.
“It’s my hope that folks who withdrew their registration will re-register, particularly once they realize that no confidential information will be provided and that the parties and presidential candidates already have the same publicly available information from the 2016 election cycle,” said Williams in a statement.
Colorado voters might have another reason to be worried about the Trump administration’s access to their voting records. Given Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s commitment to marijuana prohibition, even in states where recreational use is legal, I wouldn’t trust my voting history anywhere near the Trump administration. Even one as bogus as a commission on election integrity.