Tester, Bullock want feds to withdraw request for voter data

by Great Falls Tribune

HELENA — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock sent a letter Tuesday demanding the Trump administration withdraw its request to collect sensitive, private information about Montana voters.

In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the chairman and vice-chairman of the president’s advisory commission on election Integrity, the Montana Democrats raised objections about this request and what they said were threats to Montanans’ right to privacy.

“We are contacting you today with deep concerns regarding your broad request for sensitive information including individuals’ Social Security numbers and political party identifications,” Tester and Bullock wrote. “Frankly, Montanans do not take kindly to this type of federal government overreach. We respectfully ask that you rescind this request.”

The commission asked election officials in all 50 states for the full names, addresses, birthdates, political party affiliations, last four digits of Social Security numbers, voter history, military status, and other information from every American who is registered to vote.

Tester and Bullock are criticizing the Commission’s effort to force states to hand over private information saying any attempt to collect personal data “will threaten the privacy, freedom and voting rights of thousands of Montanans and millions of Americans.”

The Montana secretary of state’s office has already reportedly said it will not release any personal or confidential information.