Alaska put the brakes on turning over any voter information, Gov. Bill Walker announced today.
The state was preparing to hand over limited, publicly available information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity by the July 14 deadline. With the commission facing pending legal challenges, Walker said it told Alaska to hold off.
The letter came from the panel’s designated officer, Andrew Kossack, and was sent to Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who oversees the state’s elections:
There are many lawsuits being brought against the request, but the one the hold originated from is the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Another lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union today.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center is seeking a restraining order on the commission. The group argues the commission’s creating an unprecedented database that invades voter privacy.
“We are going to stand down and not do anything further until that is resolved on the restraining order side,” Walker said.
The commission was formed to look into allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2018 elections (of which there is no credible evidence). The group requested a massive amount of information well beyond what is typically publicly available, including name, address, date of birth, partial Social Security numbers, party registration and voting history, as well as military and criminal records.
Many states refused to fulfill the full request. As of the time the commission put a hold, Arkansas was reportedly the only state to supply the information.
At a Monday news conference, Mallott explained the ongoing process and what would be shared with the commission under state law.
Alaska was preparing to release only publicly available voter information to the federal commission. Alaska’s strong privacy provisions prevent the state from sharing the voter ID number, any part of a Social Security number, driver’s license number, date of birth, birthplace, phone number, signature and address. It would also prevent the commission from seeing whether a voter selected the Republican primary ballot or the general primary ballot.