The president’s controversial election integrity commission can have Alaska’s publicly available voter information, but it will need to pay up.
Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who oversees Alaska’s elections, responded today to an updated request in a letter obtained by The Midnight Sun that says the commission can access publicly available information like anyone else by requesting the voter rolls through the state’s public records act.
“The fee is $20. (The cost of the CD is an additional $1.) Accordingly, upon the receipt of $21 (in the form of a check or money order made payable to the State of Alaska), the Division of Elections will provide the commission with a CD that contains the publicly available information that the state regularly provides to the public in response to a request under the Alaska Public Records Act.”
With voter privacy an ongoing concern with the commission and Alaska’s constitutional protection of privacy, Mallott spent most of the three-page letter explaining why Alaska is wary about the request.
“I want to underscore that we will not provide any information about our residents that our state deems confidential,” he wrote. “Please be advised that we will stand vigilant in protecting the privacy and independence of all Alaskans and will closely scrutinize all requests from any institution or individual to ensure that Alaskans’ right to privacy is never compromised.”
Mallott writes that the CD will not contain: a voter’s date of birth, any part of a social security number, a voter’s identification number, a voter’s place of birth, a voter’s signature or a voter’s residential address if they opted to keep it confidential.
Election commission controversy
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was formed by President Donald Trump after he claimed millions of votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election. The president won the electoral college, but lost the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes.
Mallott’s letter goes into detail on the security measures the state has taken to protect the election process, noting that there “is no evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data prior to or after the November 8, 2016 election in Alaska.”
The commission came under fire for initially requesting broad information on each state’s voters that was feared to be more focused on restricting voting rights than stopping fraud. The initial request was met with a court challenge and state opposition. The commission eventually told the states to hold off on sending information before it revised the request on July 28 to information publicly available under each state’s laws.
In Alaska, the commission will need to follow the letter of the law.
“Alaska’s elections have been, and will continue to be, conducted with integrity and transparency,” Mallott wrote. “We will be watching with interest the Commission’s first public hearing and may submit comments at that time.”