BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit seeking to block Secretary of State Lawerence Denney from providing detailed voter information to President Donald Trump’s commission investigating suspected voter fraud.
Democratic Chairman Bert Marley filed the lawsuit a day after the commission’s designated officer told states to hold off from fulfilling that request until a judge rules on a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed similar lawsuits in Washington, Florida and New Hampshire.
The commission had given states until July 14 to provide data including names, dates of birth and the last four digits of each voter’s Social Security numbers.
“While Secretary Denney has indicated that he may not send all of the information the Trump commission wants, he simply failed to offer assurances that this is even a legal request or that the information will be safeguarded and kept private,” Marley said in a prepared statement.
The secretary of state’s office was not aware of the Democratic Party’s lawsuit as of Tuesday afternoon. However, Denney has previously said that he planned on treating the request from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity as a public record request, and so Idaho’s Public Records Law — included in the “Transparent and Ethical Government” section of state code — would guide his response.
Trump, a Republican, won electoral college voting, but he lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton. He has alleged, entirely without evidence, that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally. Some states have refused to comply with the commission’s request, saying it invades privacy and is based on false claims of fraud. Other states have agreed to provide only publicly available information.
The Idaho secretary of state’s office has since been flooded with calls and emails from the public since news of the commission’s request was announced — many of whom asked the office not to hand over sensitive voter information.
Marley said that the commission’s request is illegal because Idaho law bans releasing private information for commercial use. Furthermore, the party argues that the commission has failed to provide a secure method for transmitting the voter information — leaving it susceptible to potential hacking or exploitation.
In Idaho, the state’s voter registration system is public, including voters’ names, addresses and voting history. However, information about driver’s license numbers, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and date of births are not releasable under the state’s public records law even though that data is collected on registration forms.
Idaho’s voter registration system doesn’t track information about felony convictions or whether voters are registered in other states.