A presidential election commission is asking states to give it certain voter information that some say includes people’s private information like social security numbers, dates of birth and felony convictions. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft tells CNN that’s not the case.
“They (commission) only want the public information that states have. In Missouri, that’s going to include things like name, where you vote, in which elections you have voted. It won’t include how you voted, it won’t include your social security. It’s just public information that we regularly give out to any individual that asks for it under our sunshine law,” says Ashcroft.
He says he will fulfill the commission’s request by giving public information only.
“Different states have different bits of information which they make publicly available,” says Ashcroft. “In, Missouri, there is no means or mechanism to track how a person voted or a voter’s political party affiliation.”
The Secretary of State says the information is routinely released to candidates, news organizations and anyone who requests the details.
State Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, says her phone has been ringing off the hook about Ashcroft’s decision.
“This is a body that has worked tirelessly since I’ve been here to protect that information and our privacy. Now, the Secretary of State is willing to give it to the President of the United States for his witch hunt,” says Walsh. “You can say that it’s information that’s readily available. Well, if it’s readily available, then don’t request it. Request it through the proper channels and get it. I don’t know anywhere that would give my social security number to any agency and that’s one of the things he (Trump) is asking for.”
Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a lawsuit asking a federal court for a temporary restraining order to block the collection of personal voter data.
Ashcroft’s office provided Missourinet with a copy of the commission’s letter. Click here to view the letter.