Simon skeptical of White House request for voter data

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon isn;t sure how he'll respond to a White House panel's request for voter data. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon says he’s not sure he’ll turn over the data requested by a White House panel for a study of voter fraud.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asked all states this week to supply publicly-available voter roll information. The request includes voters’ names, addresses, dates of birth, recent voting history and details about military status and felony convictions.

Simon, a Democrat, is hesitant. He said he views the commission with “great suspicion” and believes it has a predetermined outcome. Simon said he needs time to decide what to do.

“When it comes to voting information, that’s private stuff. And it’s really no one’s business expect a few people on a need to know basis,” Simon said. “So, when I see a national commission that’s asking for very sensitive voter information, I’m going to think twice, more than twice actually, about whether and how we’re going to respond to that.”

President Trump established the commission by executive order in May.

The panel’s vice chair, Kris Kobach, said in a letter to Simon and officials in other states that the requested information will help to “fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues” in the voting system.

“It is crucial for the commission to consider your input as it collects data and identifies areas of opportunity to increase the integrity of our election system,” Kobach wrote.

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