Enlarge (credit: Keith Ivey)
A federal judge on Monday refused to block President Donald Trump’s advisory panel from demanding that the states hand over their registered voters’ full names, political affiliations, addresses, dates of birth, criminal records, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, and other personal identifying information, including whether they voted in elections the past decade.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which wants to make the data public, has been met with stiff resistance, including from at least 44 states which say they cannot comply with the complete demand because laws in their individual states prohibit them from doing so.
But in a lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which challenged the demand on privacy and other grounds, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District of Columbia said Trump’s commission is exempt from the usual requirement that agencies consider privacy impacts of their new databases.
She said the commission—which at Trump’s urging wants to study voting irregularities such as whether dead people have been voting—is not an agency.
Therefore, it is exempt from a 2002 law requiring a privacy impact statement for newly created government data systems.
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