North Carolinians worried about a controversial request by President Trump's election fraud commission can rest easy, at least for now.
On Monday, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asked states to hold off on sending voter information to the White House until a lawsuit filed against the commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit privacy group based in Washington, D.C., is resolved. EPIC's case isn't about the commission itself but rather how the data will be stored. (On Monday, two civil liberties groups filed a separate lawsuit alleging that the commission was violating government regulations on transparency.) The government originally planned to use a Pentagon website to accept the data but, in reaction to EPIC's lawsuit, ditched that in favor of a White House system.
This latest twist comes after the White House commission, headed by Vice President Pence and Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, sent a letter asking all fifty states to provide voters' names, addresses, birthdays, political parties, last four digits of their social security numbers, and voting histories from 2006 onward.
The request drew fire from some Democrats and civil rights groups, who said it would be used to validate voter suppression, particularly among minority voters. Some were quick to point out that the director of ACLU's Voting Rights Project has called Kobach the "King of Vote Suppression."
A handful of states immediately rejected the request, and, as the INDY reported last week, North Carolina's Board of Elections said it would only release information that was already publicly available on the board's website, such as the name, address, party affiliation, and past participation of voters. (North Carolina has not yet released any data to the commission.)
The request has already made many Tar Heels wary. According to The News & Observer, some have even gone so far as to cancel their registrations.
This article appeared in print with the headline "VOTER SUPPRESSION, SUPPRESSED"