Breaking: Cooper Says State Board Of Elections Should Not Participate In Controversial Voter Roll Data Request | News

Breaking: Cooper Says State Board Of Elections Should Not Participate In Controversial Voter Roll Data Request

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Governor Roy Cooper released a short statement this afternoon in response to a controversial new request that states turn over their voter roll data to the White House by July 14. Cooper's statement indicated that he believes the State Board of Elections should not comply with the request, but he did not go as far as some other politicians, including Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who released a much more harshly worded response.

"Integrity of our elections is critical, and a recent State Board of Elections investigation already found there was no evidence of significant voter fraud in North Carolina," Cooper said. "My staff has told the State Board of Elections that we should not participate in providing sensitive information beyond what is public record as it is unnecessary, and because I have concerns that it is an effort to justify the President's false claims about voter fraud."

The request came in the form of a letter to all fifty states Wednesday from Kris Kobach, Kansas's Republican secretary of state and the vice chairman of a White House commission tasked with investigating President Trump's wholly unsubstantiated claim that up to five million people voted illegally last November. The request asked that states provide voters' names, addresses, birthdays, recorded political parties, last four digits of their social security numbers, and voting history from 2006 onward.

The request has drawn fire from some Democratic lawmakers and civil rights groups, who fear it will be used to reinforce Trump's widely dismissed narrative of voter fraud and validate voter suppression, particularly among minority and Democratic voters. Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department under President Obama, tweeted: "Pence and Kobach are laying the groundwork for voter suppression, plain and simple."

According to an investigation by the N.C. Board of Elections, of the nearly five million North Carolinians who cast a ballot in November's election, just 508 voters were ineligible to vote.
 

California, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, and Kentucky have already said they won't comply with the request.

We have reached out to the SBE and will update this post when more information becomes available.

Update: In a statement, the SBE says it will release public records that it must release under state law—essentially, the information you can already get about N.C. voters off the state’s website—and nothing more.

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