The request by President Trump's Election Integrity Commission to get the voter rolls from each state has created a backlash from many Americans who see the request as an invasion of privacy by the administration. It's considered even more of an invasion because Trump put the commission together under the belief that there was massive voter fraud, without evidence. To be specific, he believes that millions of illegal immigrants voted against him to deny him the popular vote, which went to Hillary Clinton. While many states have rejected the request, it's been reported that the state of Texas will comply with the request by providing public information.

States are not required to comply

Texas is one of the many states that has voter rolls already accessible as public information which is in line with the request by the commission's chair Kris Kobach. It's been pointed out that Kobach's request for the voter rolls is not a demand but an "ask." States, in fact, are not required to comply with the request as the commission has no power to enforce it. Kobach himself said this in an interview with NPR last Friday in an article titled "State Officials Of Both Parties Reject Requests For Voters' Identification Details." Texas is one of the many Republican-led states that has tried to put in place strict voter-id laws, suggesting that they were preventing rampant voter fraud for which there is no proof. Last year, the courts ordered the state to not enforce voter id requirements, by saying that it was evident the Voter Id Law was discriminatory.

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Kobach motives questionable

State Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin who is also the vice chair for the Texas Elections Committee sent a letter to the Texas Secretary of State, Rolando Pablos, requesting that he not send Kris Kobach any information, pointing out that Kobach had just recently been fined $1000 by a court for misleading them. In November, Kris Kobach was photographed taking documents with him when he went to meet with then President-elect Donald Trump. Those documents supposedly mentioned voter rolls and that he was lobbying Trump to reform federal voter law.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to get those documents, which Kobach said were protected by President Trump's executive privilege. The ACLU would end up winning their case to have him turn over those documents. The courts say that he deliberately misled them in his representations of what were on those documents. In citing this, Rep. Israel questioned why Texas would send Kobach anything at all. Here are the details of what the commission is looking for:

  • Full names of all registrants which includes initials and middle names.
  • Dates of birth,
  • If kept by the states, the voter's political party
  • The last four digits of the voter's social
  • Voter's history of election activity since 2006,
  • Voter states, information regarding any felony convictions and voter registration in another state, their military status, and overseas citizen information.

Governor Gregg Abbott has said that he would protect private voter data and that no Texas citizen should be concerned about the information being turned over.

The Trump administration supports Texas' voter id law and has said that they do not want the judge who determined it was discriminatory, to take further action against it.