Florida ACLU sues to stop Trump's voter database

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PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/FLICKR
  • Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr
It would appear that President Trump's attempt to build a nationwide database of voter rolls has hit a major roadblock.

The Florida ACLU and Florida Immigration Coalition both filed a lawsuit in a Miami court on Monday challenging Trump's commission tasked with uncovering "voter fraud."

According to the Associated Press, the Florida lawsuit is asking a judge to halt Trump's Election Integrity Commission until it complies with federal laws and stops transmission of voter data.

"What the president is attempting to do through the 'Election Integrity Commission' is unprecedented," said Florida ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon in a news release. "Never before has an agency of the federal government, operating behind closed doors, attempted to amass a federal database of every voter in America."

Besides undermining confidence in our nation's election system, Trump's Election Integrity Commission was set up to find examples of nonexistent voter fraud, and is run by both Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who, ironically, has a well-documented history of voter suppression.

Essentially, Trump's executive order calls for each state to hand over voter rolls, as well as individuals' private information. It's worth mentioning that the George W. Bush administration did something similar back in 2002. According to the New York Times, his five-year investigation cost millions in taxpayer dollars and only found a handful of examples of voter fraud out of the hundreds of millions of votes cast. It also resulted in the resignation of Attorney-General Alberto Gonzalez.

Last week, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said Florida would only partially comply with the commission's request, giving them only publicly available information and withholding data like social security numbers.

However, according to the ACLU, "it is not currently clear whether Florida voters’ information has already been transmitted to the Commission and what, if any, precautions were taken to protect the security of the data."

The ACLU says that both Pence and Kobach have overstepped the bounds of Trump's executive order, and each are being sued personally.

So far, 44 states have refused to hand over nonpublic information.


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