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Michigan’s SOS Will Provide Voter Information To Federal Commission, Unless Protected By State Law

Voting Booth
Sam Felder

The Michigan Secretary of State is willing to turn over some voter information to a federal commission.

President Donald Trump wants voter names, addresses, party affiliation, and voting records.  This is part of a commission’s investigation into voter fraud.  The vice chairman of the White House commission sent a letterto the states last week.  But Michigan won’t be turning over everything asked for in the letter, which ranges from full dates of birth to partial social security numbers.

“There is some basic voter information that is required to be disclosed under the state’s Freedom of Information Act,” said Fred Woodhams, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State.  

Woodhams said they will turn over everything that would normally be available to the public.  This includes things like names of registered voters and voting history.  But they won’t turn over driver’s license numbers or full birth dates. 

“It’s very routine for us to get requests from political parties, candidates, news outlets, to ask for voter lists,” he said.  “And we provide that consistent with the state’s Freedom of Information Act.”

But some voter rights organizations are concerned about the intentions of the commission.  Kary Moss is the executive director for the ACLU of Michigan.  She says they’re concerned about President Trump’s previous, unfounded, allegations of mass voter fraud.  

“And with that as the backdrop, it is hard to see any intent by this commission as anything other than trying to give some weight to Trump’s false allegations,” she said.  

Moss said they are also concerned about voter privacy. 

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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