Sometimes, in the midst of the swirl of Twump’s Tweets and abuses of executive power, a good thing happens. This last Saturday, I reported that AZ SoS Michele Reagan agrees to provide Trump voter suppression commission with AZ voter records. As of today, our independence day, July 4th, I can report that AZ will not comply with commission co-chair Kris Kobach’s demand for data.
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen (The Republic | azcentral.com) reported that Secretary of State Michele Reagan has reversed course with respect to the Trump/Kobach voter suppression commission: Arizona to oppose handing over voter information to Trump commission. The AP picked that one up and the Daily Star featured it on its front pages this morning: Arizona won’t give Trump extensive voter registration info after all.
Here are excerpts from the Star’s version.
Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has done an about-face and now says the state won’t provide extensive voter registration information to the Trump administration.
In a statement Monday evening, Reagan said the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’s request “could implicate serious privacy concerns.”
Last Friday, Reagan said Arizona would hand over voter data to a commission looking into allegations of voter fraud. However, the state planned to withhold voters’ birth dates and Social Security numbers.
Now, Reagan said the request for extensive voter information is not in the state’s best interest.
Arizona joins a growing number of states that have balked at aiding President Donald Trump’s commission.
Numerous state residents reportedly sent emails to Reagan’s office over the weekend stating their objection to her handing over voter information. “I share the concerns of many Arizonans that the Commission’s request could implicate serious privacy concerns,” Reagan said in a statement.
In a letter formally responding to the Trump administration’s request, Reagan wrote that “under normal circumstances, limited voter registration records could be provided to a member of the public upon payment of the requisite fee under Arizona law along with a statement of non-commercial use. But this appears to be no normal request.”
“Centralizing sensitive voter registration information from every U.S. state is a potential target for nefarious actors who may be intent on further undermining our electoral process,” she added. “Without any explanation how Arizona’s voter information would be safeguarded or what security protocols the Commission has put in place, I cannot in good conscience release Arizonans’ sensitive voter data for this hastily organized experiment.”
You can read Reagan’s letter of refusal here.. The letter appears to Scriber to be well conceived, laying out the legal case for refusing Kobach’s request. So the first lesson for Michele Reagan should learn from all this is do your homework.
EJ Montini at The Republic/azcentral.com has a good observation about how that refusal came to be in Montini: You scare Reagan more than Trump – so no personal voter info to commission.
Secretary of State Michelle Reagan changed her mind.
Thanks to you.
Looks like your personal information will, for now, remain personal.
She was going to kowtow to President Donald Trump and his voter suppression enforcer Kris Kobach and hand over the personal information of Arizona voters to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
Reagan tried at first to deny it. After The Arizona Republic’s Mary Jo Pitzl wrote an article under the headline “Arizona will provide voter information to White House as concerns swirl,” Reagan responded angrily on Twitter:
Such a BS headline @maryjpitzl !
AZ will NOT provide personal voter data. Country recorders and Sec of State agree!!
— Michele Reagan (@VoteReagan) July 1, 2017
In a statement Reagan said, “Social security numbers, Date of Birth and identifying information such as Mother’s maiden name will not be transmitted. Arizona’s voters can expect to have their personal information remain private and safe.”
Except that Kobach wants every voter’s name. Every voter’s address. Every voter’s age. Every voter’s political persuasion. Every voter’s voting habits.
All of which sounds VERY much like personal information, because it is.
And you let Reagan know it.
And this time she kowtowed … to you.
So, Arizona will join more than two dozen other states (so far) that won’t hand over the personal information of their citizens.
We’ve learned a few useful things over the past few days.
We learned that President Trump and his underlings can intimidate Republican politicians into doing things that they know they shouldn’t do.
And we learned that only one thing frightens those politicians even more: