Arizona won't be turning over sensitive voter information to Trump commission

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(Source: Sean Pepper/Cronkite News) (Source: Sean Pepper/Cronkite News)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona appears ready to join a number of states in rejecting a request for personal information on voters from a commission created by Donald Trump to investigate voter fraud.

Secretary of State Michele Reagan said her office will not provide social security numbers or dates of birth. However, she says she will provide other information including party affiliation and voting history.

Reagan sent a letter to all 15 county recorders in Arizona saying, "we feel the release of any data should be consistent with other records requests and not include DOB or any individual's social security information."

Kris Kobach, the vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity, sent a letter to most states asking for the sensitive voter data.

The request included basic information on voters such as names, party identification, and their years of birth,  which is publicly available information.

However, Kobach's request went beyond that to include the last four digits of social security numbers and specific dates of birth.

The letter also included this warning: "Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public."

So far, the secretary of state's office has not officially received a request from Kobach, but expects one soon.

Reagan has indicated she will treat the letter as standard public records request and release any information they are required to under state law.

Specific birthdays and social security numbers are not public records and will not be released, according to a spokesman for Reagan's office.

Kobach, who also serves as the Secretary of State for Kansas, is a controversial figure in American politics.

He's the author of Arizona's tough immigration law, SB 1070, which was passed seven years ago.

Critics also charge that Kobach supports voter suppression tactics. In fact the ACLU recently called him, "The king of voter suppression," last month.

However, Trump named him to the presidential commission  tasked with investigating the unsubstantiated claim of widespread voter fraud in last year's presidential election.  

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said Friday that Kobach's request in itself is a form of voter suppression.

"And just the fact that this request is so public is an act of voter suppression, in other words if we want a lot of people to register to vote and they know now that a lot of this information might just get out there they might not register to vote because of that," he said.  

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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