Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler called Trump’s election integrity commission politicized while refusing to turn over the state’s voter data to the President.
Here is the full press release:
Secretary of State Tom Schedler announced today that he would not comply with the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity request to access voter information in Louisiana. He bases his decision on a long-standing, consistent belief that voter’s private information including social security number, mother’s maiden name and date of birth should be vigorously protected by states.
“The President’s Commission has quickly politicized its work by asking states for an incredible amount of voter data that I have, time and time again, refused to release,” said Secretary of State Tom Schedler. “My response to the Commission is, you’re not going to play politics with Louisiana’s voter data, and if you are, then you can purchase the limited public information available by law, to any candidate running for office. That’s it.”
Louisiana’s public voter list includes only name, address, party affiliation and voter history. Voter history indicates voters’ participation in previous election cycles, NOT how they voted.
Schedler’s response mirrors his prior efforts to defend Louisiana’s data against attempts by the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice to obtain private, personal information through a lawsuit filed in the Middle District in July of 2011 claiming Louisiana does not register to vote recipients of state benefits with “sufficient vigor.” The Department of Health and Hospitals, as well as the Department of Children and Family Services, are co-defendants in the lawsuit with the Secretary of State. A discovery request by the Department of Justice demanded Schedler turn over Louisiana’s entire election database including the social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth and mother’s maiden names of each and every registered voter, as well as the source code needed to manipulate the information contained in the database. The request for the data has since been withdrawn.
“I denied the Obama Justice Department’s request and I’m denying President Trump’s Commission’s request because they are both politically motivated,” noted Schedler. “The release of private information creates a tremendous breach of trust with voters who work hard to protect themselves against identity fraud. That’s why it is protected by six federal laws and two state laws. This Commission needs to understand clearly, disclosure of such sensitive information is more likely to diminish voter participation rather than foster it. I have been fighting this kind of federal intrusion and overreach, and will continue to fight like hell for the people who trust me with the integrity of our election process,” emphasized Schedler.
The Secretaries of State aren’t dumb. They immediately saw through what Trump’s “election integrity” commission was trying to pull. The only reason why the administration would want sensitive personal information on voters was so that they could carry out a voter purge.
Schedler was correct. What the Trump commission is attempting to do is a classic example of federal overreach, which is exactly why the vast majority of states both red and blue are rejecting the commission’s request.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association