In a nightmare, I dreamed that KKKris KKKobach and Mike Pence were put in charge of some kind of voter integrity project dreamed up in the fever swamps of far right wing policy shops. Then I woke up and discovered the nightmare was real.
Today Kobach and Pence sent some requests to state officials asking for things, including their voter registration databases.
In their letter, they request states provide "the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information."
As Professor Rick Hasen explains, this request is quite problematic.
Hasen has three concerns: Security, misuse of the databases for voter suppression efforts and federalism. I'll amplify those concerns with my own, especially the idea that we would turn over granular voter information to an administration which has absolutely ZERO concern about the fact that Russians interfered in the elections, including but not limited to, accessing and possibly tampering with state databases.
Let me repeat: Trump doesn't even believe Russia meddled. And because he doesn't believe Russia meddled, he is not at all interested in protecting our voting systems from Russian meddling. Whether you believe he is colluding with Russia or not, it is undeniably foolish to hand over all the voter databases to a Nazi (Kobach) and a Russian interference denier (Trump).
We've already seen what Trump does with confidential information. He shares it. With Russians.
But if that doesn't concern, voter suppression efforts ought to. We already know what a disaster Crosscheck across just a handful of states. We know how voter purges happen. And if all of the states' voter data was turned over to Kobach, Pence and Co, we could count on a national Voter ID initiative or just plain old ordinary database tampering. Because they could.
Hasen's concerns about federalism are ones well-taken, too, especially in the context of voter suppression.
"If a commission headed by the most left-wing secretary of state in the U.S. and directed by President Obama had requested this voter information from every state, it is easy to see what the reaction would be," Hasen writes.
" FOX News and the right wing media machine would claim this is about a “federal takeover” of elections, about usurping the traditional state role in policing election rolls, and about how this information will be misused to target political opponents," he predicts.
Well of course it would be. OF COURSE. Because here's what we know right now about how the right wing operates: They project. All the time. What they accused Obama of, they now seek to do, all in the name of permanent majorities and oligarchical rule.
Will those Secretaries of State like Georgia's, who wouldn't accept federal assistance to secure their databases resist the urge to turn over sensitive and granular voter data to Trump, Pence and KKKobach? Or will they roll over in the name of white supremacy?