STUART, Fla. - The Friday deadline passed and Florida has not sent your voter information to the federal government. Two lawsuits challenged the Trump administration’s attempt to investigate voter fraud.
The President’s Commission of Election Integrity requested the secretaries of states in all 50 states to give it information on registered voters in each state.
That led to phones ringing off the hook at the supervisors of elections offices in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
“Identity theft is exactly what voters are concerned about,” explained Vicki Davis, the Martin County Supervisor.
She’s preparing for a county-wide vote next month. But about two dozen people inquired about removing their names from the voter registry. They’d rather not vote if it meant info like their name, birthdate and address went to President Trump’s voter fraud commission.
“As one of my counterparts in Pasco County has said, it’s pathetic when it comes down to it, that a voter would have to make a choice as to whether or not to have their information protected or give up their right to vote,” Davis said.
But no one in Martin or Palm Beach Counties have officially unregistered because they learned Florida law prevents the state from sharing social security and driver’s license numbers. Secretary of State Ken Detzner said he would share information like name, party affiliation and address that is already public record.
But last week, a lawsuit kept the state from sending any information to the feds for now.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wants the commission on elections to prove it won't use the data to suppress voters.
“I don’t think anyone should be surprised that people are concerned about turning over their personal information to the presidential commission that President Trump created to try to investigate, or frankly support, his claim that there is rampant voter fraud,” explained Howard Simon, the executive director of the ACLU of Florida.
He argued there is a need to investigate the voting process, but he fears the commission may use this information to suppress voters.
“I think what we all need to be concerned with is the terrible, unintended consequence that people would rather give up their right to vote, and essentially leave our democracy by not participating in an election, out of concern that their personal information is going to be misused by this Trump commission,” Simon added.
The president called for the commission to investigate voter fraud and look for ways to secure the integrity of the process.
In Florida, an association made up of supervisors of elections has pushed for new laws protecting more voter information, particularly birth dates. But Davis said the legislature has repeatedly shot down the proposal.