Arkansan On Presidential Commission Says Voter Data Request "Raised Concerns"

Jul 19, 2017

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity meets on Wednesday.
Credit whitehouse.gov

An Arkansan from Forrest City who sits on President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity says he wants the group to look at a “myriad of issues” to determine whether there are problems involving voting in America. Speaking at the group’s inaugural meeting Wednesday, the former Democratic state lawmaker David Dunn also said the commission’s recent request of states to submit publicly available information on their voter rolls “raised concerns.”

“I believe that any data, statistics collected by us or by the state should be held in our trust and safeguarded from any political misuse. And finally I hope that the activity of this bipartisan commission is completely transparent and public. It is important that our work be conducted with the highest level of integrity and that a variety of views can be addressed and considered,” Dunn said.

President Trump appointed the commission in part to address his unfounded claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election. In late June, the commission’s Vice-Chair Kris Kobach sent letters to secretaries of state around the country, asking for detailed information on voters, including names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliations and the last four digits of Social Security numbers.

The commission’s request for voter data drew rebukes from officials in most states. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office submitted some, but not all of the requested voter data to the commission. However, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that an attorney for Vice President Mike Pence’s office told Arkansas election officials told to delete the information they had uploaded to a U.S. government server. The instruction to delete the files was in part of a response to a lawsuit recently brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which claims the server is not secure enough to protect what it deems private information. 

Arkansas was reportedly the only state to comply with the commission’s request for voter information. Earlier this month, Gov. Asa Hutchinson recommended against releasing all of the requested data.

“The request is simply too broad and includes sensitive information of Arkansas voters,” Hutchinson said in a statement on July 5.

Aside from commenting on the voter data request, Dunn said at the Wednesday meeting that the commission should focus on looking at what resources states can use in improving the accuracy and efficiency of their voting systems.

“Whether it’s increasing training, improving communication between the states and localities across states, updating voter machines, or providing funds to assist the states and localities in carrying out their voting election work, I hope this commission will look at all the possibilities to help the states in their efforts to run competent and true elections,” he said.

Dunn served three terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He now works as a lobbyist in the state.