Privacy Law

Federal judge refuses to bar collection of data by Trump's voter fraud commission

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has refused to block the collection of voter information by President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled (PDF) on Monday that the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was not a federal agency subject to requirements for a privacy impact assessment, report the New York Times, the Washington Post and Reuters.

Kollar-Kotelly also said the White House information technology office, which is collecting the voter information, was not an agency required to do a privacy assessment.

Kollar-Kotelly said her decision may need to be revisited if the powers of the commission expand beyond those of a purely advisory body.

Kollar-Kotelly ruled in a suit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which reported on the decision in a press release.

The commission is seeking voter information that includes names, addresses, partial Social Security numbers, birth dates, voting histories and felony convictions.

Other groups have also sued to block the commission’s work. A suit by the American Civil Liberties Union contends Trump violated federal law by appointing an election commission “stacked with individuals” who endorse his unsubstantiated statements about voter fraud costing him the popular vote.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires advisory committees to have a membership that is “fairly balanced,” the ACLU suit says.

Typo in sixth paragraph corrected at 11:50 a.m.

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