By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4)– The State of Colorado will turn over voter information to Pres. Donald Trump’s “Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” but only what’s publicly available.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the media Wednesday following a letter from the Trump administrations election integrity commission.
Williams said, while it is not clear what the commission will be using the information for, state law does not dictate who can and cannot have access to it. It requires the office to provide a copy of the voter registration list to anyone upon request.
There were close to 200 of these types of requests in 2016; from members of the media to candidates for political office. What is publicly available varies from state to state.
In Colorado, the voter registration list includes the following:
– Full name
– Year of birth
– Political party
– Voting history of persons registered to vote in the state
It does not contain any information on who you voted for or any personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, or full dates of birth.
The Secretary of State’s Office says the exemption is those registered with the confidential voter program. The program is designed to protect voters who have a reasonable fear of violence and due to safety concerns, must have all information remain confidential. Anyone can sign up and argue their case.
In addition to the request for publically available information from the voter registration list, the commission is seeking “views and recommendations” from secretaries of state from all 50 states on seven specific issues. Some of those issues which are detailed in the letter include, whether they have evidence of voter fraud or registration fraud in their state, how the commission can support election administrators with regard to information technology security and vulnerabilities, and how voters can be protected from intimidation or disenfranchisement.
Williams said the fact that the commission was seeking this advice at all, is “refreshing.”
“We are very glad they are asking for information before making decisions,” Williams said. “I wish more federal agencies would ask folks for their opinion and for information before they made decisions.”
When pressed further about the publically available voter registration information, Williams emphasized that there is no law on who can obtain the information. This includes anyone, even at an international level- without having to provide a reason.
To this Willams said, “It may be appropriate for legislation to put a restriction on sharing.”
The commission had requested all the information be made available by July 14.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015. She is currently a reporter for CBS4 This Morning, which means she is always on the go, covering a wide variety of breaking local news and important local events. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.