07 Aug Statement from the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State on the President’s Voter Fraud Commission
The United States Constitution mandates that elections administration is left up to states. As the nation’s chief election officials, we take seriously our role in ensuring the integrity of and public confidence in the elections we administer.
We harbor deep concerns about any proposals to reallocate state jurisdictions’ authority in the administration of elections. We are keenly aware of recent developments in FBI, CIA and Department of Homeland Security investigations of foreign intrusion in the 2016 General Election, post-election unfounded allegations and claims of widespread voter fraud emanating from the Executive, and the recent formation of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. These actions seem to indicate an unprecedented intrusion into local and state election administration processes by the Federal government and gives us pause as we consider whether the true intent of this federal action is to pre-empt state and local management of elections in the future.
On June 26, 2017, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity requested a wide array of personal voter information from the states. This request lacks legal authority and offers no explanation of how the data is to be utilized.
As chief election officials, we re-affirm our commitment to the American voter that the processes and systems we oversee are secure and reliable, and that the rights and sensitive information of our voters be at all times protected. We re-affirm our confidence in the American system in which state and local officials administer elections.
We expect transparency from the work of your Commission. We demand to know what protections to the personal privacy of voters will be in place regarding the data which you seek to collect. Importantly, we encourage you to shift the Commission’s focus to work on how best to improve our election infrastructure and prevent foreign interference in our elections by providing resources to strengthen cyber security to the states and localities.
We stand united in the principle that in America, no one authority can or should control the election process and that our enduring mission is the protection of voting rights and the expansion of democratic participation.
Submitted by the undersigned Secretaries of State,
Denise Merrill – Connecticut
Jim Condos – Vermont
Elaine Marshall – North Carolina
Alex Padilla – California
Nellie Gorbea – Rhode Island
Pedro Cortes – Pennsylvania
Alison Lundergan-Grimes – Kentucky
Steve Simon – Minnesota
Maggie Toulouse Oliver – New Mexico