Add Common Cause to those suing over Donald Trump’s voter data commission led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The suit in Washington says it aims to prevent unlawful collection of sensitive and personal voting data of millions of Americans. To date, only Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin has supplied any information sought by the commission, an effort by Trump to dig up information aimed at proving Hillary Clinton really didn’t win the 2016 popular vote.


The commission, on account of another suit, has told Arkansas it would “delete” the data on 1.7 million Arkansans that had been supplied, but it’s not been made clear what assurances Arkansas has that this has been done. Arkansas supplied the information on a secure data exchange system that put the material on an Army server. One report quotes the commissions as saying it wouldn’t “download” the material.

Common Cause particularly objected to data Martin supplied — party preference if given and a history of which political primaries a voter has participated in. This is part of information made public on request in Arkansas, along with home address, telephone number and sometimes e-mail addresses and date of birth.


Common Cause said the commission has violated several laws and asks for a permanent injunction against collection of the data.

Said a release:


The Pence-Kobach Commission’s first acts have flaunted the norms of our democracy by potentially violating open meetings laws with their first meetings, appointing commissioners that are in no way balanced [David Dunn, a lobbyist and Arkansas legislator and friend of Mark Martin was appointed despite an admitted lack of knowledge on the subject] and whose backgrounds indicate a preference for shrinking, rather than expanding, the electorate, and now by requesting voting data from the states in direct violation of the Privacy Act.

The attempt at data collection (Kobach also asked for partial Social Security numbers) has caused more than 3,000 people in Colorado to cancel their voter registration. Kobach has used dubious data before as a wedge for voter roll purges.