AK won't provide confidential voter information to election commission

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) Alaska's lieutenant governor said Friday that the Division of Elections will not provide any confidential information to a presidential commission looking into voter fraud.

President Donald Trump tasked Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach with leading a commission that "identifies laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance or undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of federal election processes."

In a letter sent on Wednesday to Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who oversees elections in Alaska, and to election officials nationwide, Kobach requested an array of state-level data kept on voters, including: full names, dates and places of birth, political party affiliation, the last four digits of social security numbers, felony convictions, voter history, physical addresses, and more.

States have two weeks to comply.

Mallott, in a bare-bones statement, said that "confidential information will not be released," adding that state law and division protocol keeps private the last four numbers of social security numbers, dates and places of birth, physical addresses, phone numbers, and driving license numbers.

The statement did not specify what records, if any, the State of Alaska plans to turn over to the federal commission.

Locally and nationally, the request for data faced intense criticism on many levels: some see a solution in search of a problem as the president has never offered evidence of widespread voter fraud, others worry what a new federal database means for privacy rights, and others still see the move as part of an effort to suppress voting by creating a database that could later be used to create barriers to the ballot box.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, said in a statement, "Our Constitution is extremely clear, and extremely strong on privacy rights. I'm hoping that this request to the administration is a no-brainer. We, over any other state, have the legal right to support refusing their request."

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