Secretary of State Kim Wyman has rightly told a presidential commission looking into voter fraud that private information is private in Washington state.
IN response to an invasive federal request for private voter registration data, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann told the presidential commission looking into voter fraud it could “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.” Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is too polite to tell the commission to go jump in the Pacific Ocean.
But she was just as firm when she responded to the records request saying the commission could get data already publicly available online. But she would go not one step further toward answering the ridiculous request.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity was formed to look into a nonexistent problem and is asking for information — party affiliations, voting history, birth dates and the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers — that could be used in nefarious ways. The commission’s thinly veiled aim is voter suppression. Washington state should not help that cause. At least 30 other states rightly agree on that point.
As Wyman tweeted last weekend, her office isn’t going to release any private voter information to the federal commission or anyone else. As she rightly points out, no part of Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, phone numbers, email addresses or language preferences is public information. The commission chaired by Vice President Mike Pence seems clueless about voter-privacy laws.
A group of lawmakers made a sensible request to Wyman this week, asking her to demand that the data is properly secured, won’t be made available to a third party and will not be posted online, as state law requires. When asked about the lawmakers’ request, her spokesman said the database is available online for anyone to download — it has been for years — but first they must agree to follow the state laws that outline those conditions.
Washington voters should have nothing to worry about regarding the privacy of their private data and should make sure they are registered.
Our state makes it easy. You can sign up to vote or check your own voter registration online at the Secretary of State website.
Though it is too late to register online for the August primary, you can register in person at your county elections department. The deadline for in-person registration for the Aug. 1 election is July 24.
Wyman is right to reject the administration’s request and its voter-suppression aims.