Despite Privacy Concerns, Few Texans Seek to Remove Data From Voter Rolls

AUSTIN — Two weeks after President Donald Trump's commission on election integrity requested detailed voter data from states, few Texas voters have asked to have their personal information removed from voter rolls, election officials say.Meanwhile, the Texas Democratic Party on Thursday sent a letter to Secretary of State Rolando Pablos asking for all communication between his office and the commission, as well as the state's intended response to the request."Let's be clear: Greg Abbott wants to give Donald Trump Texans' private information," said the letter from party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa. "Given the discriminatory record of the Republican Party, the only credible explanation for the release of this sensitive material is voter suppression."Travis County voter registrar Bruce Elfant told The Dallas Morning News only about a dozen people have asked to have voter information, such as addresses and dates of birth, removed from voter rolls.Once someone is registered to vote there is no way to make their public voter data private except in rare cases, Elfant said. "We can remove information from our website, but the information would be still available through a public records request," he said.In Harris County, there have been no reports of voters seeking to be removed from voter rolls, said Leah Olive-Nishioka, a spokesperson for the county's voter registrar. The few requests to remove data come amid reports of voters seeking to un-register to vote in Colorado and Florida because of concerns of what the Trump administration might do with the information.The data the commission requested includes names, addresses, dates of birth, partial Social Security numbers, elections voted in, military status and information regarding any felony convictions.At least 44 states and the District of Columbia have declined to give some personal voter information to the Trump administration, according to CNN.Pablos has said he will only supply voter data to the commission that is publicly available under Texas law — names, dates of birth and registration, addresses, voting methods, and elections voted in."The Secretary of State's office will provide the Election Integrity Commission with public information and will protect the private information of Texas citizens while working to maintain the security and integrity of our state's elections system," Pablos said in a prepared statement. Social Security and driver's license numbers are private in Texas, as well as the addresses of state and federal judges and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking who participate in the attorney general's address confidentiality program. Police officers and some employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice can also request to have their voter information made confidential.After the commission's request, Gov. Greg Abbott sought to assuage voters' privacy concerns in a tweet. "Texas is keeping private your private information," Abbott wrote.  Continue reading...

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