It used to be that Americans recognized government intrusion and recoiled against it, but in the era of terrorism, we’ve become so accustomed to Uncle Sam watching over us that we hardly take notice when the feds attempt to dig deeper and know more about us.
An example of this new permissiveness can be observed as the White House attempts to obtain voter records from each of the 50 states to support Donald Trump’s claim that 3 million votes were fraudulently cast in the presidential election.
Last week the curiously labeled federal Commission on Election Integrity asked for detailed information on every voter in the country. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale balked initially, but agreed to turn over some information with assurances none of it would fall into the wrong hands. We would rather that Gale would have refused the commission’s request, citing concerns about unwarranted intrusion, but for now a court has put a hold on the release of voter info until it determines the legality of the commission’s request.
Across the border, our friends in Kansas have a big problem.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is sold on Trump’s voter fraud claim and is willing to intrude to whatever degree necessary to uncover the alleged 3 million fraudulent voters. Kobach serves as vice chair of the Commission on Election Integrity and drafted the letter that went to the nation’s secretaries of state requesting the voter data.
Kobach wants names, addresses, birth dates, party registrations, voting histories and the last four digits of Social Security numbers.
Some states have refused the request, some have just not responded. Others said they would hand over their voter records.
Americans should be deeply concerned by the commission’s inquiry, supposedly in the name of election integrity.
Every American wants honest and fair elections, but the commission seeks information that serves no valid purpose. However, it does provide unethical lawmakers the toehold they need to suppress voters, such as repealing motor-voter registration laws. Gale should retract his approval, and all secretaries of state should refuse to comply, or they’ll risk voter privacy and worse, lose trust they’ve worked hard to earn from voters.