Some voters concerned enough over privacy to comment online about the election integrity commission’s request for voter data found that, ironically, their contact information has been released publicly.
“Trump WH just released public comments submitted to voter fraud commission without redacting email addresses, home addresses & phone numbers,” University of Virginia Miller Center Senior Fellow Chris Lu, formerly the White House Cabinet Secretary under Obama, tweeted.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, led by Vice Chairman Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, had invited comments on its probe of voter fraud, in which the commission had requested a wide range of voter data from all 50 states. The request for data had sparked privacy concerns and subsequently pushback from most of the states.
Vice President Mike Pence’s office defended the release of contact information. “These are public comments, similar to individuals appearing before [a] commission to make comments and providing name before making comments,” Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Pence, the chairman of the commission, said in a statement, according to the Huffington Post. “The Commission’s Federal Register notice asking for public comments and its website make clear that information ‘including names and contact information’ sent to this email address may be released.”
But critics took issue with the disclosures. “Kobach commission website warns that personal contact info could be disclosed. In this era of trolling, no one should be exposed that way,” tweeted Lu.