The following is a letter from League of Women Voters of Colorado President Nancy Crow:
It is time for all Americans to ponder the question – what does it mean to cherish and protect our freedom? To the League of Women Voters, freedom means every citizen has a voice in our government. The measure of this freedom is access to the voting booth.
The League is raising a strong warning that the Pence – Kobach/Election Integrity Commission, threatens this freedom. The Commission members have already been discredited as political ideologues with dangerous agendas. This Commission is laying the groundwork to roll back voting access by creating the potential for voter suppression by the wrongful removal of eligible voters. The League warns that this is part of a wider effort to suppress the vote, keep certain politicians in power, and undermine our elections by spreading falsehoods about the process.
Kris Kobach’s (Co-Chair of the EIC) request for sensitive voter-roll data, including the names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliation, past voter history, and even partial social security numbers of registered voters is a dangerous violation of privacy and the League has serious questions about the legality of releasing this personal information. According to reports from election officials, a number of people are choosing to withdraw their voter registration to protect their privacy. This is counter-productive to the goals of League and may have long-term consequences for voter participation in the election process.
The REAL problems with our election system are polling place closures, cuts to early voting, onerous voter ID laws, and the illegal purge of registered voters. The presidential election of 2016 was the first without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. Without this protection some state governments have: wrongly removed eligible voters from the voter rolls, made severe cuts to early voting hours in targeted areas, and strictly limited what qualifies as a “valid” ID.
The LWV Colorado urges Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams to deny this request and defend freedom.