MARK MARTIN: With Donald Trump or with Arkansas voters?
opposition is growing to the effort by a so-called election integrity commission
appointed by Donald Trump
to amass a vast trove of data on every voter in America.
The requested information includes full names, addresses, birth dates, political party and, most notably, the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The commission is also seeking data such as voter history, felony convictions and military service records.
Digital security experts say the commission’s request would centralize and lay bare a valuable cache of information that cyber criminals could use for identity theft scams — or that foreign spies could leverage for disinformation schemes.
“It is beyond stupid,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
“The bigger the purse, the more effort folks would spend to get at it,” said Joe Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital advocacy group. “And in this case, this is such a high-profile and not-so-competent tech operation that we're likely to see the hacktivists and pranksters take shots at it.”
Beyond stupid? Perhaps that's one reason that Secretary of State Mark Martin
has so far stood silent
on whether Arkansas will comply with the data. Also mute to date is former state Rep. David Dunn,
now a lobbyist, who was named to the commission thanks to his friendship with Martin and, in turn, Martin's friendship with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach,
mastermind of the plot. Kobach has spent his public life attempting to suppress votes and has mounted some past dubious efforts to root out supposed fraudulent voters.
Beyond stupid? Or representing the privacy interests of Arkansas voters?
UPDATE: Chris Powell, Martin's spokesman, said Monday morning that the office has still not received the letter about the data and no one in the office has communicated about it, at least in document form. Powell said of a Washington Post article that listed Arkansas among states that would "partially" comply: "Apparently, the Washington Post is drawing its own conclusions, as we have not spoken with them."
When I mentioned to Powell that several states had rejected the idea without having formally received the letter, said: "We don’t feel that that is prudent. We are not looking for a soundbite."