Forum on Voting Rights and Privacy under the Pence-Kobach Commission
Washington, DC, July 19, 2017
Ahead of Trump’s voter commission’s first meeting, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. convened a forum with the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and House Judiciary Committee Democrats to examine voting rights and privacy concerns related to recent requests made by the commission’s co-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to obtain detailed voter-roll information.
During the forum, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan-Grimes, Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Janai Nelson of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund spoke out against the commission’s requests for sensitive voter data and raised concerns about the commission’s motives.
In addition to the forum, Conyers joined Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, Bennie G. Thompson, and Robert A. Brady in sending a letter to Vice President Michael Pence to request that he ask for the resignation of Kris Kobach from his position as the Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, and that he rescind Mr. Kobach’s unprecedented request for sensitive voter information.
Click here to read the letter.
In June, the Congressional Black Caucus sent letters to the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors raising concerns that these requests may lead to voter suppression and privacy violations. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also sent a letter to the Secretaries of State to raise concerns.