News

Actions

White House posts comments, personal info of voting fraud panel commenters

White House posts comments, personal info of voting fraud panel commenters
Posted at 1:26 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 10:45:56-04

(RNN) - People shared their opinions about Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

In response, the government posted a 112-pdf of their emails on the White House website - in their entirety, without redacting their email addresses.

A woman with the White House press office confirmed that anything published on the White House website was legimately published.

The commission noted in a blog post Thursday: "Any member of the public wishing to submit written comments for the Commission’s consideration may do so via email at ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov. Please note that the Commission may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted."

The pdf won't be published here or linked to in an attempt to not further compromise people's privacy.

The distribution of people's personal information without their consent - including their name, social security numbers, home and work address and contact information - is called doxxing and can make people vulnerable to online harassment, such as swatting.

Most of the published comments slammed the commission.

"This commission is a sham, and Kris Kobach has been put on it expressly to disenfranchise minority voters," one person stated. "I am ashamed that my taxpayer dollars are being used for such purposes."

"The American public is watching you," read another email. "Anyone who believes that 3 million or more Californians' votes are false is to be highly mistrusted. Anyone who supports an antiquated Electoral College system allowing minority rule is suspect."

"This is just one example of Trump and his minions' hideous policies," a person wrote. "Why does good always have such an uphill battle against bad?"

"Asking for voter identity information is contrary to everything this country and the ideals of democracy stand for," someone said in their email. "It doesn't get any stupider than this, coming from the very people who should understand this best so they can protect us!"

Christopher R. Green of South Dakota confirmed that he sent the email that appears on the site. In it, he expresses his disappointment that South Dakota did not comply with the committee’s request. He said he contacted the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office to voice his objection to the decision. He said he knew of two cases of voter fraud reported by acquaitences who ran for office, and nothing was done about it.

He said he owns his own business and has been a voter for more than 30 years.

“I don’t like things when individuals are held accountable, or a few are not held accountable and everybody else is,” he said from his office in Rapid City, SD. He is the principal of Electrical Engineering Solutions.

He also said he has received four anonymous emails on his company website since 1:45 a.m. Friday morning that contained vulgar language and all said that there has been no evidence of voter fraud.

He said one of the issues that South Dakota officials said kept them from supplying the requested data was that it required the last four digits of voters’ social security numbers.

“Why is giving the last four numbers a problem?” He said. “The federal government has all those anyhow?”

Many of the emails contained profanities, mostly aimed at Kobach, Trump or the commission in general. One person sent a nine-page list of sex crime allegations against Republican lawmakers.

Some people spoke on their issues with the voting system. "I am extremely concerned that our voting system has no way to check if something has been hacked or changed,' another person said via email. "In Georgia, there are no paper ballots and no way to doublecheck votes to see if the machines or the computers have been compromised. This is my major concern as an American voter! I hope that your commission will address this vulnerability." 

Pence slammed the Associated Press when they published his wife's email. He tweeted the AP "violated her privacy and our security."

"The publication of Mrs. Pence's active private email address to millions of your readers has subjected her to vitriolic and malicious emails and raised serious security concerns," wrote Mark Paoletta, counsel to the vice president. "The Associated Press should have done a proper inquiry into the status of Mrs. Pence's personal email account before publishing it."

The AP ended up removing her email from the story, Politico reported.

Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, came under fire when he did a similar thing in 2015 by publishing emails he received as governor of Florida, including sensitive information - home and email addresses, telephone and social security numbers, the Verge said.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was created on May 11 via President Trump's executive order.

Vice President Mike Pence chairs the Commission, while Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach services as vice chair.

“We can't take for granted the integrity of the vote," Pence said. "This bipartisan commission will review ways to strengthen the integrity of elections in order to protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote because the integrity of the vote is the foundation of our democracy."

The commission has faced resistance on the state level for its request for voter information, including names, partial social security numbers and birth dates, over concerns that submitting the information would violate voter privacy, with most states deciding to not comply with the request.

Even officials on the voting fraud panel, such as Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, declined to submit the voting data to the panel, the Bangor Daily News said.

“Because the statute on confidentiality is directory and the statute on access to the voter file is discretionary, it is not possible for my office to comply with the request and also comply with the law,” Dunlap wrote.

In response, the commission told the states to hold off on sending their information.

President Trump on Twitter expressed bafflement that states refused to heed the panel's request: "Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?"

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.