Governor Wolf Denies Latest Trump Administration Request for Pennsylvania Voter Information
July 28, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement in response to a letter sent yesterday from Kris Kobach, the Vice Chair of the Trump Administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
“This does not satisfactorily address my serious reservations about the real intentions of the committee and its possible use of voter information, considering the false statements this administration has made about voter integrity.
“I still have grave concerns the commission intends to pursue restrictions on the rights of Pennsylvanians to vote. The right to vote is absolute and I will not assist any effort to create unnecessary and unfair burdens on voters.
“My administration has partnered with the PEW Charitable Trusts and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to ensure the accuracy of our voter rolls. The integrity of the vote is of utmost importance to me and I am satisfied with ERIC.
“As I have said previously, publicly available voter file information can be purchased for $20 from the Department of State and the Secretary Kobach is welcome to purchase the data like any other citizen.”
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Vice Chair Kobach:
I have received your renewed request for the registration information of every voter in Pennsylvania. Your original letter requested the private information of all registered voters, including their partial Social Security Numbers, birth dates and driver license numbers. The commonwealth did not provide the information then and my position has not changed. Your updated letter does not satisfy my serious concerns that the real intention of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is to pursue restrictions on the rights of Pennsylvanians to vote.
For many months, candidate Trump and now the president’s administration have repeatedly made false and misleading claims about our nation’s voting process, and without proof, questioned the accuracy of the election results. Furthermore, despite offering no evidence, accusations of voter fraud have been leveled against Pennsylvania.
I will not participate in a process that seeks to restrict the fundamental right of citizens to vote or questions the integrity of the commonwealth’s voting system and by extension the elections officials and thousands of volunteers at polling places who make our elections possible.
As I indicated in my original letter to you on June 30, any citizen, including the commission, can obtain the publicly available voter file information by contacting the Pennsylvania Department of State. The fee is $20. If you intend to pursue this course of action than I must insist that you strictly adhere to Pennsylvania law with the use of the data. Pennsylvania statute prohibits the use of the data for commercial purposes, except as required by 25 Pa.C.S. sections 1207(b) & 1404(c)(2).
The freedom we cherish was built on the absolute right to vote and generations have fought to remove unfair barriers to this right. We must not create new and unnecessary restrictions to the ballot box and Pennsylvania will not participate in any attempt to do so.