Groups sue to block elections officials from giving protected voter information to federal commission

Jul 28, 2017, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Two groups are suing the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s office to prevent elections officials from giving protected voter information to a federal commission.  However, the data in question is something elections officials have stated they wouldn’t hand over.

In June, Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox released a statement saying there was no evidence of mass voter fraud in Utah.  His office also stated they would not release sensitive voter information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.  However, League of Women Voters Utah Co-President Catherine Weller says the statement was not clear enough on whether birth dates would be included in the public data the commission can receive.  She says, “The birth date is a protected form of voter data and anybody requesting birth dates must prove that they are qualified to have a release of that data.”

The League, along with the League of United Latin American Citizens of Utah are asking for “positive affirmation” on what will happen with that information.  “He didn’t address any of that at all in his initial statement, which said he would be required to release the data, if it were requested,” she says.  They also want to know if the federal government will have to pay to get the voter information that is available to the public.

On Capitol Hill, elections officials are scratching their heads as to why this lawsuit is necessary.  Elections Director Mark Thomas says the Trump administration only asked for voter addresses, voting histories and party affiliation if that information was already public.  As for birth dates, Thomas says, “Under the statute, there are some exceptions in order to get birth dates.  [The commission] didn’t ask for it.  We’re not going to give them that.”

Thomas says any organization who wants public voting records would have to make a formal request, and they’d have to pay, $1,050 to get it.  He believes the only way his office could give out sensitive data would be to break state law, which he says they have no intention of doing.  “I think the League of Women Voters are going to be very satisfied with how we move forward,” Thomas says.

Today’s Top Stories

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a heari...
JIM HEINTZ Associated Press

Russian media: Griner pleads guilty in Russia drugs trial

MOSCOW (AP) — Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner on Thursday pleaded guilty to drug possession and smuggling during her trial in Moscow but said she had no intention of committing a crime, Russian news agencies reported. The reports quoted Griner as saying through an interpreter at the court hearing that she had acted unintentionally […]
9 hours ago
Leon Neal/Getty Images...
Luke McGee, Jack Guy and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns after mutiny in his party

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, said it was "good news for the country" that Johnson had decided to resign, adding that "it should have happened long ago."
9 hours ago
Robb Elementary...
Rosa Flores, Rosalina Nieves and Christina Maxouris, CNN

A police officer asked for permission to shoot the Uvalde gunman before he entered the school, but didn’t hear back in time, new report says

According to a new assessment on the handling of the Uvalde school shooting, an officer armed with a rifle spotted the gunman before he entered the school. But was never cleared to fire.
1 day ago
hate crime death penalty...
Curt Gresseth

Polarization is behind US mass shootings, says psychiatrist

A psychiatrist discusses why mental health disorders are not the reason behind mass shootings in America but rather polarization of US society is to blame.
1 day ago
Ogden police car...
Mark Jones

Ogden-Weber Technical College evacuated due to bomb threat; no bomb found

Weber County emergency personnel responded to the Ogden-Weber Technical College Wednesday afternoon for a report of bomb threat. After a search of the campus, no device was found.
1 day ago
Black Rifle Coffee...
Lindsay Aerts

Black Rifle Coffee, Dallas Cowboys take heat for timing of business partnership

The timing of a business partnership between Utah-based Black Rifle Coffee and the Dallas Cowboys has generated a lot of emotions on social media.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Groups sue to block elections officials from giving protected voter information to federal commission