New York State to give some voter info to presidential commission
Elections officials in New York will comply with a request from a commission formed by President Donald Trump to review the integrity of the 2016 election -- turning over the state's voter registration rolls through a Freedom of Information Law request.
"It's going through the normal process, but my understanding is the process is moving forward with complying with it," said Board of Elections spokesman Thomas Connolly.
The state Board of Elections had initially rejected two requests from the panel, known as the Election Integrity Commission. State officials said the data the federal panel sought was too broad.
"They did subsequently fill out a FOIL request that did include the acceptance of those conditions, so their request will be processed as a normal FOIL request," Connolly said.
Here is what the state will turn over: voter names, addresses, the elections they voted in. What the state won't turn over: the last four digits of a voter's social security number, their driver's license or state ID number and who they voted for.
In fact, the board of elections handles requests for voter information frequently, often from political campaigns.
"We've had a lot of calls to the office from people who want to get off the voter rolls because they're concerned that the federal government is going to have this secretive data that they don't want people to have," said Jennifer Wilson of the League of Women Voters. "The truth is, these requests come in to the board of elections a lot."
And registered voters have rights, too, when it comes to being registered in New York to participate in elections.
"We want voters to know that the federal government cannot do that," Wilson said. "Voting is controlled by the state. Only the state can take people off of the rolls or put people on the rolls."
The election integrity commission was formed after the president claimed falsely and without evidence that he would have defeated Hillary Clinton in the popular vote tally had it not been for millions of illegally-cast votes. Governor Andrew Cuomo had vowed to block the release of voter data, but it ultimately was not up to him.