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First State refuses voter data request from White House Commission

Delaware Public Media

Delaware is the latest state to say “no” to a White House commission asking states for data from its voter rolls.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is seeking individual voter information - such as names, birth dates, party affiliation, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting history past 2006.   The panel’s stated purpose is to recommend ways to improve the public's confidence in the integrity of elections.

State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove says releasing the information is “not in the best interest of Delaware voters.”

“Releasing this information to the White House would not serve the mission of safeguarding the fairness
and integrity of elections in Delaware," said Manlove in a statement.

Manlove said her office and the state's three county offices have been inundated with phone calls and emails from the public.

“The voters are just outraged. And I have not had one request saying ‘please send my information.’ Every request I have is ‘please do not send my information,'" Manlove said. 


Delaware’s Secretary of State Jeff Bullock went further.

“Delaware has a long history of running fair and efficient elections open to all qualified voters. We should not be a part of any effort to turn back the clock on the progress we have made,” said Bullock in a statement. “Delaware will not be a party to this disingenuous and inappropriate campaign against one of the nation’s foundational institutions.”

The commission was created by President Trump in the wake of his widely dismissed allegation that as many as 5 million people voted illegally last November.

Over half the states in the country have completely or partially rejected the commission date request.

Bullock recieved the letter requesting the voter information. He then forwarded it to Manlove.

That's because in Delaware, elections are not administered by the Secretary of State.  The election commissioner handles them, as well as the state’s voter rolls.  The commissioner is an independent, non-partisan official appointed by the governor to a 10-year term and confirmed by the state Senate.

In Delaware, a person’s name, address and party affiliation are public. 


But Manlove says people have been calling asking her to keep that information private as well.


Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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