Durbin Calls On Illinois To Refuse Request To Release Illinois Voter Files To Trump Commission On Voter Fraud

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Illinois Board of Elections to utilize every legal authority to protect sensitive voter information being requested by the Presidential Commission on Voter Integrity. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who serves as the vice chair of the commission, wrote on Wednesday to all 50 states and the District of Columbia requesting that all publicly available voter roll data be sent to the White House.

“This Commission is a half-baked exercise setting out to prove President Trump actually won the popular vote, which under the clear language of the Constitution is irrelevant.  The Vice-chair of the effort, Kris Kobach, is well-known in Washington for hair-on-fire conspiracy theories imagining massive voter fraud which somehow escapes the attention of thousands of appointed and elected officials from both parties who supervise our elections,” said Durbin. "It is understandable that election officials of both parties nationwide are telling Mr. Kobach and his Commission to stick his request where the sun never shines. Illinois should do no less."

Durbin continued, “I believe that the American people deserve an independent, non-partisan investigation into the 2016 presidential election—one that scrutinizes President Trump’s unfounded accusations of widespread voter fraud, Republican efforts to suppress turnout with burdensome voting restrictions, and Russia’s interference in our election and reports of contact between the Trump campaign and the Russian government."

According to Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Ken Menzel, as of Friday, the office had not yet received the letter. Once it’s received, Mr. Menzel said they will review the request and decide how to proceed. The information requested by the commission includes the names, addresses, birthdates, political party, last four digits of the voter's Social Security Number, and which elections the voter has participated in since 2006 for every registered voter in the country. Mr. Kobach did not say how the commission specifically plans to use the data.

In May, Durbin reiterated his calls for an independent, non-partisan investigation into the 2016 election after President Trump signed an executive order launching a commission to review "voter integrity" in the U.S. election system.