Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
207-626-8404 - 207-441-7638

Secretary Dunlap denies elections commission’s second request for Mainers’ voter data

AUGUSTA –Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is standing by his decision to deny the voter data request of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

The Maine Office of the Secretary of State received a second letter from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Wednesday, July 26, requesting voter data from the States for the use of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Kobach is the vice chairman of the commission, on which Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap also serves.

Kobach had previously requested all publicly available voter data from all the States in his letter of June 28, and stated that the data would be made public. In this second letter, Kobach has altered the request by stating that the commission “will not release any personally identifiable information from voter registration records to the public."

Secretary Dunlap initially denied the request based on the provision in Maine law that prohibits Maine voter data from public disclosure and is standing by that decision in his denial of the second request. In his response, Secretary Dunlap states that he is “uncertain whether the Commission has the plenary authority to exempt documents from public review,” and that the commission as a whole should discuss the data-gathering effort prior to requesting the data from States.

The commissioners did not discuss this secondary request for voter data at the commission’s first meeting on July 19. The next commission meeting is tentatively slated for mid- September.