Trump’s commision investigating election fraud released 112 pages of emails commenting on the investigation, including the senders’ personal info, NPR reports.
Federal agencies often publish comments from the public.
The emails criticized the commission, used profanity, and included the senders’ email addresses.
“This cavalier attitude toward the public’s personal information is especially concerning given the commission’s request for sensitive data on every registered voter in the country,” Theresa Lee, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, said.
Mike Pence’s press secretary, Marc Lotter, wrote that releasing the comments was akin to, “individuals appearing before commission” that would identify themselves before making comments.
The comments came after the commission asked the states to turn over voter information like names, addresses, birthdates, partial Social Security numbers, party affiliation and felon status. Over a dozen states refused to do so, and others have said their state laws prevent them from doing so.
The commission received emails calling it a “sham,” cursing, and one that was published with the name and email of a person who wrote:
“DO NOT RELEASE ANY OF MY VOTER DATA PERIOD.”
The commission is being sued by several groups for more transparency, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the ACLU.
EPIC President and Executive Director Marc Rotenberg says the commission “hasn’t given much thought to the privacy implications of what they are doing,” both in terms of the information it wants from the states and its choice to release public comments with email addresses/names.
A White House blog post on Thursday said “the Commission may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted,” but people who emailed before that may not have known their comments and identities would be released.
“These people may well have submitted comments with the expectation that their names and addresses would be removed,” Rotenberg said.
(image via KCTV screengrab)