FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 3, 2017
Contact: Kristen Muszynski/ 207-441-7638
Secretary Dunlap will deny Elections Commission
request based on provisions of Maine law
AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, in consultation with Attorney General Janet Mills, has determined that the State of Maine cannot fulfill the request for voter registration information from President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, Secretary Dunlap received a letter from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, on behalf of the commission. Secretary Kobach serves as vice chairman on the commission, of which Secretary Dunlap is also a member.
In his letter, Secretary Kobach states: “… in order for the Commission to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting, I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for Maine, including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information. … We would appreciate a response by July 14, 2017. Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.”
Due to the stipulation in Secretary Kobach’s letter that "any documents submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public," Maine’s Central Voter Registration (CVR) information cannot be released because the request is in direct conflict with Title 21-A MRSA section 196-A subsection 1, which states "information contained electronically in the central voter registration system and any information or reports generated by the system are confidential and may be accessed only by municipal and state election officials for the purposes of election and voter registration administration."
In addition to the stipulation that the voter information cannot be made public, much of the requested information -- such as full date of birth, political party, Social Security number and voter history – are not available for release to the commission due to other restrictions in Maine’s CVR statute.
“Maine citizens can be confident that our office will not release any data that is protected under Maine law, to the commission or any other requesting entity,” said Secretary Dunlap.