Brown: Trump should buy ID protection for voters after info released

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Brown: Trump should buy ID protection for voters after info released

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Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Sherrod Brown is furious that the White House has published emails containing personal information from people who wrote to express concern about the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

The White House released 112 pages of comments on its website July 14 without redacting the information, which in some cases included names and in some cases addresses or email addresses.

In a letter to White House counsel, Brown, D–Ohio, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D–Calif., and Ron Wyden, D–Ore., fired off a series of questions about, among other things, whether the White House will pay for or provide credit services to any of those whose personal information could be used for identity theft as a result of their information being published. They also ask whether the decision to publish the comments was “retribution” for the writers’ criticism.

“Since our nation’s founding, whether by mail, phone, or email, people have contacted their elected representatives to voice their opinions,” the senators wrote. “At no time have Americans contacted their elected representatives with the expectation their representatives would subsequently publicly disclose their personal information without permission.”

They went on to write that “the decision by the White House to publish the emails commenting on the commission without redacting personal information demonstrates, at best, a lack of sensitivity to and simple disregard for the very concerns raised in many of emails.”

The commission — which includes former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell among its members — was set up after President Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that three to five million voted illegally in the 2016 elections. Blackwell, however, said the commission isn’t designed to prove or disprove that statement but, instead, is tasked with reviewing “the complex system of American elections” to “see what new vulnerabilities and new threats are in play.”

The commission is off to a bumpy start: Ohio and 44 other states made headlines earlier this month after refusing to provide all the personal voter information to the commission requested by Vice Chair Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state.

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