DENVER – The voter roll information Colorado and other states sent to President Trump’s now-disbanded voter fraud commission will be destroyed and won’t be going to the Department of Homeland Security after all, the White House said in a federal court filing this week.
A filing in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by White House IT Director Charles Herndon said the data will be scrapped rather than sent to DHS, as Kansas Secretary of State and panel vice chair Kris Kobach claimed would happen last week.
The court filing further said that none of the voter fraud commission’s “records or data will be transferred to the DHS and another agency” except for possible archive purposes mandated by federal law.
“Good,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in response. “Anytime you do something like this, you want current information.”
Williams partially complied with the commission’s initial request for voter roll information, but only sent to the commission records that are already publicly available to anyone who requests them.
He has said repeatedly that there are “far better ways to effectively assess the accuracy of voter rolls and voter integrity than looking at publicly available data” and that he’d be happy to work with other states and DHS on the accuracy of voter rolls when it’s requested.
DHS learned about Kobach's claims when the National Association of Secretaries of State reached out to ask about what Kobach had said.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office agreed to investigate the voter fraud commission last year at the request of Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., over the commission’s motives. Bennet has repeatedly said the commission was a “government-funded fishing expedition.”
More than 5,300 Coloradans withdrew their voter registrations in response to the request by the commission—many over concerns of what the commission would do with the information.
The commission was formed by President Trump after he falsely claimed millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 General Election.
In 2017, three Coloradans were convicted of voter fraud, including the former chairman of the state Republican party. Williams said last year that a five-state study found 48 instances of possible voter fraud, which were referred to local district attorneys. He has said that voter fraud is rare, but that the state takes every vote seriously when examining possible fraud.