Trump's request for voter data still 'under review' in N.J.
N.J. elections official: "To date, no information has been released nor will any future information be released that is not publicly available or does not follow the appropriate legal process for information requests."
New Jersey is still deciding whether to comply with the Trump administration's request for voter data as part of the president's investigation into alleged election fraud.
President Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent a letter to each state last month requesting "publicly available voter roll data," such as registrants' names, addresses, dates of birth, and political party affiliation. The commission also asked for data such as the last four digits of Social Security numbers, as long as the information is considered public under state law.
The commission's request is "currently under review," Robert Giles, director of New Jersey's Division of Elections, said in a statement Wednesday. He noted that the commission had requested a response by July 14.
"To date, no information has been released nor will any future information be released that is not publicly available or does not follow the appropriate legal process for information requests," Giles said.
A spokeswoman for the Division of Elections did not respond to a reporter's question asking whether Gov. Christie, a Republican and friend of Trump's, will have any role in deciding whether to comply with the commission's request.
The spokeswoman also wouldn't say what voter information the state considered public.
Christie's spokesman referred questions to the Division of Elections.
The governor has said voter fraud "happens all the time in every state in this country."
"How you quantify it, I don't know," he said in January. "But we know it's there."
CNN reported Wednesday that 44 states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide certain voter information to Trump's commission.
"Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL," Trump wrote Saturday on Twitter. "What are they trying to hide?"
Trump has claimed, without evidence, that "millions" of people voted "illegally" in November's election. He established the panel in May via executive order.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Wolf said Friday that he would not comply with Trump's request. "The right to vote is absolute and I have no confidence that you seek to bolster it," Wolf wrote in a letter to the commission. "Voter suppression is undemocratic and I will not allow Pennsylvania to participate in this process to further the trend of suppression seen across the country."
"That said, like any citizen, you are welcome to purchase the publicly available voter file from the Pennsylvania Department of State," Wolf wrote.
He and others have raised privacy concerns about the commission's pledge to make the voter information public and questioned whether the panel would handle the data securely.
A Washington-based privacy group filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the commission's collection of voter data, alleging the panel had failed to meet a constitutional requirement of conducting a privacy impact assessment.
Democrats and groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union are calling on the Christie administration to not hand over the data.
Trump's voter commission is "a sham exercise designed to spread misinformation about election security at the expense of New Jersey voters' right to privacy," the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU wrote in a letter to the Division of Elections on Wednesday.
"Voter fraud is not the problem, and turning over sensitive voter information to Kris Kobach, a known proponent of voter suppression, is not the solution," the letter reads.
Kobach is the commission's vice chair and the secretary of state for Kansas. The panel is chaired by Vice President Pence.
The ACLU said New Jersey courts "have held that New Jerseyans have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their Social Security numbers."
As New Jersey's secretary of state, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno oversees the Division of Elections. But after announcing her run for governor, Guadagno recused herself in February from election matters. She is the Republican Party's nominee to succeed Christie.
"Protecting the integrity of elections is a top priority, and it has been the policy of the Division of Elections to protect private personal information and only provide publicly available data to those who file a proper open public records request," Guadagno wrote on Facebook Sunday.
"However, since I am recused from matters regarding the Division of Elections because I am also running for governor, I am not involved with handling the federal government's request for voter information," she said.