In summary

Facing a stack of lawsuits from privacy and civil-rights advocates, President Trump’s commission on elections integrity—which California’s Democratic Secretary of State likened to a “sham commission”— is temporarily halting its effort to collect voter-roll information from the states.

Facing a stack of lawsuits from privacy and civil-rights advocates, President Trump’s commission on elections integrity is temporarily halting its effort to collect voter-roll information from the states.

Voters cast their ballots at a polling place in Mountain View. Photo by Danny Howard

In a court filing Monday, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity said it had told states not to submit the data it previously requested until a judge ruled on a restraining order requested in a pending lawsuit. The suit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center alleges that the federal government’s original request—for states to provide information on registered voters, including full name, date of birth, political party, last four digits of social security number, recent voting history, and past felony convictions—violates a federal law that requires the government to establish secure data protocols before collecting personal information. The group asked a federal judge to block Trump’s commission from collecting the voter information.

The commission, in turn, sent an email to state elections officials Monday, saying, “until the Judge rules on the (temporary restraining order), we request that you hold on submitting any data. We will follow up with you with further instructions once the Judge issues her ruling.”

At least two other lawsuits against the commission were also filed Monday. The commission’s data collection effort was already facing widespread resistance from many states, including California.

Alex Padilla, a Democrat who is California’s Secretary of State, has been a frequent critic of Trump and his elections commission. On Monday night he called it a “sham.”

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Laurel Rosenhall

Laurel covers California politics for CalMatters, with a focus on power and personalities in the statehouse. Her stories explain political dynamics in the Capitol and examine how money, advocacy and relationships...