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Letter from Secretaries of State to Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

July 10, 2017

Dear Commissioners:

The United States Constitution mandates that elections administration is left up to states. As the
nations chief election officials, we take seriously our role in ensuring the integrity of and public
confidence in the elections we administer.

We harbor deep concerns about any proposals to reallocate state jurisdictions authority in the
administration of elections. We are keenly aware of recent developments in FBI, CIA and Department of
Homeland Security investigations of foreign intrusion in the 2016 General Election, post-election
unfounded allegations and claims of widespread voter fraud emanating from the Executive, and the
recent formation of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. These actions seem to indicate an
unprecedented intrusion into local and state election administration processes by the Federal
government and gives us pause as we consider whether the true intent of this federal action is to pre-
empt state and local management of elections in the future.

On June 26, 2017, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity requested a wide array of
personal voter information from the states. This request lacks legal authority and offers no explanation
of how the data is to be utilized.

As chief election officials, we re-affirm our commitment to the American voter that the processes and
systems we oversee are secure and reliable, and that the rights and sensitive information of our voters
be at all times protected. We re-affirm our confidence in the American system in which state and local
officials administer elections.

We expect transparency from the work of your Commission. We demand to know what protections to
the personal privacy of voters will be in place regarding the data which you seek to collect. Importantly,
we encourage you to shift the Commissions focus to work on how best to improve our election
infrastructure and prevent foreign interference in our elections by providing resources to strengthen
cyber security to the states and localities.

We stand united in the principle that in America, no one authority can or should control the election
process and that our enduring mission is the protection of voting rights and the expansion of democratic
participation.

Submitted by the undersigned Secretaries of State,

Denise W. Merrill Alex Padilla Alison Lundergan Grimes


Connecticut California Kentucky

Jim Condos Nellie Gorbea Steve Simon


Vermont Rhode Island Minnesota

Elaine Marshall Pedro A. Cortes Maggie Toulouse Oliver


North Carolina Pennsylvania New Mexico