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July 11, 2017

The Honorable Rolando Pablos


Texas Secretary of State
P.O. Box 12887
Austin, Texas 78711-2887
Secretary@sos.texas.gov

Via interagency mail and electronic mail

RE: Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's data request to the State of Texas

Dear Secretary Pablos:

As you are aware, on June 28, 2017, President Trump's Advisory Commission on Election
Integrity (the Commission) requested extensive, detailed, and sensitive voter data from every
state, including Texas. The Commission requested all publicly available data including first,
middle, and last names of every registrant; addresses; dates of birth; political party affiliations;
last four digits of Social Security numbers; voter history; active/non-active voter status; criminal
records; military status; information about registration in other states; and overseas citizen
information.

We respectfully urge you to join the growing number of states not complying with this request.
First, the release of these data poses a significant privacy risk, potentially endangering Texas
voters' safety, financial security, and right to privacy. Texas law specifically prescribes that
certain information furnished on a registration application, such as a Social Security number, is
confidential and does not constitute public information for purposes of Texas Government Code,
Chapter 552 [see Texas Election Code 13.004(c)]. Other data is specifically prohibited from
being posted on a website, including dates of birth [see Texas Election Code 13.004(d)].
Furthermore, regardless of state law, Texas voters did not consent to having their personal
information transmitted to the federal government for this purpose when registering to vote, and
complying with this request from the Commission would be a breach of trust with them. In fact,
there are now multiple lawsuits pending in federal court, and the White House is asking states to
hold off sending the data pending a federal review due to these concerns.

Second, numerous studies have shown that voter fraud is a virtually non-existent problem. After
the 2016 Presidential election, the Chair of the National Association of Secretaries of State
issued the following statement: "We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud
Secretary of State Pablos
July 11, 2017
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claims made by President Trump...." 1 Loyola Law School Professor Justin Levitt has tracked
credible allegations of in-person voter impersonation for years. He found 35 total credible
allegations between 2000 and 2014, constituting a few hundred ballots at most, when more than
800 million ballots were cast in national general elections and hundreds of millions more were
cast in primary, municipal, special, and other elections. 2 It does not make sense to expose Texas
voters to privacy risks for such a virtually non-existent problem.

Third, we are deeply concerned about data-matching results with data of this magnitude. Former
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, now Vice Chair of the Commission, championed the use
of The Interstate Crosscheck Program (Crosscheck), a multistate database of voter registration
information that authorities use to check whether voters are registered in two states. The Texas
Legislature wisely rejected this approach this past session (see H.B. 3422). Researchers found
that Crosscheck's matching algorithms are highly inaccurate. A recent working paper by those at
Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Microsoft found
that Crosscheck's algorithm returns approximately 200 false positives for every one legitimate
instance of double registration it finds. Attempting to accomplish this on the federal level with
incomplete data is a recipe for disaster.

Elected and appointed officials across the nation have rejected the request on a bipartisan basis.
Opposition and concerns from state-level Republican elected officials include:

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson: "The request is simply too broad and includes
sensitive information of Arkansas voters. The Secretary has indicated that he will not
provide Arkansas voters most sensitive dataproviding all of the information requested
is not in the best interest of Arkansas voters."
Mississippi Secretary of State Delber Hosemann: "They can go jump in the Gulf of
Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from. Mississippi residents should
celebrate Independence Day and our States right to protect the privacy of our citizens by
conducting our own electoral processes."
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted: "The confidential information, such as the last four
digits of a voter's Social Security number or their Ohio driver license number, is not
publicly available and will not be provided to the Commission. In responding to the
Commission, we will have ideas on how the federal government can better support states
in running elections. However, we will make it clear that we do not want any federal
intervention in our state's right and responsibility to conduct elections."
Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson: "I do not believe the federal government
should be involved in dictating how states conduct their elections."

1
See Statement from the National Association of Secretaries of State at
https://twitter.com/BraddJaffy/status/824244436519501825
2
Available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/08/06/a-comprehensive-investigation-of-voter-
impersonation-finds-31-credible-incidents-out-of-one-billion-ballots-cast/ See also, https://www.vox.com/policy-
and-politics/2016/10/31/13478134/voter-fraud-id-2016-trump
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July 11, 2017
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Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray: "Elections are the responsibility of states under
the Constitution. Im wondering if this request could lead to some federal overreach."

We urge you to join the chorus of red and blue states rejecting this overreaching federal request
for private and confidential information.

Respectfully,

Jos Rodrguez Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa Sylvia R. Garcia


Senate District 29 Senate District 20 Senate District 6

Eddie Lucio, Jr. Jos Menndez Borris Miles


Senate District 27 Senate District 26 Senate District 13

Carlos Uresti Kirk Watson Royce West


Senate District 19 Senate District 14 Senate District 23

John Whitmire Judith Zaffirini


Senate District 15 Senate District 21