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7/16/2017 6:16:00 PM
Indiana already sharing extensive voter data with Trump advisory commission leader
Voter information
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity requested all 50 states provide the following information on their voters, if publicly available:
First, middle and last name
Indiana is submitting this to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity.

Indiana also provides Crosscheck this information.
Home address

Indiana is submitting this to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity.

Indiana also provides Crosscheck this information.
Date of birth

Indiana provides Crosscheck this information.
Political party
Last four digits of Social Security Number

Indiana provides Crosscheck this information.
Voting participation history since 2006
Active/inactive status

Indiana provides Crosscheck this information.
Felony conviction status
Military status
Overseas voting status

*Indiana is also submitting congressional district assignment information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

*Indiana also provides Crosscheck with county names, driver's license numbers, voter ID numbers and dates of registration.

Dan Carden, Times of Northwest Indiana

Indianapolis - Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, already has access to that information, as well as the birth dates, voting history and partial Social Security number or driver's license number of every registered Hoosier voter.

Since 2014, Indiana has participated in Kobach's "Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program" that annually compares detailed voter records from 28 member states, including Illinois, to identify and eliminate potential duplicate registrations, and thereby prevent voters from casting multiple ballots.

The law requiring Indiana join Crosscheck was sponsored by the late state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, easily approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly and signed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

Pence, now vice president of the United States, also is chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which will hold its first public meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Crosscheck program

Crosscheck has identified hundreds of thousands of potentially duplicate voter registrations in Indiana over the past four years, according to the secretary of state's office.

The program works by sorting its vast pool of registered voters and seeking identical names and birth dates.

It flags matches that come up more than once in Indiana, or appear in multiple states, and then sends those records back to their home states as potential duplicates.

Because it's not unusual for individuals with the same name to also share a birth date, the Indiana secretary of state's office uses a scored testing process to find likely duplicate registrations.

In addition to matching on exact first, middle and last name, as well as birth date, a likely duplicate also must match on street address including ZIP code, driver's license number or Social Security number to be suspect.

Lawson spokeswoman Valerie Warycha said even then, most of the duplicates aren't connected in any way to voter registration fraud, but simply are individuals who move between counties or to another state and don't remember to cancel their prior registration before signing up to vote from their new address.

In total, 203,173 registrations have been identified through Crosscheck as likely duplicates since Indiana joined the program four years ago.

Those likely duplicates were sent to Indiana's 92 counties for further scrutiny. About 85 percent were confirmed as actual duplicate registrations and ultimately removed from the voter roll.

Indiana has 4.4 million registered voters. There were zero confirmed instances of Hoosiers casting multiple ballots during the 2016 election.

The commission

Last month, Kobach set off protests and lawsuits across the country when he asked secretaries of state to provide the federal commission comprehensive voter records similar to those analyzed by Crosscheck, if publicly available.

At least 44 states, including Indiana, have said they will not or cannot comply with Kobach's request due to restrictions on how voter records may be distributed.

For example, even though Indiana shares voter birth dates and partial Social Security numbers with Crosscheck, that only is permitted due to a special statute that creates the Crosscheck exception to Indiana's otherwise limited public voter records.

"Indiana law allows me to release only certain data and it does not include date of birth and it does not include Social Security number," said Lawson, who is a member of the presidential commission.

The commission last week directed states to hold off on submitting any voter data until two lawsuits are resolved that question whether federal privacy requirements apply to the commission's work.

A separate lawsuit filed Tuesday in Lake County by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Indiana seeks to bar the sharing of any Hoosier voter data, since Kobach has indicated all records submitted to the commission will be made public — potentially in violation of Indiana law.

Lawson would not comment on the pending lawsuits.

She said it's unfortunate the commission "got off to a little bit of a rough start with the communications about what was needed and why."

"Of course there are concerns," she said. "But I'm hoping Indiana will be a great example as to the way states can run elections to increase participation and also to make elections fair."

"Indiana has the right processes in place. We have a photo ID requirement in place, we do voter list maintenance on a regular basis, we keep our list as clean as possible and our election officials are vigilant."

Muddled purpose

Much of the public skepticism about the commission's purpose is due to Trump's repeatedly claiming on Twitter and in interviews, without any evidence, that he would have won the popular vote in 2016 if not for 3 million to 5 million fraudulent ballots cast on behalf of his opponent.

Trump also was quick to condemn states that refused to share voter information with the commission, to be stored on a White House computer, by asking on Twitter, "What are they trying to hide?"

He raised more red flags last week when he suggested the United States and Russia might form a joint "Cyber Security" unit to aid the commission in ferreting out "election hacking."

Lawson said she was "shocked" to hear Trump suggest Russia should play a role in protecting future U.S. elections.

Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government was behind several email and other electronic intrusions of top Democrats in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential contest.

"There is no reason to have questioned the results of the election," Lawson said. "We learned that there were maybe some outside forces, but the hacking was done on a campaign, not on our elections, and it's the diversity of our elections that protect our elections.

"That's why we all feel so strongly that we have a great system here in the United States, and we're going to continue to keep that system."

Pence insisted the commission's only goal, notwithstanding Trump's remarks, is to produce a set of recommendations to increase confidence in the integrity of America's election system.

"The integrity of the vote is a foundation of our democracy; this bipartisan commission will review ways to strengthen that integrity in order to protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote," Pence said.

Polling shows roughly seven in 10 Americans already are "somewhat" or "very" confident that the country's elections are fair.

Related Stories:
• In face of fraud study, Indiana Secretary of State cites Hoosier election integrity
• EDITORIAL: Standing against vote data incursion; election commission overextends its reach
• Few Hoosier voters ask to be removed from registration lists

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