The response to the president’s Election Integrity Commission’s request for voter information from the states ranged from muted to over-wrought.
Let’s step back and examine what was requested: It was voter data.
Voter data that is widely available.
In fact, both Democrat and Republican parties, which are private organizations, have highly sophisticated programs that have tracked voters and their habits for years. Most voters have no idea how much data has been collected about them by the two main parties.
Democrats use NGP Voter Activation Network, giving Democratic candidates extremely detailed information about all voters. VAN has been called the Democrats’ secret weapon, constructed in partnership with Obama for America. There may not be social security numbers in their data fields, but everything else is fair game.
VAN allows the Democratic National Committee to continuously update information on voters and their voting habits, purchasing, memberships, and other consumer and issue preferences. This data is made available to all Democrat candidates who want it, and they can use it with great effect to microtarget people with ads. If you haven’t gotten a targeted ad from the Democrats, it’s likely because they know you are conservative and they don’t bother.
Republicans have been playing catch-up for years, probably because of a Republican aversion to the invasion of privacy. But now, it’s the only way to win. The Republicans use I-360 or GOPDataCenter, similar to the systems Democrats use. Data-mining is the name of the game.
The vice chair of the president’s Commission on Election Integrity sent a letter last week to all states requesting publicly available information from their voter rolls. Key words: Publicly available. Campaigns request this all the time.
You can get all the Alaska voter information, too, by requesting a disc from the Division of Elections. It will cost you $21.
Here’s the exact request from the commission: “…publicly-available voter roll data including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, [and] voter history from 2006 onward.”
Alaska will give the commission the information that is publicly available.
Later, Alaska might have some explaining to do after the 2016 primary election, where in at least two locales, voters were allowed to vote two ballots — one Republican ballot and one “everything else” ballot. We’ve got info on that — Vice President Pence only need ask us for it. We’ll gladly share it.
FAST FACT ON CALIFORNIA VOTING: In 2016, nearly half of the 2.4 million provisional ballots (questioned ballots) were cast in California, one of the “resist” states. These are ballots where the identify of the voter was in question or they could not be found on the voter rolls of the district they voted in. Just sayin’.
FAST FACT ON RHODE ISLAND VOTING: Fully 20 percent of registered voters in Rhode Island don’t even live in the state, the Secretary of State’s audit found.
TUCK FOR BUSINESS MANAGER! Chris Tuck, Alaska House representative for District 23, has been running for office nearly all session. He has been a candidate for Business Manager of IBEW Local 1547. It’s a job that pays a lot more than he makes as a union representative and more than he makes as a state legislator.
Tuck made it as far as the runoff and now the union members have until July 10 to get their ballots in. Many in the Alaska House like Tuck because he is a nice guy, and they hope he wins his job. But he has weaseled out of some important votes this spring.
As one of the most vocal opponents of REAL ID in the Legislature, he ducked the vote, took an excused absence, and then returned the next morning. When asked by a reporter why he was absent, he sheepishly deflected the question.
Tuck is majority leader in the House. Did he succumb to union pressure? Will he leave his job in the Legislature if he wins his IBEW job? Has he been campaigning for his union job when he should have been working on bringing the House and Senate together?
We enjoyed the inside of Tuck’s campaign brochure, which has all the makings of a graphic novel:
GOVERNOR BIRCH? Rep. Chris Birch says he is not particularly interested in being governor, but he is deeply appreciative of people approaching him and asking him to run. “But I really want to represent people of District 26 right now.”