A federal judge on Monday rejected complaints that President Trump’s voter integrity commission was breaking the law by requesting and storing states’ voter data, saying that as long as the panel is just advisory it doesn’t need to meet strict standards that would apply to government agencies.
The ruling was highly technical, but it clears the way for the commission to once again begin collecting data from willing states.
Commission Vice Chairman Kris W. Kobach welcomed the ruling and told The Washington Times that they’ll soon reach out to states to renew their request for information, which he had put on hold while the judge was deciding.
“Several states have already said they’re standing by, ready to send in the publicly available voter rolls,” Mr. Kobach said.
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that if the commission had continued to use an Army website to collect the information, as it originally envisioned, it might have run afoul of privacy laws. But because the commission switched gears and now plans to use a White House server, it escapes scrutiny, the judge said.
Established by Mr. Trump to investigate voter fraud and barriers to voting that may have affected last year’s election, the commission has been controversial. Democrats have said there is no widespread evidence of fraud, and say an investigation is a waste of time and likely to be tainted by Mr. Trump.