Lesniak Bill Seeks Voter Safeguards in Response to Trump Voter Information Probe

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Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-20) wants to safeguard voter privacy from what he notes is an attempt by the Trump Administration to seize information about New Jersey’s voters, and would prohibit the use of any automated system to remove people from voter eligibility, a practice termed “voter purging.”

Lesniak said he wants to counter the attempt by so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to do a mass collection of voter information, including names, addresses, birth dates and party affiliations of registered voters in each state.

“This is a direct assault on the rights of voters and the privacy of personal information by an administration that has no respect for the integrity of the election process,” said the senator. “They are trying to masquerade an effort to deny legitimate voters their rights as a plan to prevent voter fraud that does not exist. The Trump administration’s true motives are political and personal.”

S-3423, entitled the “Voter Privacy Act,” would prohibit state and local entities from sharing the social security number, digitized signature, or New Jersey driver’s license number or permit number of registered voters with the federal government. The legislation also states that social security numbers contained in voting records maintained pursuant to Title 19 of the Revised Statutes may not be disclosed under the open public records act.

“It is obvious that the Trump administration cannot be trusted with personal voter information,” said Lesniak. “The evidence of Russian intrusion in the election process and the collusion of the Trump campaign completely undermines any confidence in their willingness or ability to protect the privacy of voters. The Trump administration cannot be trusted with this information so it must be protected at the state level.”

The federal commission, established by unilateral action by President Donald Trump by an executive order, sent letters to 50 states and the District of Columbia asking for the voter information. To date, only one state, Arkansas, has fully complied.

Retiring at the end of his term this year, Lesniak ran unsuccessfully for governor in the June Democratic Primary.

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