Gale responds to election integrity commission data request

Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale is asking the Presidential
Advisory Commission on Election Integrity for clarification on a number of issues and making recommendations as to how to improve various processes relating to elections, at the state and local levels.

This in response to the commission’s request of voting records of residents from all 50 states. That request is currently on hold while potential legal issues are being sorted out.

Gale emphasized that no information is being sent to the commission at this time and that certain assurances would need to be provided before any data was sent.

Gale pointed out that by Nebraska law, the voter registration register is a public record.

“The social security number would not be shared, as state law allows it to be withheld. As far as voter history goes, we can only provide the dates for the elections someone voted in, nothing about which candidates or which issues someone voted for. There is no way to tie a marked ballot to the person who cast it.”

Gale said there were several other pieces of information that would not be shared with the commission including felony convictions, voter cancellation status, registration in another state, overseas voting status and military affiliation.

“I’ve asked the commission to answer three crucial questions -- how will the requested voter roll data be used, how will it be kept secure and how will the data be made public or shared by the commission?”

Gale also stipulated that a representative of the commission would be required to sign an oath attesting that any information would only be utilized in a manner prescribed by state law. Without that assurance, Gale said he is unwilling to provide any voter data.

Among the recommendations Gale suggested to the commission: better access by states to federal databases that would promote improved voter registration roll maintenance, regular and timely notices from federal agencies about potential threats to state voter registration systems, and federal funding that might help states to fund new election equipment, as well as current technology and security needs.

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