The recent request by Kris Kobach, who is serving as President Donald Trump's head of his so-called "voter fraud" commission to look into the alleged 3 million illegal votes, is already scaring voters.
According to The Orlando Sentinel, Florida voters are desperately trying to figure out how they can "unregister" to vote out of fear.
Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel has already received 15 phone calls from voters begging to opt out after Florida said it would comply with the request to hand over personal data.
Ertel was able to convince the people who called that it's better to stay on the rolls. However, he said that the fears are unfounded because Florida will not be giving information that is not already publicly available.
“You can’t pick and choose which public-records requests you comply with because you’re not sure about what the person’s going to do with the information,” he explained.
The Florida Secretary of State said that he would be willing to comply with the request but that he wouldn't send partial Social Security numbers, driver's license information, criminal history or any other form of personal data for police, judges or prosecutors. Kobach's commission will be given names, addresses, dates of birth and political party and that is it. Secretary of State Ken Detzner will, however, provide voting history and whether they voted by mail or in person on Election Day.
He explained that the information is already available to anyone who asks for it and anyone rescinding their voter registration today would still show their information from November.
“It’s too late, you’re on it. And don’t deregister, that’s insane,” Florida Democratic political consultant Matthew Isbell told The Sentinel. “Your data is already out there. And you don’t like it? Guess what? I’ve got a May file and an April file that has you on it.”
Both parties collect voter file data for knocking doors and making political calls, but none of those contain Social Security information.
“Every campaign these days is using the voter file,” Isbell continued. “They’re using it to build a list of who early votes, who’s voted in the past, who’s a Democrat, who’s a Republican.”
Many still remain skeptical about the purpose of the "voter fraud" commission the president set up. A similar one was done under former President George W. Bush's administration hired former Rep. John Ashcroft (R-MO) to oversee the commission.
“There is nothing funny about winning an election with stolen votes,” Ashcroft said, according to Politico. “All of us pay the price for voting fraud.”
Bush strategist Karl Rove told the Office of the Inspector General, “many Republicans believed that fraudulent registration by Democratic Party voters in New Mexico was a widespread problem and that it had cost President Bush the state in the 2000 presidential election.”
New Mexico went blue by just 366 votes in 2000 but has continued to trend blue over the years. When Bush was running in 2004, Rove told Fox News's Sean Hannity that he was worried about voter fraud in Ohio and other major states.
“There are multiple registrations on the rolls,” Rove swore. “There are felons who are ineligible to vote who are registered on the rolls.”
No evidence of that was ever found. In fact, Ashcroft brought together 93 U.S. attorneys to search over the course of four years for voter fraud. They launched more than 300 investigations but had little to show for it once it was over. Only 119 people were charged with election related crimes and only 86 were convicted out of 101,455,899 total voters in 2000. Bush ultimately signed the renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006, before the U.S. Supreme Court effectively neutered it, claiming racism was over.
“It’s remarkable that all of the U.S. attorneys had a mandate and were given adequate resources to raise this to the top of the pile,” trial attorney David Becker, who worked in the voting section of the Justice Department until 2005. “They all agree we found a handful of cases … and that was it.”
Just ten years later, Trump is attempting to do the same thing and American voters are already fearful that their personal information will ultimately end up being compromised.