The commission to investigate U.S. President Donald Trump possible election fraud on Monday put a halt on its effort to collect sensitive voter data from states in the face of growing legal challenges.
Andrew Kossack the panel’s designated officer asked state elections officers in an email to “hold on submitting any data,” the commission said in court filings.
Many of the state elections officials confirmed getting a letter from the panel stating that it would provide extra guidelines after a federal judge had ruled on a complaint filed by a watchdog group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which is seeking a temporary restraining order.
The American Civil Liberties Union, earlier on Monday prosecuted the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, asserting Violations of federal law requiring transparent government.
The bipartisan panel, which is led by the Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Vice President Mike Pence, questioned the 50 U.S. states for a host of voter data, including birth dates and the last four digits of voter’s Social Security numbers.
Most of the U.S. states have rejected the full agreement, which may call unnecessary and a violation of privacy.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who has also refused to give the commission any data, said by phone: “This has been a misadventure from the get-go.”
The election officials ceased plans to apprise the commission how it could purchase for $12, 500 its public voter data, not including Social Security numbers or birth dates, in Wisconsin.
The spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission Reid Magney said: “We’re just putting everything on hold.” According to the office of Secretary of State Mark Martin, Arkansas, however, had already sent an incomplete batch of publicly available data.
The government said it would not download the information from Arkansas and would instead delete it, this is said in a court document. And the representatives for the White House did not reply to a request instantly.
This panel was created in May by the Republican president following his statement, without proof, that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.