Protect Democracy has been proud to partner with the Brennan Center in raising concerns about the false premises and abuses of power already engaged in by President Trump’s “Election Integrity” Commission. On July 5th, Protect Democracy and the Brennan Center wrote to the Office of Management and Budget, with copies of the letter sent to all 50 states, explaining the the Commission’s intrusive and burdensome data requests plainly violated the letter of the Paperwork Reduction Act, as Larry Schwartztol of Protect Democracy explained at Take Care.
Today Protect Democracy and the Brennan Center filed suit to demand details of the Commission’s workings, which have so far been denied to the public despite our FOIA requests. As the Brennan Center explained in its press release:
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Protect Democracy filed a lawsuit today in federal court in New York to compel the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Management and Budget to disclose information to which the public is entitled pertaining to the president’s “Election Integrity” Commission. The organizations filed suit after their requests to the agencies for information under the Freedom of Information Act went unanswered.
The Commission has had its motives and work questioned since it was launched in May, after the president made unfounded claims that voter fraud and noncitizen voting were rampant in the 2016 election. It is co-chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has a long history of supporting — and implementing — anti-voter policies.
Plaintiffs argue in today’s filing that the public is legally entitled to information about the Commission, which has released very few details about its operations, methods, or intentions. Even commissioners themselves are being left in the dark. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a member of the panel, said commissioners had not discussed the second request for voter data before it was sent to all 50 states.