For Immediate Release Common Cause, Voters Sue Kris Kobach for Unlawfully Targeting Individual American Citizens Under Cloak of “Advisory Commission”

Suit Filed After Kobach Expands Sweeping Effort to Purge Voters From Rolls, As Outlined In Breitbart Column

Posted on September 13, 2017

Common Cause and registered voters from Florida, Texas, and New York, filed a complaint against Kris Kobach, Vice-Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, to halt his unprecedented and unlawful investigation into individual American voters. Common Cause is represented in the case by Democracy Forward.

The original complaint in Common Cause v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was amended to included Kris Kobach individually following his publication of an opinion column for Breitbart in which he makes unsubstantiated claims about specific instances of voter fraud.  Despite the bipartisan rebuke he received after Tuesday’s Commission meeting in New Hampshire, Kobach continues to stand by the claims to justify the creation of a federal body within the White House that is conducting an unauthorized investigation into millions of Americans under the cloak of an “Advisory Commission.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit seeks to enjoin the Commission’s continued collection, use, and dissemination of the politically sensitive voting data of millions of Americans.  It further seeks to halt the Commission’s plan to cross-check this voter data against, according to Mr. Kobach’s latest directive, “whatever data” within the federal government, is “helpful” to the Commission, including private data held by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“The government can’t go on a fishing expedition for personal data on Americans’ constitutionally-protected activities,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause. “We’ve seen how this played out before – and after Watergate the Congress said, no more. It’s time to uphold that promise.”

Given Mr. Kobach’s failure to disclose where and how the data is stored, and reports Commission staff use personal email accounts to conduct official business, the suit also seeks to expose whether the Commission has put this data at risk.

“Mr. Kobach’s unprecedented investigation into the voting history of American citizens is operating outside the Constitution and federal law,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy. “The Commission is simply a cover for Mr. Kobach to hawk voting fraud conspiracy theories to justify purging voters from the rolls.”

To read the amended complaint, click here.

To read the original complaint, click here.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Voting and Elections

Tags: Registration and Voting Systems, Voting Rights

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