June 30, 2017

Senate Democrats Send Letter Urging
Lt. Governor to Join States Refusing to Divulge
Private Voter Information to Federal Commission

JUNEAU – Today, the members of the Alaska Senate Democratic caucus sent a letter to Lt. Governor Byron Mallott regarding President Trump’s newly formed “Presidential Commission on Election Inquiry.”

This federal commission has issued a demand that flies in the face of the rights afforded to Alaskans by the privacy clause in the Alaska State Constitution. Some of the information is publicly available, but sensitive information such as dates of birth, and partial social security numbers constitute private data that we are obliged to protect from the massive data gathering this commission would engender.

Alaska is not alone in recognizing this egregious attempt at federal overreach for what it is. Currently, eighteen other states including Virginia, California, and Kentucky have issued strongly-worded refusals to turn over private information on their citizens.

“If the federal government wants the publicly available data, they can purchase it like anyone else,” said Senate Democratic Leader Berta Gardner. “And the private information is just that – private. We have no business sharing that information at all.”

“Our Constitution is extremely clear, and extremely strong on privacy rights,” said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). “I’m hoping that this request to the administration is a no-brainer. We, over any other state, have the legal right to support refusing their request.”

“As Alaskans, we are constantly battling the lines of federal versus state’s rights, and debating when the federal government crosses those lines, said Senator Tom Begich (D-Anchorage). “There is no wondering in this case, there is no debate. We have a decisive constitutional mandate that tell us what we are bound to do.”

Members of the media may contact Alaska Senate Democratic Press Secretary, Jeanne Devon at 907-465-5319.