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Arkansas voter data provided to President Donald Trump's voter-fraud commission is headed for the trash days after it was submitted.

According to an email exchange obtained Wednesday under the state Freedom of Information Act, Andrew Kossack, associate counsel for Vice President Mike Pence, asked officials in Secretary of State Mark Martin's office to delete from a federal server the voter data it submitted.

However, state officials could not access the server.

"We were unable to access the SAFE site again in order to pull down the file, pursuant to your request," wrote Peyton Murphy, assistant director of the state elections division, in a Monday email. "We understand that the file has not yet been accessed, but that it will expire 14 days from the time of the upload."

Kossack replied that the federal site would delete the file.

"I'll be back in touch with next steps," he continued. "Again, thank you for your submission, and my apologies for this inconvenience."

Arkansas submitted its data on July 5. It was the first state to submit data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

The SAFE site -- also known as the Safe Access File Exchange -- is at the heart of a lawsuit filed by the Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center. The file exchange is run within the Department of Defense.

Kossack referred to the lawsuit in his email.

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The Electronic Privacy Information Center contends that the commission failed to conduct a privacy information assessment -- required under the E-Government Act of 2002 -- before collecting the data using the Department of Defense system.

"The 'SAFE' URL, recommend by the Commission for the submission of voter data, leads election officials to a non-secure site," according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

"Regarding this website, Google Chrome states: 'Your connection is not private. Attackers may be trying to steal your information from [the site proposed by the Commission] (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards).'"

In the initial request for information, dated June 28, Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, noted that the commission wanted Arkansas data -- "if publicly available under the laws of your state" -- including names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliations, the last four digits of Social Security numbers "if available," voter history, voter status, felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, military status and overseas citizen information.

The information submitted to the file exchange from Arkansas did not contain Social Security numbers, felony convictions, military status and driver's license numbers. Such information is not publicly available in Arkansas.

However, names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliations, voter history since 2008, registration status, email addresses and phone numbers -- were shared. The database does not say for whom someone voted -- only whether they voted.

The same Arkansas voter information that was released to the Trump administration has been provided about 200 times since January 2015 to various entities, Kelly Boyd, chief deputy secretary of state, told legislators and county clerks meeting Wednesday in Eureka Springs.

Those entities include states, organizations, political parties and Arkansas legislators, he told a crowd of about 100 at the Basin Park Hotel.

"We submit information every year to the state cross-check program, and we do that at no charge," Boyd said. "And we did that at no charge for this program."

"To be very clear on this, there was no sensitive information released, no Social Security numbers, no partials, no military data, no felon data, no data that you can't get out of the phone book."

Boyd said the data would reveal some voting information.

"They're going to know whether you voted R or D or O [optional] or N for nonjudicial in the primaries," said Boyd. "It would tell whether you voted E early, A absentee or P at the polls, back to 2008. ...

"I know there's been a lot of angst about that, and I'm sorry. I wish there hadn't been. This information is openly available. There are ways to make it not openly available. I'll work with you if you want to do that."

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told a group of high school students Monday that the state should not have provided any data to the Trump commission.

"I am not a fan of providing any data to the commission in Washington," Hutchinson said in response to a student's question.

"Even though it is publicly available information and anyone can get it -- all you have to do is file a Freedom of Information [Act] request to get the information -- I just don't want to facilitate the providing of that information to a federal database. I don't think that's helpful for us."

The governor spoke as Kossack and Arkansas secretary of state staff members were trading emails about deleting the Arkansas information.

Information for this article was contributed by The Associated Press.

Metro on 07/13/2017

Print Headline: U.S. tells state to delete files on voter data; But authorities in Arkansas unable to access federal site

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Comments

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  • TimberTopper
    July 13, 2017 at 4:18 a.m.

    Great, just great! Another screw up! SOS was just too happy to send the info, even though it appeared from the start suits would be filed over this request.

  • RBear
    July 13, 2017 at 7:55 a.m.

    So the SOS of Arkansas pulls yet another boneheaded move and submits data to a site that is deemed insecure. Is anyone thinking in that office? In Martin's rush to be first he and his staff miss key indicators that things are not ready and don't even question them.
    ...
    This is starting to sound more like last year's voter data fiasco that Martin turned over to county clerks to fix. This guy can't leave office soon enough.

  • RBear
    July 13, 2017 at 7:57 a.m.

    Sorry, should have said insecure, but insecure works as well. Darn autocorrect.

  • Foghorn
    July 13, 2017 at 8:22 a.m.

    Martin is a scum-sucking, bottom dwelling, spineless, corrupt toad. And evidently a technotard as well. He managed to quickly upload the data to the unsecured server but can't figure out how to delete it. Click on 'forgot password' you moron.

  • GoBigRed
    July 13, 2017 at 9:20 a.m.

    Quote: "Arkansas submitted its data on July 5. It was the first state to submit data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity."
    It was the ONLY state stupid enough to submit the information.

  • mrcharles
    July 13, 2017 at 9:34 a.m.

    First state to submit! Well as the church lady says, Isnt that special!"

  • nrb
    July 13, 2017 at 11:06 a.m.

    Simpletons.

  • 23cal
    July 13, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.

    The ACLU just filed suit against Trump over the voting commission and it acting in secrecy.

  • DEE672
    July 13, 2017 at 11:53 a.m.

    I hope everyone called the phone numbers I provided to the SOS Mark Martin. He could not wait to be the first, and only one , to comply with whatever the Emperor wanted him to do. The request was 6/28 and he rushed it in 7/5. Now he trusts them to delete his idiocy. The 4th of July holiday caused the "delay", one supposes.

  • BEARTRAP919
    July 13, 2017 at 4:23 p.m.

    Republican Representatives in Arkansas Suck up to the Chief Republican in The Country, Arkansas is Number One in Something finally, Ain't Life Grand with Life in the Land of Opportunity?? Education is very important as this Article proves.

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