New York’s Board of Elections will provide President Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity nearly all the records it is seeking, in contradiction to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s highly publicized pledge to refuse to cooperate with the commission.
The Board, which frequently fulfills such requests for groups working on election-related matters, was always the decision-maker on the request, and how it deals with its records is governed by statutes that are not left to the Governor’s interpretation.
Cuomo’s earlier statements seemed to suggest otherwise.
“NY refuses to perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election. We will not comply with this request,” Cuomo tweeted June 30 after the presidential elections commission sent out a letter to all State Secretaries around the country.
In a statement released on Aug. 3, Cuomo qualified his earlier statement saying that the original letter requested information that the commission was not legally entitled to.
“Accordingly, our administration rejected that request because it not only violated privacy rights—but also state law,” said Cuomo.
But the original letter—the same as those sent to other states—specifically requested voter roll data and various other data “if publicly available under the laws of your state.”
Cuomo tweeted that his government’s position has not changed regarding his earlier statements.
Some states asked for the request to be filed through normal channels, the same used by other groups. In cases where an agency refuses to provide records that the public are legally entitled to, parties can resort to filing a request for the documents under the state Freedom of Information Law.
At a meeting of the Board of Elections on Wednesday, the two Democratic and two Republican commissioners acknowledged receiving such a request and agreed to share the database the Commission was requesting, reported Politico.
That database will be the same as that sent to other members of the public previously and will include voters’ addresses, dates of birth, and voting history, but not Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, or other identifying information.
Politico reports that the Board has given the public full or partial versions of the database 1,379 times since the beginning of 2015.