Boise, Idaho—To stop private Idaho voter information from being sent over unsecured internet connections and to keep that information from being exploited for commercial purposes, the Idaho Democratic Party (IDP) filed a complaint seeking an emergency temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction against the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office today in Idaho’s Fourth District Court. The case was assigned to Judge Deborah A. Bail this afternoon, and was designated with the case number CV01-17-12594.
The IDP seeks to stop the Idaho Secretary of State from complying with a request from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission has asked all states to send private voter information to them. The information sought includes: full names, last four digits of Social Security numbers, dates of birth, political party affiliation, voting history, addresses and phone numbers, felony convictions, military status, overseas voting records, and registration in another state.
The Commission is being sued in D.C. federal court on claims based solely in federal law. On Monday, the Commission temporarily ceased accepting personal voter information from the states. The Commission instructed the states to pause sending the information only until that court rules on a motion, which it is likely to do today. Secretary Denney is not a party to the D.C. case, and therefore any ruling from that court is unlikely to impact IDP’s request for the Court to rule on Idaho state law, and to enjoin Secretary Denney from complying with the Commission’s request for personal voter information.
“No one. Absolutely no one in Idaho has ever said they wished more of their private information would fall into the hands of hackers, or telemarketers, or even the federal government,” said IDP Chair Bert Marley. “While Secretary Denney has indicated that he may not send all of the information the Trump Commission wants, he simply failed to offer assurances that this is even a legal request or that the information will be safeguarded and kept private.”
Among other arguments, the IDP believes that the Commission’s request is illegal under Idaho’s public records law, which prohibits the releasing of this private information for commercial use. By saying they will publicize this information, the Commission leaves it open for commercial interests to target Idaho voters. Further, by failing to provide a secure way of transmitting the information, the Commission allows for other nefarious ways for commercial interests to capture and exploit this private information.
IDP Attorney Sam Dotters-Katz of Marcus, Christian, Hardee and Davies, LLC, filed the lawsuit Tuesday. He said that Idahoans are on the verge of, irreparably, having their private information shared with the whole world.
“The action filed today is about protecting the legal rights and privacy of all Idahoans,” said Dotters-Katz. “We are simply asking that the Secretary of State follow Idaho law to ensure that the private information of all Idaho voters stays private.”
The brief is attached below, along with relevant exhibits.