DENVER | As it does for dozens of campaigns, candidates, issue committees, news media and citizens each year, Colorado will provide its voter registration rolls next week to a presidential panel on voter fraud, Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Wednesday.
Williams said his office won’t provide driver’s license numbers, full or partial Social Security numbers, full dates of birth or voter signatures on file because Colorado open records law doesn’t allow it. And he emphasized that the bipartisan federal panel didn’t demand the release of information that is banned by state laws.
“Colorado is going to comply with Colorado law,” Williams said, noting his office will make public its response to eight accompanying queries on election security by a July 14 deadline. “We will not give the commission information that is not public in our state.”
Williams called a news conference amid national debate over the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Officials in at least 10 states and the District of Columbia have said they would not comply at all with the request.
President Donald Trump created the commission to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 elections. Democrats say the panel would look for ways to suppress the vote, and it’s unclear what it will do with the requested information.
Many question the commission’s intent because of repeated unsubstantiated claims by Trump that as many as 5 million people voted fraudulently in last year’s presidential election. Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
Colorado, which went for Clinton, has roughly 3.7 million registered voters. It boasts the nation’s highest voter registration rate and ranks high in voter turnout.
Williams insisted he is complying with state law — as his office does with roughly 200 requests each year for the same information from political campaigns, issue committees, journalists and others. In Colorado, anyone requesting a government record doesn’t have to give a reason why.
What Colorado won’t provide the commission is how anyone voted but rather if they voted last year and in previous years. Also included: Names, mailing addresses, year of birth, political party affiliation (if any) and whether a voter is active or inactive.
Williams preferred Wednesday to focus on cybersecurity as one issue he’d like the federal panel to address. As cause for alarm, he cited reports that officials in other states were not notified of attempted hacking of local election systems.
Williams has previously expressed skepticism about Trump’s fraudulent vote claim. With a dose of diplomacy, he downplayed questions about the same on Wednesday.
“I think it is a dangerous standard to say I’m not going to follow the law because I don’t like it,” he said. “I frankly would be very concerned if that’s the type of elected official that folks want.”