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Counties sending voter lists: Hawaii, Kauai, Maui officials confirm they will provide minimal information to commission

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Three of Hawaii’s four county election officials said Wednesday they will send President Donald Trump’s election advisory commission their public voting lists by the end of this week.

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Three of Hawaii’s four county election officials said Wednesday they will send President Donald Trump’s election advisory commission their public voting lists by the end of this week.

Hawaii County Clerk Stewart Maeda said the four county elections officials got together to decide how much information to send or whether to send anything at all. They ultimately settled on sending the public list, which contains only voters’ first and last names, district precincts and whether the voter is active or inactive.

“We decided that the public list is already available to anyone if they request it,” Maeda said. “That’s what any public person can see.”

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asked states to send much more, including addresses, dates of birth, all or partial Social Security numbers, voter histories since 2006, previous voter registrations in other states, military statuses and felony convictions, if they are part of the public file.

“Because they are only asking for the public list, that’s all we’re sending them,” Maeda said.

A CNN survey released July 5 found 44 states and the District of Columbia refused to give certain voter information to the commission.

Honolulu City Clerk Glen Takahashi told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last month he didn’t plan to send even that limited list.

“It is not my intention to cooperate with that request,” Takahashi told the newspaper. “I think it is an example of federal intrusion and overreach.”

Takahashi has since agreed to send what the other clerks are sending, according to Maeda, Kauai Elections Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka and Maui County Deputy Clerk Josiah Nishita. Takahashi did not return a phone message for comment by press time Wednesday.

“We looked at what the statutes said and didn’t think it precluded us from releasing the public list,” Yoshioka said.

Nishita said the county officials reached an agreement during a conference call.

“They won’t get Social Security numbers or birth dates, all that other stuff,” said Nishita, citing state law and administrative rules governing the release of voter information.

The counties keep more extensive voter lists that are allowed by law to be provided only for an election purpose. That’s defined as supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot issue, encouraging voter participation or registration, or qualifying a political party or presidential candidate for the ballot.

Party affiliation and military status information is not collected in Hawaii for voter registration purposes. Other pieces of information, such as date of birth and Social Security numbers, are collected but not made public.

In Hawaii, voter lists are kept by each county elections office, which is under the county clerk. Other states can have a statewide list kept by the lieutenant governor, secretary of state or chief elections officer.

The commission first sent its request for the list to Hawaii’s lieutenant governor, and then to the state’s chief elections officer, who handles elections and ballots but not voter registration. The request was then forwarded to the counties.

Each county is sending its list separately, Maeda said, but all four agreed to have them in the mail by the end of the week. The request was dated June 28, he said, but the county officials didn’t receive it until much later.

The purpose of the commission, according to its website, is to submit to the president a report identifying laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies and practices that enhance and those that undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in federal elections.

The report also will identify vulnerabilities in voting systems and practices used for federal elections that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting.

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The commission is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.

Email Nancy Cook Lauer at ncook-lauer@westhawaiitoday.com.

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