U.S. appeals court upheld a decision to Trump voter fraud panel

Vastavam web: A U.S. appeals court in Washington on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision to allow President Donald Trump’s commission investigating voter fraud to request data on voter rolls from U.S. states.The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) watchdog group, which filed the lawsuit, did not have legal standing to seek to force the presidential commission to review privacy concerns before collecting individuals’ voter data.

Washington-based U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly first denied EPIC’s injunction request in July, in part because the collection of data by the commission was not technically an action by a government agency so was not bound by laws that govern what such entities can do.Kollar-Kotelly noted that the commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, was an advisory body that lacks legal authority to compel states to hand over the data.Trump, a Republican, set up the commission in May after charging, without evidence, that millions of people voted unlawfully in the 2016 presidential election in which he defeated Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton despite losing the popular vote.

The data requested by Kobach included names, the last four digits of Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, political affiliation, felony convictions and voting histories.More than 20 states refused outright and others said they needed to study whether they could provide the data.