Texas Voter Data Protected for Now
State Advocacy Groups to Texas Officials: Handing Over Voter Information Violates State Law
Austin, TX – Local voter advocacy groups secured a temporary restraining order preventing the Texas Secretary of State from disclosing voter data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Plaintiffs had argued that doing so, as the Secretary had planned, would violate state law that protects the privacy of Texas voters.
Lone Star State law prevents voter information from being used by third parties except for limited purposes, in order to shield voter privacy. Giving the data to the Commission exposes Texas voters unnecessarily and illegally to unacceptable privacy risks, including the possibility that the data falls into the hands of cybercriminals, foreign governments, or is exploited by commercial interests.
The League of Women Voters of Texas, the Texas State Conference of the NAACP, and an individual plaintiff are represented in the case by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Defendants in the case are Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos and Director of the Texas Elections Division Keith Ingram.
“Texas must do what is required under state law and protect voter information in their possession,” said Elaine Wiant, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. “There would be serious consequences for voters if this information got into the wrong hands.”
“If the wrong people get a hold of private information such as your social security number, date of birth, address, or voting history various aspects of our lives and even our freedoms are at risk,” said Gary Bledsoe, president of the NAACP Texas State Conference. “We applaud the Brennan Center, the League of Women Voters, and others who have decided to take on this very important cause to protect private and sensitive information so that we might keep Texans out of harm's way.”
“Texans trust election officials with some of their most detailed personal information,” said Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. “It’s not only the responsibility of the state to honor that by protecting voter privacy and keeping the information secure, but it’s legally required under state law.”
For the Brennan Center’s resource page on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, click here.
To schedule an interview with the NAACP Texas State Conference, contact Gary Bledsoe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-322-9992 or Robert Notzon at email@example.com. To schedule an interview with the League of Women Voters of Texas, please contact Aileen McMurrer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-472-1100. And to schedule an interview with the Brennan Center, contact Rebecca Autrey at email@example.com or 646-292-8316.