Idaho Democrats call to pull state from Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program

Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 16:59:20-05

Idaho's Democrats are asking Secretary of State Lawerence Denney to pull the state from the Interstate Voter Crosscheck Program amid security concerns.

According to a letter sent from Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst to county clerks dated July 10, 2017, the Secretary of State's office participated in the program this past spring. 

"This project combined the voter registration data of 28 states including Idaho and ran queries on the data to locate possible duplicate voter registrations and voters who may have voted twice," the letter said. "Secretary Denney decided that it would be beneficial to participate again this year in an attempt to clean up our voter registration database."

A similar request was made in 2014, after which, Ada County officials admitted they wrongly purged about 750 Idaho voters from the rolls. 

The Interstate Crosscheck Program started with the intention of preventing individuals from registering to vote in more than one state. The program uses a shared database that compares names of registered voters from each state. That database is operated by Kansas' Secretary of State.

According to national reports, a novice hacker could penetrate the crosscheck database, putting Idaho's voter information at risk. 

"Since 2014, Secretary Denney, without Legislative approval and without really telling anyone, has been releasing our name, address, the last four digits of our Social Security Number and our birth date," Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, said.  "He was releasing private information to an unsecured server that's located in Kansas or Arkansas and really has nothing to do with protecting Idaho's elections."

Erpelding says Idaho's Democrats are prepared to introduce legislation to pull Idaho out if the crosscheck system if Denney does not do so by the start of the 2018 Legislative Session. 

“The Voter Crosscheck system puts voters’ rights at risk in countless ways,” Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said. “Idaho needs to pull out of this program before any more damage is done. We don’t need the Kansas Secretary of State telling us how to run our elections. Idaho has done it just fine on its own.”