Secretary of State requests counties participate in Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 19:53:40-04

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced on Tuesday he will not hand over detailed voter information to President Donald Trump's commission on election fraud, but his office has asked Idaho counties to comply with a request to submit voter information to the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. 

According to 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."

Hurst said complying with the request is voluntary for Idaho counties. 
Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane said his office is cautious to comply with the request. 
A similar request was made in 2014, after which, Ada County officials admitted they wrongly purged about 750 Idaho voters from the rolls. 
"The intention is good, but the opportunity to erroneously remove someone from the rolls is high," McGrane said. 
McGrane said, as of now, it appears there is one possible instance where someone in Ada County voted in the 2016 presidential election twice, and that instance is being investigated. McGrane said beyond looking into that one case, his office is apprehensive to move forward with the Secretary of State's request. 
"This is a sensitive topic," McGrane said. "Always, our goal is to protect the franchise of someone." 
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.
In Idaho, the state's voter registration system is public, including voters' names, addresses and voting history. However, information about driver's license numbers, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and date of births are not releasable under the state's public records law even though that data is collected on registration forms.