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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Nelson tries to raise money off Trump's controversial 'voter fraud commission'

A fundraising appeal from Sen. Bill Nelson


A fundraising appeal from Sen. Bill Nelson



WASHINGTON - Sen. Bill Nelson is trying to raise money off President Trump's controversial commission looking into alleged voter fraud.

"This is downright ridiculous," reads the subject of a Nelson fundraising email.

"President Trump's so-called voter fraud commission has requested that states turn over the names, addresses, birth dates, voting history and, in some cases, even partial Social Security numbers of every voter in the country.

"Not only is it an invasion of privacy, but putting all that information in one centralized location is an open invitation for hackers to come in and steal it. That's why dozens of states have already refused to fully comply. But Florida's governor, Rick Scott – whom Trump has personally recruited to run for Senate against me – hasn't said a peep, while his appointed Secretary of State has already agreed to send the info."

The message is misleading and doesn't spell out that Florida agreed to only send information publicly available -- essentially complying with a public records request. Not included: driver's license information, Social Security and voter data about law enforcement, judges or prosecutors and domestic violence victims.

Even so, the request has created widespread controversy and the ACLU has filed suit in Miami.

Separately, Charlie Crist on Wednesday issued a fundraising appeal touting his efforts as governor to restore voting rights for felons who paid their debt to society. “Will you sign my petition and demand that our leaders support the right of all Americans to vote?” he asks.

“This comes at a time when the Trump Administration's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is attempting to gain access to private voting information under the spurious claim that millions illegally voted in the 2016 election!”

[Last modified: Thursday, July 13, 2017 12:08pm]


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