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Judge blocks Texas from turning over voter information to White House
A Texas civil judge has temporarily blocked the state from turning over voter information to the White House's election integrity commission out of fears that the data won't be adequately protected.
The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Judge Tim Sulak of Travis County's 353rd Civil District Court issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that told the state not to turn over the data because there are not "appropriate precautions to safeguard the privacy and security of that information."
While the decision isn't final, the Tuesday ruling deals a stumbling block to the commission, which is looking to compile voter data from across the country in order to build a database to identify potential instances of fraud. Texas has more registered voters than any other state besides California, so its data is a crucial piece of the database that the commission hopes to create.
The commission has faced a rocky start ever since it's controversial beginnings.
Its request for publicly available voter data from every state was met with bipartisan pushback. Eight states refused to release any data to the commission, while many others agreed to turn over public data while chastising the commission in the process.
A handful of groups have sued to block the commission's request, mostly arguing that the information wasn't going to be kept in a secure fashion.
While the commission briefly paused its collection to wait for guidance from the courts, a federal judge ruled in favor of the commission in July after it changed the process for states to send the data. This opened the door for the White House panel to ask state election officials again for the information.
But those changes apparently were not enough for Sulak, who pointed to privacy concerns in his opinion.