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Trump Panel Prompts Thousands of Voters to Unregister

Peeved voters are removing themselves from voter rolls, prompted by skepticism of a recent letter from President Donald Trump’s vote fraud commission.
Image: Voters cast their ballots at the McGee Community Center
Voters cast their ballots at the McGee Community Center on March 1, 2016 in Conway, Arkansas.MICHAEL B. THOMAS / AFP - Getty Images

Thousands of peeved voters are removing themselves from state voter rolls, prompted by a fear that their personal information could be revealed by President Donald Trump’s vote fraud commission.

The number of those "unregistering" ranges from several thousand in Colorado to hundreds in Vermont and a handful in some other states, several state officials told NBC News, as voters mount a mutiny at the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, which was formed in May to study "vulnerabilities" in the American election system.

Since June 28 — when the panel's letter was sent to all states requesting voter information — until last Friday, Colorado has seen 3,738 voters strike their names from the rolls and another 200 voters requesting their information to made confidential as is permitted by law, which means they are still registered but their names will be removed when the state releases public voter roll data.

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More than 2,000 Democrats and nearly 400 Republicans withdrew in Colorado, according to the secretary of state’s office.

The Denver Post reported last week on the cancellations, finding at that time that more than 3,000 had left the rolls.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said he has been trying to dissuade voters from removing their registrations.

"It’s my hope that folks who withdrew their registration will reregister, particularly once they realize that no confidential information will be provided and that the parties and presidential candidates already have the same publicly available information from the 2016 election cycle," Williams said in a statement.

Chris Winters, the Vermont deputy secretary of state, said the state has received 372 written authorizations from voters have their information removed since the Trump commission letter was sent.

Winters said voters are concerned about the commission and their privacy, but he noted that it is tricky to pinpoint if the letter sparked the removals because county officials have been doing their routine voter list audits and removing people from the rolls.

“Definitely, that concern has been expressed; they want to unregister,” said Winters, whose state is not complying with the commission's request for information. "But we try to discourage people from trying to get off the voter rolls."

In some other states, officials have been getting calls about unregistering but said few voters have followed through.

John Merrill, the Alabama secretary of state, said his office received about 25 calls from voters raising concerns about the commission’s work, but no one has actually removed themselves from the voter rolls.

Kevin Hall, a spokesman for the Iowa secretary of state, said the office has logged roughly 215 calls with concerns about information being handed to the commission and five voters asking to be removed, but the office talked them out of it. The state is only handing over public information to the panel.