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Dunlap: Maine Will Not Hand Over Driver's License Info On Citizenship And Race

Darron Cummings
Associated Press
Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap speaks during a voter registration meeting at the National Association of Secretaries of State conference Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Indianapolis.

Maine has turned down requests from the U.S. Census Bureau to hand over driver's license records that include citizenship information and race.The move comes as the Trump administration continues efforts to get citizenship information from states after the Supreme Court in June blocked a citizenship question on the Census survey.

Maine's Secretary of State's Office received several requests for the information in September but Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says giving the information to the federal government would be a violation of privacy.

"We sort of believe that the information that's in our databases belongs to the citizens to whom it refers. So we're the custodians of that information - it's not ours to give away," Dunlap says.

Dunlap says the office also made its decision after looking at what other states were doing, and finding they were also denying the requests.

The Associated Press reports that the Census Bureau is also requesting information about recipients of government assistance after changing immigration rules to make it harder for people to become citizens if they've accepted federal aid. That rule is being challenged in federal court by several states, including Maine.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.