Forty-four states have refused to hand over personal voter information to the Trump administration’s election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states.
In May, Trump created the panel in an executive order to investigate his widely debunked claim that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote in November’s election.
President Trump on Saturday blasted the dozens of states refusing to comply with a broad request from his voter fraud commission to hand over voter roll data to the White House, asking “What are they trying to hide?”
“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
The information requested by the commission’s letter to all 50 states directs them to turn over “publicly-available voter roll data including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, [and] voter history from 2006 onward.”
Some state officials have called the panel’s request inappropriate and said participating in the attempt to compile voter data would legitimize or perpetuate false claims of massive voter fraud.
“I have no intention of honoring this request,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia. This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November. At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.”
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said of Kobach’s letter: “My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”
“The president created his election commission based on the false notion that ‘voter fraud’ is a widespread issue — it is not,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Lundergan Grimes. “I do not intend to release Kentuckians’ sensitive personal data to the federal government.”
“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud,” Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement about the letter.
Below is a list of states along with their responses to the commission’s request, compiled by CNN:
: “This office will not share any information not already available to the public. …” Secretary of State John Merrill said in a statement
Friday. “The Secretary of State’s Office will comply with the request if we are convinced that the overall effort will produce the necessary results to accomplish the Commission’s stated goal without compromising the integrity of the voter rolls and the elections process in Alabama.”
: The Division of Elections will release only public information, according to a press release
from Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott Friday. “State law allows only some information to be public. Public information does not include: last four numbers of SSN, date of birth, or residence address,” among other data.
: “We will only make available the same redacted information that is available to the general public through a public records request,” Secretary of State Michele Reagan said in a statement
Friday. “Social security numbers, Date of Birth and identifying information such as Mother’s maiden name will not be transmitted. Arizona’s voters can expect to have their personal information remain private and safe.”
Arkansas: “We have not yet received a letter. When we do, we will review it,” Assistant Director of Communications and Education Chris Powell told CNN Monday, adding, “We’re keeping an eye out for it.”
: “I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally. …” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement
Thursday. “California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections.”
: “We are very glad they are asking for information before making decisions. I wish more federal agencies would ask folks for their opinion and for information before they made decisions,” Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in a press release
Thursday, which noted that his office will release voter-roll information that is public under state law but withhold data that is confidential.
: “Given Secretary Kobach’s history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this Commission,” Secretary of State Denise Merrill said in a statement
: “Releasing this information to the White House would not serve the mission of safeguarding the fairness and integrity of elections in Delaware and would not be in the best interests of Delaware voters,” said State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove said in a statement
Monday. Sec. of State Jeffrey Bullock echoed the sentiment in the same statement: “Delaware will not be a party to this disingenuous and inappropriate campaign against one of the nation’s foundational institutions.”
: “We have received the letter. We are reviewing it,” Director of Communications Sarah Revell told CNN Monday. The Florida Senate, meanwhile, has written letter
in opposition to the commission’s request.
Georgia: “The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office will provide the publicly available voter list,” Press Secretary Candice L. Broce told CNN Friday. “As specified in Georgia law, the public list does not contain a registered voter’s driver’s license number, social security number, month and day of birth, site of voter registration, phone number, or email address.”
Hawaii: No response to CNN.
: “We are interpreting this as a public records request from the Commission,” Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said in a statement
Monday. “As such, Idaho law requires me to respond ONLY with the non-exempt public records available under the request.” The statement also noted that “while additional information is requested in the letter (such as driver’s license and the last 4 of a voter’s social security number), that information is NOT considered public and Secretary Denney could not be compelled, outside of a specific court order detailing the need for and intended use of such data, to provide that information under Idaho Public Records statutes.”
Illinois: The Illinois State Board of Elections has not yet received the letter, a spokesperson told CNN Monday.
: “Indiana law doesn’t permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach,” Secretary of State Connie Lawson tweeted
Friday. “Under Indiana public records laws, certain voter info is available to the public, the media and any other person who requested the information for non-commercial purposes. The information publicly available is name, address and congressional district assignment.
: “We will follow that process if a request is made that complies with Iowa law. …” Secretary of State Paul Pate tweeted
Friday. “However, providing personal voter information, such as Social Security numbers, is forbidden under Iowa Code.”
Kansas: “Only “publicly available” information will be shared with the Commission,” Secretary Kobach’s spokeswoman Samantha Poetter told CNN Friday. “Any person in Kansas can obtain it. It is the basic information — name, address, etc. — not the sensitive information like last four SSN. That information is not publicly available, and therefore it is not part of the request.”
: “As the Commonwealth’s Secretary of State and chief election official, I do not intend to release Kentuckians’ sensitive personal data to the federal government. …” Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said in a statement
Friday. “The president created his election commission based on the false notion that “voter fraud” is a widespread issue — it is not. Indeed, despite bipartisan objections and a lack of authority, the President has repeatedly spread the lie that three to five million illegal votes were cast in the last election. Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”
: “The President’s Commission has quickly politicized its work by asking states for an incredible amount of voter data that I have, time and time again, refused to release,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in a statement
Monday. “My response to the Commission is, you’re not going to play politics with Louisiana’s voter data, and if you are, then you can purchase the limited public information available by law, to any candidate running for office. That’s it.”
: “Maine citizens can be confident that our office will not release any data that is protected under Maine law, to the commission or any other requesting entity,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said in a press release
Friday. The statement noted that Maine law allows the release of the voter’s name, year of birth, residence address, mailing address, voter status, voter record number and any special designations indicating uniformed service voters, overseas voters or township voters, but not Social Security number.
: “The assistant attorneys general representing SBE have considered the request and have determined the disclosure is prohibited by law,” Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a tweet
Monday, adding in a second tweet
, “I find this request repugnant; appears designed only 2 intimidate voters and 2 indulge the President’s fantasy that he won the popular vote.”
Massachusetts: The state’s voter registry is not a public record and information in it will not be shared with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Communications Director Brian S. McNiff told CNN Friday.
: “As in most other states, Michigan law does provide for disclosure of some basic public voter information,” Secretary Ruth Johnson’s office said in a Facebook post
Monday. “Political parties, candidates and news organizations routinely request and receive this data. State law for decades has allowed anyone to review voter lists to ensure election integrity. … Michigan will certainly not go beyond what is legally required in any response to this data request, and we are highly sensitive to people’s desires to keep what is private as private.”
: “I will not hand over Minnesota voters’ sensitive personal information to the commission,” Secretary of State Steve Simon said in a statement
Friday. “As I’ve said before, I have serious doubts about the commission’s credibility and trustworthiness. Its two co-chairs have publicly backed President Trump’s false and irresponsible claim that millions of ineligible votes were cast in the last election. They, along with other recent appointees, appear to have a strong interest in steering the commission toward their predetermined conclusions and outcomes. I fear that the commission risks becoming a partisan tool to shut out millions of eligible American voters.”
: “My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great State to launch from,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said in a statement
Friday. “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our State’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”
: “The commission’s letter asks for ‘publicly-available’ information, which we would share with any person or organization making an open records request,”Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said in a statement
Friday. “We will protect Missourians’ private information. The laws of each state are different, and in Missouri, some of the data requested by the commission is open to the public. We plan to comply by providing publicly-available information per state law. The commission’s questions are fair and we will be glad to assist in offering our thoughts on these important matters. I look forward to working with Sec. Kris Kobach and the commission on its findings and offer our support in the collective effort to enhance the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the elections process.”
: Secretary of State Corey Stapleton won’t release voters’ birthdays or Social Security numbers to the president’s commission on election integrity, director of elections and voter services Derek Oestreicher told the Independent Record
Nebraska: “The Secretary of State has not had a chance to review the request submitted,” a spokesperson told CNN Monday.
: “While this request has understandably raised concerns with privacy advocates, voter registration information in Nevada is generally available for public inspection under state law, including name, address, date of birth, and whether the voter participated in a prior election,” Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said in a statement
Friday. “Election officials in Nevada do, however, collect certain information that is not considered a public record under state law and is therefore not available for public inspection. This information includes: Social Security Number; Driver’s License Number; DMV Identification Card Number; and Email Address.”
: “There’s no information (here) someone can’t publicly get anyway,” Secretary of State Bill Gardner told the Concord Monitor
Friday. “People have the right to purchase it, only what’s public by law.”
New Jersey: No response to CNN.
: “My office has not yet received the letter from President Trump’s election commission requesting the personal information of New Mexico voters,” Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said in a statement
Friday. “That being said, I will never release the personally identifiable information of New Mexico voters protected by law, including their social security number and birthdate. Further, I will not release any other voter information like names, addresses or voting history unless and until I am convinced the information will not be used for nefarious or unlawful purposes, and only if I am provided a clear plan for how it will be secured.”
“It seems to maybe be a fishing expedition or a witch hunt of some kind, and I’m very concerned about that,” Toulouse Oliver said Tuesday on CNN’s New Day.
: “The electoral process is sacred and New York law has strong safeguards in place to prevent sharing of sensitive voter data and harassment against those who exercise their right to vote…New York refuses to perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election…We will not be complying with this request and I encourage the Election Commission to work on issues of vital importance to voters, including ballot access, rather than focus on debunked,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement
: “Integrity of our elections is critical, and a recent State Board of Elections investigation already found there was no evidence of significant voter fraud in North Carolina,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement on Twitter
Friday. “My staff has told the State Board of Elections that we should not participate in providing sensitive information beyond what is public record as it is unnecessary, and because I have concerns that it is an effort to justify the President’s false claims about voter fraud.”