President Trump on Saturday blasted the more than two dozen 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?”
As of Friday, at least 27 states have refused to give partial or full requested information, particularly with regard to the privacy of social security numbers, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states.
“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
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.
“New York refuses to perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “We will not be complying with this request.”