States Resist Handing Over Voter Information To Trump’s Election Commission
WASHINGTON — Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla Thursday have both refused to hand over registered voter information from their states to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
All 50 states received a request from Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, asking for a list of all registered voters in their respective states, the last four digits of these voters’ social security numbers, their addresses, date of birth, political affiliation and voting history from 2006 forward.
Additionally, Kobach’s letter also asked about election policies and laws of each state. The letter requests that all publicly available voter roll information be sent to the White House by July 14.
“I have no intention of honoring this request. 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,” McAuliffe said in a statement Thursday night. “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.”
Public Interest Legal Foundation Spokesman Logan Churchwell countered McAuliffe’s claim, telling The Daily Caller in a statement Thursday:
“This is par for the course for a state administration that has directed registrars to deny inspection of public voter records until they started losing federal court cases. Governor McAuliffe cannot justify his actions here, given Virginia’s track record of harboring thousands of non-citzen voters and his personal veto record that kept common-sense voter registration maintenance procedures from becoming law.”
Other states with Democratic leadership at the helm, though, are either not handing information over or begrudgingly sharing what is already publicly available.
“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,” Padilla said in a statement to National Public Radio.
Connecticut’s Secretary of State Denise Merrill told NPR in a statement she would give the commission publicly available information about registered voters in her state, but claimed that the commission is not clear about what the commission is looking for.
“In the same spirit of transparency, we will request that the Commission share any memos, meeting minutes or additional information as state officials have not been told precisely what the Commission is looking for,” Merrill wrote in a statement.
She went on to say, “This lack of openness is all the more concerning, considering that the Vice Chair of the Commission, Kris Kobach, has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas.”
Kobach claims the data the commission collects would help them “fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting,”