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Washington - States Refuse Trump Panel Request For Voter Information

Published on: June 30, 2017 06:00 PM
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Washington - A growing number of U.S. states Friday refused to provide voters’ names, addresses and other personal information requested by a panel that President Donald Trump created to investigate voter fraud, saying the demand was unnecessary and violated privacy.

Republican Trump, who has made unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, established the panel by executive order in May despite evidence that voter fraud is not widespread.

“This commission was formed to try to find basis for the lie that President Trump put forward that has no foundation,” Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told Reuters in an interview.

Elections officials in states including Connecticut, Minnesota and Oklahoma said they would only turn over public information, but not sensitive private information.

Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent a letter to all 50 states Wednesday, asking them to provide voter information including names, the last four digits of social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, political affiliation, felony convictions and voting histories.

The request, made by commission Vice Chairman Kris Kobach, caused a backlash in states including Virginia, Kentucky, California, New York and Massachusetts, where election officials said they could not or would not provide all the data.

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Some states said certain data such as social security numbers were not publicly available. Others raised privacy concerns or questioned the need to examine voter fraud.

Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, has been a high-profile advocate of tougher laws on immigration and voter identification.

His office did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

In his letter, a copy of which was provided to Reuters by the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office, Kobach also asked states for feedback on how to improve election integrity and for evidence of voter fraud and convictions of voter-related crimes since 2000.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said on Thursday that handing over information would only serve to legitimize debunked claims of widespread voter fraud. Civil rights groups and Democratic Party lawmakers have called the commission a tactic to suppress votes against Republicans.

“States are right to balk at turning over massive reams of personal information in what clearly is a campaign to suppress the vote,” Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement Friday.

While the public availability of voter data varies by state, the request raises privacy concerns, said Richard Hasen, a University of California, Irvine, professor who studies election law. He said studies have suggested in-person voter fraud is relatively rare.

Oklahoma recorded 17 allegations of double voting in the 2016 general election, during which 1.4 million ballots were cast, state election board spokesman Bryan Dean said.



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Read Comments (14)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 30, 2017 at 07:09 PM hashomer Says:

Phony voter fraud commission is further evidence of the New Fuhrer's witch hunts against the American people. Numerous GOP Sec of States have refuted Herr Trumpf's ridiculous claims of voter fraud, and his alt-right efforts to surpress voting. UNDEMOCRATIC! UNAMERICAN! Even trumpoids see his imminent collapse. What a YUTZ...

2

 Jul 01, 2017 at 10:55 PM georgeg Says:

While I may not know what goes on in the U.S., it is elf-evident that human nature is human nature and logic is logic. In this case circular logic. Because there is no voter fraud therefore there is no investigation (or no co-operation in the investigation). And because there is no investigation there is no voter fraud uncovered. So I do not believe things are that different in the U.S. than here in Canada. And here in Canada I have experience with people who reminisce of their days when they used-to-travel (business or pleasure) and if they arrived by chance in their foreign destination (like another province) on an election they would literally be grabbed and strong-armed to vote (despite not being eligible as foreigners). Never uncovered because, of course, the identity and contact information is never disclosed due to the same claim of confidentiality.

3

 Jul 01, 2017 at 11:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Maybe there were voter frauds. Lets find out the truth. Hillary got 3 million more votes than Trump. If they can find more votes for Hillary, Trump was never elected, he can Stop this Russian Criminal Investigations and retire quietly without Impeachment.

4

 Jul 02, 2017 at 12:47 AM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #1  
hashomer Says:

Phony voter fraud commission is further evidence of the New Fuhrer's witch hunts against the American people. Numerous GOP Sec of States have refuted Herr Trumpf's ridiculous claims of voter fraud, and his alt-right efforts to surpress voting. UNDEMOCRATIC! UNAMERICAN! Even trumpoids see his imminent collapse. What a YUTZ...

Meinen Herr - er ist Herr Drumpf, nicht Trumph...die grosse ashloch!

5

 Jul 02, 2017 at 01:16 AM TRumpIzPrez Says:

The Constitution made the electoral process a State's responsibility.

TRump is again using and abusing Federal overreach.

6

 Jul 02, 2017 at 01:58 AM Enlighten Archy Says:

What kind of "voter fraud"?

Registration fraud (Remember Newt in 2012?)
Double voting (often using absentee ballots or voting in their summer/vacation home, too)
Dead voters
Felon voter fraud
Vote-buying

How about ....
Fraud by election officials
Voter suppression

7

 Jul 02, 2017 at 08:33 AM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #1  
hashomer Says:

Phony voter fraud commission is further evidence of the New Fuhrer's witch hunts against the American people. Numerous GOP Sec of States have refuted Herr Trumpf's ridiculous claims of voter fraud, and his alt-right efforts to surpress voting. UNDEMOCRATIC! UNAMERICAN! Even trumpoids see his imminent collapse. What a YUTZ...

Why not allow the investigation run its course ? If everyone is so innocent what are they scared of ? Why the obstruction? Sounds like the opposite of another investigation I know of .

8

 Jul 02, 2017 at 11:29 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
yonasonw Says:

Meinen Herr - er ist Herr Drumpf, nicht Trumph...die grosse ashloch!

You need to get over your German fixation. It is very disturbing.

9

 Jul 02, 2017 at 11:36 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Educated Archy Says:

Why not allow the investigation run its course ? If everyone is so innocent what are they scared of ? Why the obstruction? Sounds like the opposite of another investigation I know of .

Trump doesn't want to release his financials, and these states don't want to release their voter rolls. Hmm. See a parallel?

10

 Jul 02, 2017 at 03:41 PM Archy is already enlightened Says:

Reply to #6  
Enlighten Archy Says:

What kind of "voter fraud"?

Registration fraud (Remember Newt in 2012?)
Double voting (often using absentee ballots or voting in their summer/vacation home, too)
Dead voters
Felon voter fraud
Vote-buying

How about ....
Fraud by election officials
Voter suppression

Nice try but I have a fine education and thankfully I am well employed by a top wall st firm . I don't need to be enlightened. Chances are I am more enlightened than you anyhow .

You are coward . You think because you bombard vin with comments such as TrumpIsPrez and enlighten Archy that all of a sudden you have answered me . So very sad

11

 Jul 02, 2017 at 03:59 PM yaakov doe Says:

Reply to #6  
Enlighten Archy Says:

What kind of "voter fraud"?

Registration fraud (Remember Newt in 2012?)
Double voting (often using absentee ballots or voting in their summer/vacation home, too)
Dead voters
Felon voter fraud
Vote-buying

How about ....
Fraud by election officials
Voter suppression

As I remember several of Trump's family and cabinet members were registered in more than one state at the time of the 2016 election. In all likelihood they only voted in one state. Very little evidence has ever been produced of the dead, or felons voting of vote buying. The only voter suppression that I'm aware of in by members of Donald J Trump's own political party with the voter Id laws. This commission is, using Trumps own words "a witch hunt".

12

 Jul 02, 2017 at 07:26 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #11  
yaakov doe Says:

As I remember several of Trump's family and cabinet members were registered in more than one state at the time of the 2016 election. In all likelihood they only voted in one state. Very little evidence has ever been produced of the dead, or felons voting of vote buying. The only voter suppression that I'm aware of in by members of Donald J Trump's own political party with the voter Id laws. This commission is, using Trumps own words "a witch hunt".

Assuming what you are suggesting is true , why are the states reluctant to hand over the info ? If all it will do is embarrass Trump what do the states loose ?

13

 Jul 02, 2017 at 08:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Educated Archy Says:

Assuming what you are suggesting is true , why are the states reluctant to hand over the info ? If all it will do is embarrass Trump what do the states loose ?

Strange statement for you to make, being that you defend Trump's refusal to release his tax returns!

14

 Jul 03, 2017 at 04:49 PM Phineas Says:

Reply to #12  
Educated Archy Says:

Assuming what you are suggesting is true , why are the states reluctant to hand over the info ? If all it will do is embarrass Trump what do the states loose ?

Because federalism means that the states enforce their election laws and have no obligation to genuflect just because the feds want something. A true conservative would be against federal overreach. Red states are refusing.

In the meantime, what would it hurt if Trump showed his tax returns.

15

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