States Fight Back Against President Trump's Election Fraud Commission

More than half of states have refused to provide additional information for the federal investigation into voter fraud.
Posted at 7:17 PM, Jun 30, 2017

President Trump's push for election integrity is already getting pushback from across the country.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent a letter asking all 50 states to provide voter information, like addresses, parts of Social Security numbers, political affiliation and voting history. But many states have denied the request.

The commission, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is looking for illegal voters. It was founded after Trump claimed there were millions of illegal votes, but didn't provide any proof.

States from all across the political spectrum, like Arizona, California, Tennessee and Vermont, are pushing back. More than half of states either refused to provide information or will only give the commission information that's publicly available. 

Even Kobach's home state of Kansas isn't fully complying. Kobach said he wouldn't hand Social Security numbers over to his commission because that information isn't publicly available.

Some officials were concerned the commission could have ulterior motives. Kentucky's secretary of state said it's "at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country."

Vanita Gupta, the former head of the Department of Justice's civil rights division, said that a nationwide voter database could be used to target and purge voters from the rolls.

Kobach said just having someone's registration information doesn't give the government the power to suppress the vote.

But an expert told the Washington Post that part of the government's request — asking for voter's party affiliation — could violate the Privacy Act of 1974.