“Asked for Voters’ Data, States Give Trump Panel a Bipartisan ‘No’”

Important Michael Wines in the NYT, rounding up the state of play:

ata of the nation’s 200 million voters set off an avalanche of opposition by state leaders in both parties on Friday, as officials from California to Mississippi called the move an overreach and more than 20 states declared they would not comply.

It was an inauspicious start for the panel, which was created after President Trump claimed last winter that millions of illegal votes had robbed him of a popular-vote victory over Hillary Clinton.

The vice chairman and day-to-day leader of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity, Kris Kobach, had asked election officials in a letter to turn over the data “if publicly available,” apparently to aid a nationwide search for evidence of election irregularities. Besides election information like voters’ names and party affiliations, the commission sought personal information including birth dates, felony conviction records, voting histories for the past decade and the last four digits of all voters’ Social Security numbers.

Mr. Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas, has said he wants to match voter information with other data, like federal records of foreign residents and undocumented immigrants, to spotlight people who cast illegal ballots. He asserts that such fraud is widespread in Kansas and elsewhere, although he has found scant evidence of it so far.

But a growing number of state election officials have indicated — sometimes politely, sometimes brusquely — that they will not or cannot comply. Among them, ironically, were Mr. Kobach himself and a second member of the commission, Secretary of State Connie Lawson of Indiana, both of whom disclosed on Friday that privacy laws prevented them from furnishing some personal voter data.

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