There was no mention of the data request during the commission’s meeting, which included presentations about historical election turnout data, electronic voting systems and issues affecting public confidence in elections. But speaking to reporters afterward, commission vice chairman Kris Kobach emphasized that states are only being asked to send already-public information and called the Democrats’ criticism about voter suppression “bizarre.”
“The claim goes something like this: The commission will meet, then they’ll recommend things like photo ID or some other election security measure, then the states will adopt them. There’s your leap in logic. The commission does not have the ability to do a Jedi mind trick on a state legislature and force them to adopt anything,” said Kobach, the Republican secretary of state in Kansas.
“All the commission is doing is collecting data,” he added. “It may make recommendations, or I think at this point there’s a high possibility the commission makes no recommendations and they just say, ‘Here’s the data. States, do with it what you want.’”