President Donald Trump turned to Twitter on Saturday to express his displeasure about the refusal of more than two dozen states to hand over information to help the White House curb voter fraud.
“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide,” the president tweeted.
Trump’s tweet came three days after his Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent a letter to all 50 states requesting information from voting rolls, including voting history, party affiliation, and personal information for each voter.
Officials in 27 states cited possible civil rights violations by handing over such data to a White House commission. Some state leaders were reserved in their responses, while others refused more colorfully.
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R), told CNN the president and commission chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, can both “jump in the Gulf of Mexico,” and that he would not grant Trump his state’s voter data.
Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe (D) also has no plans to comply because there is no evidence his state has experienced a high level of voter fraud. McAuliffe said the president’s commission is rooted in Trump’s claims that last November’s elections were rife with fraud. He said Trump formed the commission not to curb fraud, but to commit voter suppression.
— POLITICO (@politico) July 2, 2017
Not all state leaders have disregarded the commission’s letter. Some say they would share information that is already on the public record, but not release Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other personal data.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said McAuliffe’s refusal to honor the president’s request is a typical Democratic calling card when it comes to the issue of voter fraud.
McConnell has long contended that voter fraud is a widespread problem. The president claimed that he lost the popular vote because undocumented immigrants illegally voted for Hillary Clinton.
Although Trump’s claim hasn’t been proven, millions of undocumented voters are believed to have voted for Barack Obama in 2008. In that popular vote, Obama defeated John McCain by approximately 10 million votes, en route to grabbing 365 votes in the Electoral College.
In last November’s popular vote, Clinton defeated Trump by 2.9 million votes, but only captured 227 electoral votes.
“It is crucial for the Commission to consider your input as it collects data and identifies areas of opportunity to increase the integrity of our election systems,” Kobach wrote in last week’s letter.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 2, 2017
Kobach told Fox News that his state would comply, but not supply the White House with voters’ Social Security numbers. The commission is scheduled to meet on July 19. Other members include Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Photo]