State officials from Virginia, California and Kentucky are refusing to give over voter information to Vice President Pence’s commission on election integrity.
President Trump signed an executive order last May creating the commission, saying that it will “promote fair and honest federal elections” after claiming that millions of undocumented immigrants had somehow managed to vote illegally for Hillary Clinton. No evidence for this claim has ever been offered.
The commission, led by Pence, sent letters today requesting all 50 states to supply voters’ names, birthdays, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, and their voting history since 2006.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said in a statement that he has “no intention” of complying with this request, saying the commission was based on the “false notion” that widespread voter fraud occurred in the 2016 election.
“At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression,” McAuliffe stated.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) also said “I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally… California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, Vice President, and [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach.”
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) also had harsh words for the commission.
“The president created his election commission based on the false notion that “voter fraud” is a widespread issue – it is not,” Grimes said in a statement. “Indeed, despite bipartisan objections and a lack of authority, the President has repeatedly spread the lie that three to five million illegal votes were cast in the last election. Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW