President Trump’s Commission on Electoral Integrity has asked all 50 states for detailed information — including partial Social Security numbers — on registered voters as part of an investigation into unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud made by Trump in January. In the letter, obtained by VICE News, the commission also requests the information be transmitted to an insecure government email account and stipulates it will be made publicly available.
Several states have already announced they will refuse the request. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla explained Thursday that the state would not provide “sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.”
Padilla also described the commission as “a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe released a similar statement, saying, “I have no intention of honoring this request. Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia.”
The information is considered public record, but states go to varying degrees to protect voters’ privacy.
In a statement, Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill also pointed out the incongruity of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach serving as vice chair of the commission. Kobach, who has already reportedly obtained nine voter fraud convictions, was also recently fined $1,000 for misleading a courtroom in a voter fraud case.
Merrill also requested all the commission’s activities be made public, saying that one of the state’s biggest concerns is Kobach’s history.
“This lack of openness is all the more concerning, considering that the vice chair of the commission, Kris Kobach, has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas,” Merrill said in the statement. “The courts have repudiated his methods on multiple occasions but often after the damage has been done to voters. Given Secretary Kobach’s history, we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this commission.”