President Trump’s commission on voter fraud, known formally as the The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, is facing resistance from 44 states.
The commission is chaired by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the leading figures in voter suppression.
The states are refusing, in whole or in part, the commission’s request for a massive amount of voter data, including “including birth dates, felony conviction records, voting histories for the past decade and the last four digits of all voters’ Social Security numbers.”
Now, the White House is lashing out.
White House officials told Fox News on Tuesday that states weren’t cooperating with the commission because they are “concerned they will find fraud” which will “raise doubts about Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote.”
Clinton won the popular vote by about 2.9 million votes.
The idea that partisan politics is motivating the states is belied by the fact that many of the states refusing to cooperate with the commission are run by Republicans.
“My response to the Commission is, you’re not going to play politics with Louisiana’s voter data, and if you are, then you can purchase the limited public information available by law, to any candidate running for office,” Tom Schedler, Lousiana’s Republican Secretary of State, said Monday.
Mississippi’s Republican Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, was even harsher. “My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes,” Hosemann said.
The commission was formed after Trump tweeted millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
The claim, originated by “a self-described conservative voter fraud specialist” on Twitter, has no factual basis.
Kobach has been one of the leading voices arguing millions of people voted illegally. But Kobach based his claims on studies of as few as 14 people which experts dismissed as “farcical.”
The data grab by the commission appears to be an effort to manufacture new evidence of fraud. It has been harshly criticized by voting rights advocates as as “laying the groundwork for voter suppression.”
Kobach appears to be frustrated with his progress thus far. He told the Washington Times that the states’ refusal to turn over data was “idiotic.”