Posted: 8:20 pm Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
The head of President Donald Trump’s commission tasked with investigating election fraud in the United States lashed out at the news media on Wednesday, accusing the press of disseminating ‘fake news’ about the refusal and reluctance of some states to cooperate with a request for voter information by the panel.
“While there are news reports that 44 states have “refused” to provide voter information to the Commission, these reports are patently false, more “fake news,” said a written statement issued by the White House from Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State in Kansas.
But a review of the responses to Kobach’s request show while many states are providing data – most have ruled out certain information, mainly the request for the last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number.
Kobach says 14 states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide information, while 20 states have agreed to “provide publicly available voter data as permitted under their state laws.”
Kobach’s panel, known as the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” had asked states in a letter last week to provide data about voters in their respective states, which included the following information:
+ The “publicly available voter roll data” for each state
+ The “full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available”
+ Addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded) on state voters
+ The “last four digits of social security number if available”
+ “Voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward”
+ Voter status – whether “active/inactive”
+ information “regarding any felony convictions”
+ information “regarding voter registration in another state”
+ information “regarding military status” of voters
+ data on “overseas citizen information”
A number of states – even many with Republican Secretaries of State – have said they will turn over information that is already publicly available, but will not send in items like last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number.
While Kobach protested that news reports saying 44 states had refused to provide all that data were false, it is obvious from the individual responses that few states publicly welcomed the federal request for this voter data, and most refused to honor at least one request, that being for the Social Security data.
Here is a list of states, with links to their decisions about the Kobach request – when possible, a link directly to the Secretary of State or state elections board was used. News stories were included in cases where no direct statements were readily available:
— Yellowhammer (@yhn) July 1, 2017
Alaska elections director says Trump commission will get some voter data — but not if it’s private https://t.co/RYZ0uDSMzX
— AK NTVS (@YeilYadi) July 2, 2017
I've rejected the federal government's request for voter data. https://t.co/hEOouYb47g
— Michele Reagan (@SecretaryReagan) July 4, 2017
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) July 5, 2017
Secretary Padilla's response to the Election Commission's request for personal data of CA voters: pic.twitter.com/UdUt55HSim
— CA SOS Vote (@CASOSvote) June 29, 2017
— Wayne Williams (@COsecofstate) June 29, 2017
— Denise Merrill (@SOTSMerrill) July 3, 2017
— Delaware.gov (@delaware_gov) July 3, 2017
Georgia to share data with Trump commission on voter fraud https://t.co/oSA3D5G6Fh
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) June 30, 2017
My statement on the CEI's request for voter information: pic.twitter.com/46vECNBtkf
— Connie Lawson (@SecretaryLawson) June 30, 2017
My response for those asking about the letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity: pic.twitter.com/julOipd8X6
— Iowa Sec. of State (@IowaSOS) June 30, 2017
KANSAS – Kansas is home to the chair of the election panel, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Even Kobach was unable to fulfill the request that his panel made of every state, as like other states, Kansas will not send in any Social Security numbers linked to state voter rolls.
Kansas is sending requested publicly available data to Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.
— KS Sec. of State (@KansasSOS) July 5, 2017
— Alison L. Grimes (@AlisonForKY) July 1, 2017
— La. Sec. of State (@Louisiana_sos) July 3, 2017
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) June 30, 2017
Secretary Dunlap has determined that Maine cannot comply with Elections Commission request due to Maine law. See our Facebook for full PR
— MaineSOS (@MESecOfState) July 3, 2017
The State Board of Elections has denied the request from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
— Maryland Elections (@md_sbe) July 3, 2017
Michigan SOS limits voter data provided to Trump Commission on Election Integrity, won't give SS# or DOB https://t.co/9AkTet7njq
— Jonathan Oosting (@jonathanoosting) July 3, 2017
I will not hand over Minnesota voters' sensitive personal information to President Trump's voting commission. https://t.co/s4U19DnxSz
— Steve Simon (@MNSteveSimon) June 30, 2017
— Mississippi SOS (@MississippiSOS) June 30, 2017
— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) July 5, 2017
— Billings Gazette (@billingsgazette) June 30, 2017
NEW HAMPSHIRE –
— NH Public Radio (@nhpr) June 30, 2017
NEW MEXICO –
— NM Sec of State (@NMSecOfState) June 30, 2017
NEW YORK –
NY refuses to perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election. We will not comply with this request.https://t.co/eQC6ORV0v1
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 30, 2017
NORTH CAROLINA –
— NCSBE (@NCSBE) June 30, 2017
NORTH DAKOTA –
— Aidan Quigley (@QuigleyAidan) June 30, 2017
Regarding request from Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity – we won't provide confidential info https://t.co/d14JhMi0F2
— Jon Husted (@JonHusted) June 30, 2017
OK voter list is open record. Anyone can request it. It does not include SSN. Pres. Comm. request asked for publicly available list only.
— State Election Board (@OKelections) June 30, 2017
— Oregon Elections (@oregonelections) July 1, 2017
Here's my full letter to the Trump administration's Kris Kobach denying his request for personal information of every registered PA voter. pic.twitter.com/ZKo8yqC11f
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) June 30, 2017
RHODE ISLAND –
Statement by Secretary Gorbea on the U.S. Department of Justice and Kobach Commission Requests: pic.twitter.com/XMSDOMlBkV
— Nellie M. Gorbea (@RISecState) June 30, 2017
SOUTH CAROLINA – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster used a series of tweets to say that his state would supply some data to the Kobach panel, but – like other states – never send along Social Security information as well.
They are required to make the list available to the public upon request and Social Security numbers are never disclosed. (2/3)
— Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) July 3, 2017
SOUTH DAKOTA –
PIERRE (AP) – South Dakota’s Republican secretary of state, Shantel Krebs, won’t share voter information with Pre…
— Topeka, KS 66601 (@Topeka_KS_66601) July 1, 2017
My statement regarding the request for Tennessee voter information: pic.twitter.com/999Y7QUjfM
— Tre Hargett (@SecTreHargett) June 30, 2017
— Jim Malewitz (@Jmalewitz) July 5, 2017
— Ben Winslow (@BenWinslow) July 2, 2017
— VT Sec. of State (@VermontSOS) July 3, 2017
— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) June 29, 2017
We are required by law to provide public records upon request. Other requests from fed elections commission will be considered thoughtfully.
— Secretary of State (@secstatewa) June 30, 2017
Wisconsin Election Commission Statement on Federal Request for Wisconsin Voter Information:https://t.co/vOtVJF7t8I
— Wisconsin Elections (@WI_Elections) June 30, 2017
Wyoming's Secretary of State, a Republican businessman: "It’s not sitting well with me.” https://t.co/IdeK9IOkx3
— Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) July 3, 2017
Judging from the responses, an overwhelming majority of the states are not sending in all of the information that was requested by the Kobach panel.
But it is also true that many states are sending in data, which is already publicly available.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.