A growing list of states is refusing to comply with the White House’s unprecedented demands to hand over their voting roll data.
On Thursday, Trump’s “Commission on Election Integrity” sent out a letter to all 50 states ordering officials to turn over a whole lot of information on voters. The list of requested information includes: “full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of Social Security number if available, [and] voter history from 2006 onward.”
A pretty frightening list of demands, especially given the vice chairman of the commission’s documented history of voter suppression: As Secretary of State in Kansas, Kris Kobach led an assault on voting rights so terrible, it prompted the ACLU to describe him as “the King of Voter Suppression.” As an advisor to Trump, Kobach has also signaled he supports a Muslim registry.
California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, swiftly responded to the request:
Virginia’s governor followed:
Kentucky has also joined the chorus of denials. In a statement, Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Alison Grimes, said the state would “not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money.” Boom.
Connecticut’s Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, has also refused:
Massachusetts’s Secretary of State, William Galvin, will not comply either. In a statement to CommonWealth Magazine, Galvin’s spokesman Brian McNiff confirmed the office had received Kobach’s letter. “They’re not going to get it. It’s not a public record,” McNiff told the magazine.
Funnily enough, it might be a few days before some states to respond. According to ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman, some of Kobach’s letters were incorrectly addressed. In North Carolina and Illinois, Kobach sent the requests to offices of the Secretary of State, but in both states, a Board of Elections manages voting rolls.