WHEATON, Md. - President Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but he continues to claim that he would have won the popular vote had three to five million people not voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. While the White House still has not provided evidence of this claim, he put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of a panel on voting integrity. But the commission is facing significant pushback from the majority of states.
The president's executive order to launch an investigation into voter fraud has most states saying not so fast. Some reports say 44 states have refused to comply with at least some portion of the voter information requested by the commission, including Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The letter requested states provide open-ended feedback on the voting process along with any information about potential fraud. The letter also requested the following information about voter history if it is currently publicly available: full name, birth date, political party, the last four digits of a voter’s social security number, voter history and felony convictions.
One of the many states refusing to comply with this request is Maryland. We asked Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh if the information is already public, why will Maryland not pass that information along to the commission.
“It’s not already available,” said Frosh. “It may be made public in certain circumstances or it may be made available in certain circumstances.”
He added, “What I’m saying is there are circumstances in which some of this information can be made available. Not the ones that they have used. You can get my voter history if you ask for it in the right way. But to compile a national database of everybody’s voting history, their social security numbers – the last four of them – criminal backgrounds, military service – that’s scary. It’s not appropriate. It’s an invasion of privacy and they shouldn’t be doing it.”
While there are news reports that say 44 states have refused to provide voter information to the commission, Kris Kobach, the vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, said in a statement that “these reports are patently false, more fake news.”
“At present, only 14 states and the District of Columbia have refused the Commission’s request for publicly available voter information. Despite media distortions and obstruction by a handful of state politicians, this bipartisan commission on election integrity will continue its work to gather the facts through public records requests to ensure the integrity of each American’s vote because the public has a right to know,” Kobach said in part.