Donald Trump’s “election integrity commission”—in reality, his effort to launch a nationwide voter suppression campaign—has demanded that every state provide detailed information on every registered voter. They want your name, address, birthday, political party, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your voter history since 2006, information about your military service or felony convictions, whether you’re registered in any other states, and overseas citizen status. This information would be going to a commission headed by a guy who allowed himself to be photographed with his secret plan for Trump’s first year in office facing outward, though even more relevant than Kris Kobach’s inability to keep secrets is his naked desire to keep people who don’t agree with him from voting. In any case, a few states—hopefully to be joined by more soon—are saying they’ll refuse the request for your personal data.
California, Kentucky, and Virginia are saying no. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said “I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.” According to Padilla, “California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the president, vice president, and [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach.”
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said “Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has “no intention” of giving Kobach what he wants, and that “At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.
Connecticut is also not rushing to fulfill the request, with Secretary of State Denise Merrill saying that the state would provide “the Kobach commission” with publicly available data but nothing more; information like Social Security numbers would not fall under publicly available data. Merrill also suggested she would not be rushing to meet the July 14 deadline set for handing over the information, and asked for more information on what Kobach—who she noted “has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas”—is looking for and why this information is essential.
Who will be the next secretary of state or governor to stand up to this naked ploy to begin disenfranchising the citizens of their state?