The White House Asked States To Hand Over Your Personal Info & Voting History
The chairman of a presidential committee on voting integrity has asked all 50 states provide their voter rolls to the White House, according to NPR. Kris Kobach, the chair of the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, sent letters to state officials on Wednesday requesting that they submit the names, addresses, birthdays, party registrations, last four Social Security number digits, and voting history of everybody registered to vote in the respective states.
Kobach may have made this request in his capacity as chair of President Trump's election integrity committee, but Kobach is also the Kansas Secretary of State. He announced Friday that, as the chief official in charge of elections in Kansas, he will not fully comply with the request that he sent to his own state. Although Kobach will submit most of his state's voter information to the presidential committee that he leads, he said he won't turn over Kansas voters' Social Security numbers.
Several states quickly announced that they, too, will not comply with the White House's request. The Secretaries of State of California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Indiana and Kentucky said that they won't be turning over their states' voter rolls to the White House, as did Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, according to the Kansas City Star. Officials from Utah and Oklahoma said that they would submit some, but not all, of the requested information, while North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he would only turn over voter information that is already publicly available.
Trump created the commission after asserting that several million Americans voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, a claim for which Trump offered no proof and which has been debunked by multiple independent analyses. The White House says the commission is aimed at preventing voter fraud. Critics fear that it will be used instead to purge eligible voters and suppress the vote.
In 2015, more than 30,000 would-be voters in Kansas were kept off of the rolls because they hadn't provided proof of citizenship to the DMV when they registered to vote, the Kansas City Star reported. Kobach was sued over the citizenship requirement the next year, and two months before the presidential election, a federal judge ordered the state to stop enforcing the policy and retroactively add voters to the rolls who'd been denied registration on those grounds. Kobach defended the citizenship requirement, saying that it was aimed at preventing voter fraud.
In addition to requesting voter information, Kobach also asked officials if they had uncovered any voter fraud in their states, and if so, to present the details to the commission. There were four documented instances of voter fraud in the 2016 election, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.