Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said Thursday that he's "troubled" by a sweeping request from President Donald Trump's Election Integrity Commission for detailed information about every voter in all 50 states, and he made no guarantee he will comply with it.
Padilla's refusal to hand over the requested data - which would have included the names, addresses, political party and voting history of California's almost 20 million voters - comes after he declared his absolute confidence that no voter fraud exists in California shortly after the election. Indeed, despite bipartisan objections and a lack of authority, the President has repeatedly spread the lie that three to five million illegal votes were cast in the last election.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) castigated Trump's election commission in a statement, saying he has "no intention" of fulfilling the data request.
American Civil Liberties Union challenged obstacles to registration, cutbacks on early voting, and strict voter identification requirements in 15 states during the 2016 presidential elections.
"If you take the whole country, I think it is probably in excess of a million, if you take the entire country for sure", Kobach said at the time. It also seeks information about felony convictions, voters who may be registered in another state, canceled registrations and registered voters who haven't recently voted.
"State laws govern the release of voter registration information, and, at a minimum, election officials must follow those laws before releasing data". "California's participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach", he said.
The request to the states came from Kris Kobach, the federal commission's co-chair who is also the Kansas Secretary of State.
Lithwick's piece was a brutal takedown, making the case that von Spakovsky "was one of the generals in a years-long campaign to use what we now know to be bogus claims of runaway "vote fraud" in America to suppress minority votes". Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia. He said studies have suggested in-person voter fraud is relatively rare.
The Virginia governor is a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton, who Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election.
Closer to home, Denise Maes, the public policy director for the ACLU of Colorado, says she's concerned voters or potential voters merely hearing about their information ending up in some federal database could give them pause about taking part in the electoral process.
Other states, including Republican-led Oklahoma and Utah, announced plans to provide some information to the commission while withholding other pieces, such as the partial Social Security numbers.
Their primary questions center around what the commission will do with this information and how it will protect the data from scammers and, well, the Russian government, which has already tried to hack its way into these state voter databases. The Commission itself is a distraction from the real issue of voter suppression, and that efforts to "investigate voter fraud' threaten our most fundamental voting rights".