Trump criticizes states withholding voter info

Trump criticizes states withholding voter info”

The commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, will meet for the first time July 19, with a ceremonial swearing in of members and a discussion the Commission's charge and objectives.

Before the meeting, Democrats accused Trump of setting up the panel to find ways to restrict voting rights.

The Missouri Democrat, who lost a 2016 Senate campaign, warned that the commission's attempt to harvest voter data was already causing some people to cancel their registration, an immediate demonstration of voter suppression.

But California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who has rejected a request from the commission for private voter data, reiterated his scorn of the panel's mission.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner used his opening remarks at the inaugural meeting of the Trump administration's voting integrity commission to call for closer examination of the value of photo ID laws and other measures that, he says, improve public confidence in elections. "One has to wonder what they're anxious about", he said, in introductory remarks.

According to the Washington Post, at least 44 states, plus the District, said they can not or will not comply with all or part of the commission's request for extensive information on voter rolls, like the names of all registrants, addresses, dates of birth including partial Social Security numbers and party affiliation of registered voters. But the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Ordinary People Society, another national civil rights group, will not tolerate an illegal investigation and attempts at voter suppression.

"If Trump is concerned with election integrity, his sham commission should address the real questions our democracy faces", Sewell said.

"This commission has no preconceived notions or preordained results".

President Donald Trump has voiced the same doubts, claiming with no evidence at all that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in the election.

Numerous states that have refused the request for information have cited privacy concerns as the reason behind their refusal.

Kobach, one of the primary drivers of fears about widespread voter fraud, similarly argued that the commission was necessary because "many Americans" are anxious about fraud-in his words, "for a long time, there's been lingering doubt among many Americans about the integrity and fairness of our elections". It seems striking that as one of the leaders of a commission on voting integrity, you're not willing to say the same.

As he has in the past, Trump repeated his warning that states that don't cooperate must have something to hide. We know, because the evidence tells us, that there was no systemic "voter fraud", and that Kobach's efforts to prove otherwise are a sham.

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