Two more states are refusing to provide the White House with voter registration data, saying on Monday they suspected the White House of trying to suppress voter turnout.
In fiery statements, Maryland and Delaware both blasted President Donald Trump’s commission on election integrity and said they would not comply with its request to turn over voters’ personal information, including their names, birthdays, party affiliations and the last four digits of their social security numbers.
The two states join a growing list of more than two dozen states that have pushed back against the White House commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kobach and tasked with investigating instances of purported voter fraud.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said he found the commission’s request “repugnant,” and said it appeared to be “designed only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote.”
“Repeating incessantly a false story of expansive voter fraud, and then creating a commission to fuel that narrative, does not make it any more true,” Frosh said in a statement. “There is no evidence that the integrity of the 2016 election in Maryland — or any other state — was compromised by voter fraud.”
Delaware hit back equally hard, suggesting the White House would use the information it gathers in efforts to suppress the vote.
“Releasing this information to the White House would not serve the mission of safeguarding the fairness and integrity of elections in Delaware and would not be in the best interest of Delaware voters,” state election commissioner Elaine Manlove said in a statement.
Delaware secretary of state Jeffrey Bullock said the state “would not be part of any effort to turn back the clock on the progress we have made.”
“Delaware will not be a party to this disingenuous and inappropriate campaign against one of the nation’s foundational institutions,” he said.
The Presidential Commission on Voter Integrity requested the data from all 50 states last week and gave a two-week deadline for compliance.
The request concerned some experts, who feared the information would be used to justify Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election. In the days following Trump’s victory, he claimed millions of people had voted illegally, and attributed Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote win to the supposed fraud.
Adding to states’ alarm was the selection of Kobach, one of the nation’s strongest proponents of tighter voting regulations, to lead the commission.
“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,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement last week announcing he would not comply with the commission’s request.
Several of the states that have pushed back against the request are Democratic-leaning, but the list also includes conservative states such as Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Some states, such as Alabama and Indiana, agreed only to provide the commission with information that was publicly available.
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