101°F
weather icon Clear

Some states push back in providing voter data to Trump panel

Updated June 30, 2017 - 10:28 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY — A request for detailed information about every voter in the U.S. from President Donald Trump’s voting commission is getting a rocky reception in the states.

Some of the nation’s most populous states, including California and New York, are refusing to comply. But even some conservative states that voted for Trump, such as Texas, say they can provide only partial responses based on what is legally allowed under state law.

Given the mishmash of information Trump’s commission will receive, it’s unclear how useful it will be or what the commission will do with it. Trump established the commission to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 elections, but Democrats have blasted it as a biased panel that is merely looking for ways to suppress the vote.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a Democrat who is a member of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, defended the request Friday. He said the commission expected that many states would only partially comply because open records laws differ from state to state.

“If only half the states agree, we’ll have to talk about that. I think, whatever they do, we’ll work with that,” said Gardner, adding that the commission will discuss the survey at its July 19 meeting.

He said he has received calls from unhappy constituents who said they didn’t want Trump to see their personal information.

“But this is not private, and a lot of people don’t know that,” he said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted the decision by some governors and secretaries of state not to comply.

“I think that that’s mostly about a political stunt,” she told reporters at a White House briefing.

It’s not just Democrats bristling at the requested information.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican serving his third term, said in a statement he had not received the commission’s request.

If he does receive it?

“My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” he said. “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

In a federal court case after a contentious U.S. Senate primary in Mississippi in 2014, a group called True the Vote sued Mississippi seeking similar information about voters. Hosemann fought that request and won.

No state election official planned to provide the commission with all of the information requested — even Kansas, where commission vice chairman Kris Kobach is secretary of state. He sent the letter asking for the names, party affiliations, addresses, voting histories, felony convictions, military service and the last four digits of Social Security numbers for all voters.

A spokeswoman for Kobach’s office said the last four digits of Social Security numbers are not publicly available under Kansas law and would not be handed over. That was the case in many other states, noted in statements from top election officials and responses to queries from reporters for The Associated Press.

Officials in 10 states and the District of Columbia said they would not comply at all with the request. Those states are California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia.

Oklahoma, where nearly two-thirds of the vote in the November presidential election went to Trump, will provide nearly all the commission’s request, save for one bit of information: Social Security numbers.

“That’s not publicly available under the laws of our state,” said Bryan Dean, spokesman for the Oklahoma State Election Board.

Dean said the commission’s request will be treated like any other from the general public. The election board will tell the panel to fill out an online form asking for the information. Oklahoma’s voter roll is routinely provided to political campaigns, the press and other groups that ask for it.

The letter from the presidential commission gives secretaries of state about two weeks to provide the voter data and other information, including any evidence of fraud and election-related crimes in their states. It also asks for suggestions on improving election security.

Some Democratic officials have refused to comply with the data request, saying it invades privacy and is based on false claims of fraud. Trump, who created the commission through executive order in May, lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton but has alleged without evidence that up to 5 million people voted illegally.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
THE LATEST
US wasted no time getting El Chapo to supermax prison

A lawyer says authorities have wasted no time in sending the convicted Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo to an ultra-high-security prison where he will serve a life sentence.

House-approved $15 minimum wage has little chance in Senate

House Democrats approved legislation Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, to $15 an hour, but the bill has almost no chance in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Negotiators agree on core elements of $1.3T budget deal, says Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that budget and debt negotiators have reached an agreement on the core elements of a deal to increase the government’s borrowing cap and set a $1.3 trillion overall level for the agency budgets that Congress passes each year.

Trump slams 4 congresswomen; crowd chants, ‘Send her back!’

Going after four Democratic congresswomen one by one, a combative President Donald Trump turned his campaign rally into an extended dissection of the liberal views of the women of color, deriding them for what he painted as extreme positions and suggesting they just get out.

Some experts think race issue could make Trump a 2020 winner

President Donald Trump has placed racial animus at the center of his reelection campaign, and even some of his critics believe it could deliver him a second term.