Virginia has joined the now 25 and growing number of states which are partially or entirely refusing to provide personal information on their voters to President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
In response to the Commission’s request for a list of all registered Virginia voters, the last four digits of their social security numbers, their addresses, date of birth, political affiliation, and their voting history, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made the Commonwealth’s position clear on June 29.
“Today the Commonwealth and the other 49 states received a lengthy request from Kris Kobach, the Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, requesting a list of all registered Virginia voters, the last four digits of their social security numbers, their addresses, date of birth, political affiliation, and their voting history,” McAuliffe’s statement read.
“The Vice Chair’s letter also contained a list of vague inquiries about the election policies and laws of the Commonwealth.
“I have no intention of honoring this request. Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia.”
Mcauliffe’s he said in his statement posted on the Governor’s official website. “This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November. 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.
“The only irregularity in the 2016 presidential election centered around Russian tampering, a finding that has been confirmed by 17 of our intelligence agencies and sworn testimony delivered to several congressional committees. In 131 days Virginia’s Department of Elections will again conduct a statewide election for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, as well as 100 House of Delegates races and numerous other positions. I’m not going to divert resources that could potentially compromise that important work to enable this politically motivated and silly posturing.”
The Commission’s intentions have come under fire not only from the state election officials but from civil rights and voting rights advocacy groups.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill said, ”These extraordinary letters confirm what we suspected when the President announced the creation of this commission: that it is little more than an attempt to enlist the Executive Branch in voter suppression efforts on the false pretext of preventing election fraud,” Ifill continued.
Vice Chair of the Commission, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he will not hand over information to his own commission because Social Security numbers are not publicly available in Kansas.
“Every state receives the same letter but we’re not asking for it if it’s not publicly available,” Kobach told the Kansas City Star Friday, June 29.
It was a change in stance from Thursday, the paper reported, when Kobach said Kansas would provide all requested information to the commission.