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Thread: Trump Criticizes States That Refused Vote Panel's Data Request

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Trump Criticizes States That Refused Vote Panel's Data Request

    By Andrew M Harris and Shannon Pettypiece
    July 19, 2017, 9:36 AM PDT

    President’s controversial vote commission holds first meeting
    Group chaired by vice president faces suits over work, intent

    President Donald Trump insinuated that states who have refused to comply with a data request by his controversial commission on election integrity have malign motives, as the 12-member panel met for the first time on Wednesday.

    “One has to wonder what they’re worried about,” he said. “There’s something. There always is.”

    The 12-member panel led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach held its first in-person meeting, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds, since Trump created it by executive order on May 11.

    The president maintains he’d have won the popular vote when he beat Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential race were it not for fraud at the ballot box. While the Democratic nominee garnered nearly 3 million more votes, Trump prevailed in the Electoral College. He’s repeatedly made the unsubstantiated claim that at least 3 million people voted illegally for Clinton. Federal and state election authorities, including Republicans, have said there was no significant fraud at the polls.

    Trump said the commission will impartially “follow the facts wherever they lead” and that its work will made public so that “the full truth will be known and exposed, if necessary, in the light of day.”

    The bipartisan panel is assigned to study states’ registration and federal election voting procedures, identifying those practices that “enhance the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes” as well as practices that are detrimental.

    Skeptics on the left have accused the panel of seeking to suppress turnout by Democrats, especially because of Kobach’s leadership role on the commission. He is a prominent advocate of reduced immigration who has cracked down on voter registration in Kansas and has conducted vote fraud investigations that his critics have called spurious.

    And while the panel is assigned to identify vulnerabilities that may lead to improper registration and voting, absent from Trump’s executive order is any express directive to review cyber security. Russian hackers are believed to have accessed voting systems in 39 states last year, though election authorities say they did not affect the outcome of the vote.

    Kobach Letter

    Kobach sent a June 28 letter to election officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia requesting publicly available voter data including names, addresses, birth dates and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. More than 40 states have declined to comply at least in part.

    The commission has been accused in two federal lawsuits of failing to abide by federal privacy laws. Two additional suits accuse the panel of breaching open meeting laws; another suit filed July 18 by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund claims the commission is a pretext for future efforts to suppress minority voter participation.

    Other Republicans on the panel include Hans von Spakovsky, a longtime advocate for stricter voter identification laws; former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who drew criticism in 2004 for rejecting votes cast on paper he said was not the correct weight; and former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams, who has called the commission’s critics “flat Earthers” who want to hide the truth of voter fraud.

    Democrats on the commission include Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap; New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner; Woods County, West Virginia, Clerk Mark Rhodes and Jefferson County, Alabama Probate Judge Alan King.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member artclam's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Fewer states have refused the Commission's request than the media reports. They count among refusals states which don't have any such public information and states who responded that the requester must submit the proper forms and pay the statutory fee.

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