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Trump election panel asks all 50 states for voter roll data
The vice chairman of President Trump's commission on election integrity sent a letter to all 50 states Wednesday requesting information on their voter rolls.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is seeking several pieces of information about voters, including their names, birthdays, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and their voting history dating back to 2006.
The letter, sent to the secretaries of state of all 50 states and obtained by The Hill, directs states to turn over "publicly-available voter roll data including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, [and] voter history from 2006 onward."
Kobach's letter asks states to respond to a list of questions about voting in their states, inquiring about "law, policies or other issues hinder your ability to ensure the integrity of elections you administer." He also asks for information about "convictions for election -related crimes" since the November 2000 presidential election.
The letter also stipulates that documents submitted to the commission "will also be made available to the public." States were given a deadline of July 14 to submit the info to the commission.
Jason Kander, the head the Democratic National Committee's Commission on Protecting American Democracy from the Trump Administration, blasted the letter in a statement, calling it "very concerning."
"It's obviously very concerning when the federal government is attempting to get the name, address, birth date, political party and Social Security number of every voter in the country," Kander said. " I certainly don't trust the Trump Administration with that information, and people across the country should be outraged."
Connecticut said it will comply with the commission's request "in the spirit of transparency," but its secretary of state, Denise Merrill, also issued a challenge to Kobach.
"In the same spirit of transparency, we will request that the Commission share any memos, meeting minutes or additional information as state officials have not been told precisely what the Commission is looking for," Merrill wrote.
"This lack of openness is all the more concerning, considering that the Vice Chair of the Commission, Kris Kobach, has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas."
Vice President Pence announced Wednesday that the election integrity commission would meet for the first time in July. Pence, who is chairing the commission, told its members that the group's focus will be to "protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote."
Trump signed an executive order in May establishing the commission, stating that the purpose of the group is to "promote fair and honest federal elections."
Kobach and Trump have both made unsubstantiated claims that large numbers of undocumented immigrants vote in U.S. elections.
In January, Kobach told Fox Business that "it will be impossible to ever know what the exact number is of non-citizens voting. I think it probably was [millions]."
"If you take the whole country, I think it is probably in excess of a million, if you take the entire country for sure," Kobach said at the time.
Trump, meanwhile, has said he would have won the popular vote in November had it not been for fraud.
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," Trump wrote on Twitter in November.
- Reid Wilson contributed to this report. This story was updated at 5:11 p.m.