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States Balk at Requests From Trump's Voter Fraud Commission

04 July 2017, 01:16 | Melanie Burgess

States Balk at Requests From Trump's Voter Fraud Commission

Maryland AG issues statement on request for information on voters

Secretary of State Tom Schedler is refusing to hand over Louisiana voter information to a Trump administration voter fraud panel. The letter indicated the request applied only to information "publicly available under the laws of your state". They say state law prohibits releasing even four digits of social security numbers.

The Trump commission had also asked for information about whether voters had felony convictions, which isn't included in the public data that the secretary of state sells. Overseas or military voters can also request a ballot be sent out of state ahead of an election, but that also wouldn't be noted on their registration information.

Several states have already said they legally can't or won't comply - either fully or partially - with that request. In fact, this broad request has been criticized by various state Governors and Secretaries of State, and may, in fact, be illegal.

Mr Trump has made unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in last November's election.

For more on this, I spoke with Tomas Lopez with the Brennan Center for Justice, who says the request is pretty unprecedented. The state does not collect any data about a voter's political preference or gender, he said.

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Trump established the commission in an effort to combat voter fraud the president alleged during the 2016 Presidential Campaign.

Trump created the commission through an executive order in May.

In addition to Louisiana, states like California, Kentucky, and MS will not comply. "For Republican election administrators, this is a federalism issue". Studies have shown that statistically, vote fraud is close to non-existent.

Richard Hasen, a law professor and election expert at the University of California, Irvine, said Blackwell was widely criticized in 2004 for rejecting votes cast on paper that he determined was not the proper weight. "With only two instances of confirmed voter fraud from the total voter turnout of 2,734,176 in the 2012 Presidential General Election, we can safely say that there is no evidence of coordinated or systematic voter fraud in Maryland".

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