The vice chairman of President Trump’s voting integrity commission said Wednesday that despite television news headlines reporting more than 40 states resisting his calls for data, he knows of just 14 that have refused, and he called reports to the contrary “fake news.”
“At present, 20 states have agreed to provide the publicly available information requested by the Commission and another 16 states are reviewing which information can be released under their state laws,” Kris W. Kobach said in a statement released by the White House.
“In all, 36 states have either agreed or are considering participating with the Commission’s work to ensure the integrity of the American electoral system,” said Mr. Kobach, who is also secretary of state in Kansas.
CNN and NBC reported Wednesday on massive resistance to Mr. Kobach’s letter last week requesting voters’ names, addresses, partial Social Security numbers, voter history, military status and prior felony convictions.
CNN reported that 19 states “openly criticized” Mr. Kobach’s request, while NBC said 17 states are “flat-out refusing” to comply, while another 28 states would only hand over public information.
Mr. Kobach said he’s only asking for public information.
Indeed, many of the states resisting Mr. Kobach’s request sell to campaigns, researchers and even nonprofit groups the very information they are refusing to provide the federal government.
In his statement, Mr. Kobach slammed the reporting on the issue.
“While there are news reports that 44 states have ‘refused’ to provide voter information to the Commission, these reports are patently false, more ‘fake news.’ At present, only 14 states and the District of Columbia have refused the Commission’s request for publicly available voter information,” he said.
“Despite media distortions and obstruction by a handful of state politicians, this bipartisan commission on election integrity will continue its work to gather the facts through public records requests to ensure the integrity of each American’s vote because the public has a right to know,” Mr. Kobach concluded.
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