Officials from multiple states, including Vice President Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana, said Friday that they would not fully comply with the information request from the Trump administration’s voter fraud commission.
The commission’s vice chair, Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, sent letters to all 50 states Thursday, asking them to send information on their election systems and voter fraud within two weeks. He also asked for more voter information than what is typically publicly available, like Social Security numbers.
Officials from several states — not only Democratic strongholds like New York and California but also Republican-led Indiana and Ohio — indicated that they would not provide information beyond what is publicly accessible. At least 10 states in total said they would not give private data, according to The Hill.
“Indiana law doesn’t permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach,” Indiana’s secretary of state Connie Lawson said in a statement.
Pence, the former governor of Indiana, chairs the voter fraud commission. It is unclear how he or the commission will respond to the states who are not giving the data freely.
Trump set up the commission through an executive order last month. He said it aims to “promote fair and honest” federal elections.
But critics have questioned the body’s intentions, arguing that it may seek to suppress voters. More than once, Trump has claimed without evidence that millions of people illegally voted against him last year.
“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the president, the vice president, and Mr. Kobach,” California secretary of state Alex Padilla said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said he would not “perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election.”