Trump’s voter fraud quest triggers bipartisan concern

Betty BeanUncategorized

Our president, bent on proving that voter fraud is the reason he failed to win a majority of the popular vote last November, has formed something called The Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity to create a national database of registered voters so he can catch all those cheaters.

Here is an excerpt from the letter written by committee vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to 49 other secretaries of state last week:

“I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for (Tennessee), 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, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.”

Although much of this information is publicly available (for a price) some of it isn’t, and the response has ranged from polite skepticism to hell no.

At last count, 19 states (both red and blue) have flat-out declined to cooperate. Twenty-six have said they’ll partially comply. The rest are mulling it over.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, a staunch Republican, was one of the polite ones:

“Although I appreciate the commission’s mission to address election-related issues, like voter fraud, Tennessee state law does not allow my office to release the voter information requested to the federal commission.”

Hargett’s Mississippi counterpart, Delbert Hosemann, (also a Republican) was not: “They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

State governments administer elections and state governments are controlled mostly by Republicans, some whom bristle at being considered enablers of voter fraud.

Number of Knox County residents who voted last November 8: 184,923.

Number of votes submitted to the attorney general’s office for investigation: About 12.

Number of prosecutions for voter fraud: Zero.

Number of state legislative chambers controlled by Republicans after the 2016 elections: 67 (of 98).

Number of state legislative chambers controlled by Democrats after the 2016 elections: 31.

(National statistics compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.)

Trump expressed his displeasure via Twitter:

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?”

Knox County’s election administrator Cliff Rodgers, a Republican attorney who takes pride in playing by the rules, has a different take on the commission:

“If you’re talking about systems being hacked, then just send all the information in to the federal government. I’m sure the Russians or any other hackers would love to see it all bundled up, sitting in one place…”

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