Trump Lashes Out at States for Withholding Voter Data amid Claim of 3m Fraudulent Votes

تم نشره في Sat 1 July / Jul 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mr Trump has alleged voter fraud during the 2016 election - (Reuters)

President Donald Trump has criticised the growing number of US states refusing to pass on voters' details to his commission on electoral fraud.

"What are they trying to hide?", Mr Trump tweeted.

At least 20 states have said that they will not or only partly comply with the request, citing privacy concerns.

Democrats fear that the commission may be used to justify tightening voting procedures - changes which could make certain groups less likely to vote.

Donald Trump and his aides say that between three and five million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. One man has emerged as the originator of that claim: Gregg Phillips.

On Friday morning, President Trump's first tweet of the day read, "Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!"

Since taking office, the president and his staff, most notably press secretary Sean Spicer, have repeated claims of mass voter fraud and on Wednesday, Trump promised a "major investigation" in response.

Mr Trump established the Presidential Advisory commission on Election Integrity in May, despite evidence that voter fraud is not a widespread problem in the US.

The aim is to "increase the American people's confidence in the integrity of our election systems".

Kentucky's Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, said she would not be releasing "sensitive personal data to the federal government".

"Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimise voter suppression efforts across the country," she said in a statement.

The panel, described by Mr Trump as "very distinguished," is chaired by Vice-President Mike Pence.

On Wednesday its vice-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent a letter to the 50 US states and the District of Columbia requesting details from voter rolls including: names, addresses, dates of birth, political affiliation, last four digits of social security number, voting history since 2006, criminal convictions and military status.

The information would be used "to fully analyse vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting," the letter said.

Many other states, including California, Connecticut, Minnesota and Alabama have said they will not send the information, or will only send information that is already publically available.