"Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?" Trump asked in a tweet.
Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity -- referred to in his tweet as “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” -- has been met with backlash by some secretaries of state who say the requests it’s making are over the line in terms of the voter information it’s seeking.
On Saturday Alex Padilla, secretary of state for California -- one of the many states refusing to comply with the commission’s request -- responded to the president’s tweet today.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.
Since winning the election, Trump and members of his administration have repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
But even the commission’s chairman Kobach -- who sent the request and serves as Kansas’ secretary of state -- said his state will not be providing the federal government with social security numbers.
“In Kansas, the social security number is not publicly available," Kobach told the Kansas City Star in an interview Friday. "Every state receives the same letter but we’re not asking for it if it’s not publicly available.”
Vice President Pence’s home state of Indiana won’t be complying either, according to Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
“Indiana law doesn’t permit the secretary of state to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach,” Lawson, a Republican, said in a statement. “Under Indiana public records laws, certain voter info is available to the public, the media and any other person who requested the information for non-commercial purposes. The information publicly available is name, address and congressional district assignment.”
Kay Stimson, the spokesperson for the National Association of Secretaries of State told ABC News they are currently “trying to compile information from states to see how they are responding to records request from the commission.”
“We want to know how they are using the information they are collecting. We have asked the White House and we have not gotten a response yet," said Stimson.
Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research David Becker says states vary in what information is publicly available.
“The commission has no special authority to collect data that I know of, so states have discretion about whether they provide data, and most seem to be providing only that which any member of the public could obtain,” Becker said.
The issue of states’ rights was raised by Mississippi’s Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, on Friday.
“They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” Hosemann said in a statement. “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”
“This is a commission that’s asking for publicly available data. And the fact that these governors wouldn’t be willing to turn that over -- this is something that’s been part of the commission’s discussion, which has bipartisan support, and none of the members raised any concern whatsoever.”
States have until July 14 to comply with the commission’s request.