Three states are celebrating the United States’ Independence Day by refusing federal investigators voter information on the grounds of the 4th Amendment which protects a citizen’s right to privacy.
Maryland, Delaware and Louisiana announced Monday their intention to join 41 other states who have already declined, completely or in part, the request by the presidential commission investigating the Trump election.
Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in May after making unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in last November's election.
Letters were sent to 50 states, asking administrators to deliver voter information, including their names, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, political affiliations, felony convictions and voting histories dating back to 2006.
The vice chairman of the commission and Kansas’ Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, says the letter only asks for “public” voter information.
"Whatever a person on the street can walk in and get, that's what we would like," Kobach told CNN.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh called the request “repugnant”, while Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler told the presidential investigators they were welcome to purchase the limited information legally available to presidential candidates, but nothing more.
"You're not going to play politics with Louisiana’s voter data," Schedler said in a statement.
Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
Delaware Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove said in an interview with Milford's WXDE-FM radio that her office would not comply since some of the information was confidential. Manlove said she was working with the attorney general's office to see if the request could be denied completely.
President Trump has fired off tweets, criticizing the states, saying on Saturday, “What are they trying to hide?” The president announced in January that he suspected voter fraud was the reason he lost the popular vote, which was won by his competitor former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ascoft has agreed to the request, saying on Friday that, "The commission's questions are fair and we will be glad to assist in offering our thoughts on these important matters."
"I look forward to working with Sec. Kris Kobach and the commission on its findings and offer our support in the collective effort to enhance the American people's confidence in the integrity of the elections process," he said.
The commission awaits responses from the remaining states. Two of them, Florida and Nebraska are still reviewing the request. Hawaii and New Jersey have not publicized their decisions. While six states have not received their letters, four of these, New Mexico, Michigan, South Carolina and West Virginia, have already pledged to keep voter information private.