Last Friday, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan was an all too compliant foot soldier for Donald Trump’s plan for voter suppression. She agreed to turn over “publicly available” voter information data to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission.
Then came the firestorm of public opposition and the recognition that other secretaries of state were not so blindly willing to turn over their voter registration rolls to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission.
As of Saturday morning, more than half of all US states – 29 at last count – had refused to comply with the commission’s requests, saying they are unnecessary and violated privacy, according to statements from election officials and media reports. 29 States Refuse To Give Data To Voter Fraud Panel.
As a result, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has done an about-face and on Monday said the state will not provide extensive voter registration information to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission. Arizona to oppose handing over voter information to Trump commission:
Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan said Monday she is rejecting the Trump administration’s request for extensive voter information, saying it isn’t in the state’s best interest. [Or anyone else’s.]
Her decision, announced late Monday as the July 4 holiday neared, comes after nearly a thousand people had complained by email to her office about the possibility the state would hand over voter data to a commission looking into allegations of voter fraud.
It’s also a reversal from her position last week.
On Friday, Reagan’s office issued a statement that she would provide the White House with a less-detailed version of what it was seeking, based on media reports about what the federal commission would seek.
Reagan, a Republican, received the formal request from Washington on Monday.
“I share the concerns of many Arizona citizens that the Commission’s request implicates serious privacy concerns,” she wrote in response to the request for voter information. “Since there is nothing in Executive Order 13799 (nor federal law) that gives the Commission authority to unilaterally acquire and disseminate such sensitive information, the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office is not in a position to fulfill your request.”
In blocking the request, Arizona joins a growing number of states that have balked at aiding President Donald Trump’s commission, which is vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
That panel is tasked with looking into the prevalence of voter fraud, something that earlier studies have found is extremely rare but is a central concern often repeated by Trump, who lost the popular vote during the November 2016 election to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Overwhelmingly, voters who emailed Reagan’s office since last week were dismayed. They asked Reagan to shut down consideration of sending any information to the committee, according to a sampling of emails shared by the office with The Arizona Republic. In those letters, voters asked Reagan to protect their “privacy,” called the committee a “sham,” and pushed back against the notion that there was “voter fraud,” as Trump has repeatedly asserted.
Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Reagan, said he had not come across correspondence supportive of releasing voter-related information.
Wait, not one Tea-Publican, not even our regular blog trolls, wrote to Secretary Reagan to tell her to turn over the state’s voter rolls to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud commission? Slackers! Quityerbitchin in comments here if you are too damn lazy to follow through with state officials where it matters. For those of you who wrote to Secretary Reagan to oppose turning over the state’s voter rolls to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud commission, job well done.
Of the correspondence he had read, Roberts said a handful of voters suggested they would unregister as Arizona voters if Reagan handed over the information.
Since news of the anticipated request from Kobach broke, the Secretary of State had received nearly about 950 emails from the public from Tucson to Chino Valley, Roberts said.
Even if Reagan wanted to participate, it’s not clear whether the state would be able to provide the voter information requested. That’s because the data is maintained separately by the state’s 15 county recorders.
On Monday, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said he was still examining the request, but was not inclined to support it because the White House was seeking information barred by Arizona state law and because its stated purpose was to create a database that would also run afoul of state law.
Reagan’s letter stressed security concerns.
“Without any explanation how Arizona’s voter information would be safeguarded,” she wrote, “or what security protocols the commission has put in place, I cannot in good conscience release Arizonans’ sensitive voter data for this hastily organized experiment.”
Now why did this obvious point not occur to her in the first instance? She had to learn this from public opposition, in particular from the County Recorders in Maricopa and Pima County and from hundreds of citizen complaints to her office, and from the opposition by numerous other Secretaries of State who had given this far more considered thought.
No state should comply with Trump’s fraudulent voter fraud commission, just let this fraudulent commission die.
UPDATE: The resistance is almost unanimous now. CNN reports Forty-four states and DC have refused to give certain voter information to Trump commission:
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide certain types of voter information to the Trump administration’s election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states.
As of Tuesday afternoon, two states — Florida and Nebraska — are still reviewing the commission’s request. Another two states — Hawaii and New Jersey — have not returned CNN’s request for comment. And while six states are still awaiting a letter from the commission, four of them — New Mexico, Michigan, South Carolina and West Virginia — have already pledged not to provide voters’ private information. The other two of those six states, Arkansas and Illinois, have not released statements ahead of receiving the letter.
Just three states — Colorado, Missouri and Tennessee — commended Kobach’s attempt to investigate voter fraud in their respective statements.