ST. GEORGE – While Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Utah’s top election official, said Friday his office would hand over public voter records requested by President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission, that was as far as his office would comply.
Trump’s commission investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 elections has asked states for a list of the names, party affiliations, addresses and voting histories of all voters, if state law allows it to be public.
“It is the duty of my office to protect certain private voter information – we will not share any protected data with the Commission,” Cox said in a statement Friday. “However, similar to most other states, Utah law requires voter registration records be public documents that can be obtained by any person or entity who submits an appropriate records request.”
A Wednesday letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity gives secretaries of state about two weeks to provide about a dozen points of voter data. That also would include dates of birth, the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers and any information about felony convictions and military status.
“While my office is required to provide public records to this Commission, as we would to any other person or entity, I assure the voters of Utah that we will only provide information that is otherwise available to the public,” Cox said.
Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton but has alleged that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally. In addition to the voter information, the letter asks state officials for suggestions on improving election integrity and to share any evidence of fraud and election-related crimes in their states.
The data will help the commission “fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting,” vice chairman and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach wrote.
Trump formed the commission in May through an executive order.
Cox has previously called the allegations of voter fraud “dangerous.”
“There has been no evidence of mass voter fraud in Utah and we look forward to helping the federal government better understand the steps we have taken to ensure the security and validity of Utah’s elections,” Cox said.
While Utah makes voter records public to a degree, the commission’s request goes too far, Utah Democratic Party chair Daisy Thomas said in a statement Friday.
“The demand for Social Security numbers, dates of birth, military status, political party, and voting history raises inquiries about Mr. Trump’s reasons behind creating such a commission,” Thomas said, further stating, “The Utah Democratic Party is committed to election integrity and transparency, but we do not support this childish task of the commission to fabricate evidence that election fraud caused the president’s loss of the popular vote.”
According to The Hill, Utah and 20 states are refusing to provide voter data to the commission in whole or in part. These states include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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