Last week, a White House commission on voting integrity—established to prop up President's Trump false claim that he lost the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally—sent a letter asking all fifty states to provide voters' names, addresses, birthdays, political parties, last four digits of their social security numbers, and voting histories from 2006 onward.
The request drew heat from some Democratics and civil rights groups, who fear it will be used to validate voter suppression, particularly among minority voters. Immediately, a handful of states rejected the request, which came from commission cochairman and Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, whom the director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project has called the "King of Vote Suppression."
On Friday morning, the INDY asked Governor Cooper for his take.
"Integrity of our elections is critical, and a recent State Board of Elections investigation already found there was no evidence of significant voter fraud in North Carolina," Cooper said in a statement issued later that day. (The investigation he's referring to found that, in November, 508 people in North Carolina voted illegally, and a strict voter ID law would have stopped one of them.) "My staff has told the State Board of Elections that we should not participate in providing sensitive information beyond what is public record as it is unnecessary, and because I have concerns that it is an effort to justify the President's false claims about voter fraud."
On Friday afternoon, the SBE released its own statement, saying it would release information that it already makes publicly available—in other words, the information that it already has for the taking on the SBE's website: name, address, party affiliation, voter participation. The other stuff, no dice.
To date, at least twenty-nine states have either declined or pushed back on the White House's request. Even in Mississippi, the secretary of state told the commission to "go jump in the Gulf of Mexico."
This article appeared in print with the headline "Get Bent"