Officials in Maryland have denied a request from the voter fraud commission set up by Donald Trump, becoming one of a number of states to refuse the request.
Following a request from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who was appointed vice chair of Trump’s advisory commission on election integrity, the Maryland state administrator of elections Linda Lamone rejected the request on grounds of federal law.
“Disclosure of some of the information encompassed by your request may be prohibited under State and/or federal law,” Lamone wrote in a letter to Kobach. “Accordingly, I am denying your request.”
The commission, which seeks to clamp down on widespread reports of voter fraud and abuse, asks states to hand over data such as names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, and people’s voting history, which Lamone described as “repugnant.”
“I find this request for the personal information of millions of Marylanders repugnant,” Frosh continued. “It appears designed only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote. Repeating incessantly a false story of expansive voter fraud, and then creating a commission to rule that narrative, does not make it any more true.”
Luis Borunda, Maryland’s deputy Secretary of State, has since resigned from the voter fraud commission, The Baltimore Sun reported on Monday.
Maryland joins a number of mainly liberal states who have pushed back against the commission, such as California, Virginia, Connecticut, and Vermont. However, some Republican strongholds, such as Oklahoma and Kentucky (which has a Democratic secretary of state), have also pushed back against the effort.
Last week, Kobach criticized states for not complying with the investigations. “Frankly, if a state like Kentucky or California won’t provide available information, one has to ask the question, ‘Why not?’” Kobach told NPR last week. “I mean, what are they trying to hide if they don’t want a presidential advisory commission to study their state voter rolls?”
The commission was set up by Trump in May via an executive order titled the “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.” He has previously alleged that “millions” of people are voting illegally, something which would likely have influenced last year’s presidential election.