Election Commission Request All Wet

Maryland became the latest state today to deny a request to turn over expansive voter roll data to the Trump administration’s special election commission.

The Free State joined a growing list of states—some reports put the number at 20—that have denied the request by the commission to provide names, addresses, the last four digits of Social Security numbers, felony convictions, political party, and voting histories, among other data.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was formed pursuant to Executive Order 13799, signed by President Donald Trump on May 11.

Yard sign

The commission is charged with studying the registration and voting processes used in federal elections and submitting a report to the president that identifies laws, activities, and practices that affect the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal elections.

Last Friday, Mississippi said it had not yet received the letter from the commission.

However, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said in a statement that if he were to receive such a request, his reply would be: “They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from.”

The response went viral on social media, prompting several suggestions on Twitter that Maryland should tell the commission to go jump in the Chesapeake Bay.

The actual response by the Maryland State Board of Elections was quite dry. Linda Lamone, administrator of the board, denied the request based on the section of state election law that governs access to Maryland voter registration lists.

“In addition, disclosure of some of the information encompassed by your request may be prohibited under State and/or federal law,” Lamone wrote.

For its part, the White House has called the denials by states a “political stunt” and can’t understand why governors wouldn’t be willing to turn over that information.

“This is a commission that’s asking for publicly available data,” said Sarah Sanders, deputy press secretary at the White House. “This is something that’s been part of the commission’s discussion, which has bipartisan support, and none of the members raised any concern whatsoever.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) issued a statement June 29 announcing he had no intention of honoring the request.

“At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression,” McAuliffe said.