Husted says he’ll deny Trump panel some voter data

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s elections chief said Friday he would provide a presidential commission looking into voter fraud with only the state voter information that is public.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said he wouldn’t turn over the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers or their driver’s license numbers to President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. He called both confidential.

“Confidential info won’t be provided to Pres Advisory Comm on Election Integrity,” Husted tweeted, later adding, “We do not want fed intervention in our state’s right & respon to conduct elections.”

Trump charged the commission with identifying “laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal elections processes,” vice chair Kris Kobach wrote in a letter to all states and the District of Columbia sent Wednesday.

The letter gave them two weeks to provide about a dozen points of voter data, including birthdates, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and any information about felony convictions.

Husted said he ordered detailed reviews of credible allegations of voter fraud and voter suppression after the last three federal elections. The investigations were conducted by Ohio’s 88 bipartisan county boards of elections, he said, and their reports are already in the public domain.

None found significant instances of voter fraud or abuse.

“In Ohio, we pride ourselves on being a state where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat. Voter fraud happens, it’s rare and when it happens we hold people accountable,” Husted said. “I believe that as the Commission does its work, it will find the same about our state.”

He said voter registration information is also public and available online.


Associated Press