16:00 GMT +323 September 2017
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    U.S. President Donald Trump congratulates Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland, during a phone call at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 27, 2017

    ‘Go Jump in the Gulf of Mexico’: States Bash Trump’s Effort to Collect Vote Data

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    US President Donald Trump wants every voter’s data. So far, 24 states, including some Republican states that swung for Trump, have said they won’t let that happen.

    Trump seeks intimate personal data such as birthdays, addresses and Social Security numbers, for a unified and centralized interface for easy access to the information as part of a commission on voter “fraud.” Trump and his surrogates said many times before and after the US presidential election last year that such fraud is increasing, despite having no evidence for their claims.

    Kris Kobach, vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, asked for voters’ records from all 50 states on Wednesday.

    As of Friday, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington state and Wisconsin had rebuffed the White House’s request, according to voting rights guru Ari Berman.

    “It’s probably a good idea not to make publicly available the name, address and military status of the people who are serving our armed forces to anyone who requests it,” David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, told ProPublica.

    “They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico,” Alabama Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman said on Friday afternoon, Mississippi Today reported. America’s upcoming Independence Day on July 4 should be celebrated by Mississippians by “conducting our own electoral processes.”

    White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said states that refused were pulling a “political stunt,” an argument that doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense considering several of the states that have rejected the request are led by Republicans and voted Republican in the 2016 election. 

    "You can add Pennsylvania to that list" of 23 states who won’t send information to the feds, Governor Tom Wolf tweeted Friday. "We will not participate in this systematic effort to suppress the vote," Wolf said.

    “I have serious reservations about the true intentions of this effort in light of false statements this administration has made regarding voting integrity,” Wolf wrote in a separate letter to the White House Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

    ​Some 20 states have passed onerous voter identification laws since 2010 that make voting more difficult, according to the Brookings Institution. For all the talk that Russia tried to “interfere” with the US elections by “undermining” integrity in democracy, what often goes unnoticed is that Republicans have been working hard to prevent people from voting for years.

    Suppressive measures include requiring IDs, illegally removing voter rolls, cutting back on early voting options, closing polling stations before people can vote and making it difficult to register for people who move from one state to another.

    Voter discrimination has been intentionally partisan. “Students lean more toward the Democrats,” Green Bay, Wisconsin City Clerk Kris Teske wrote in a leaked email from last August. By asking for a polling station near the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, “the site is encouraging the students to vote.” Oh, the horror, the horror, of young people exercising their rights!

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