Nothing telegraphs a federal commission’s basic incompetence quite like having 44 states refuse to cooperate with its inquiry. But that’s the running total, according to a recent CNN survey, of states that have declined to provide requested voter data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, the Trump administration’s sham inquiry into voter fraud. As cynically partisan as the commission appears to be in makeup and mission, the decision by the states was far more straightforward: In most cases, state laws expressly forbid election agencies from releasing much of the data (including the last four digits of voter Social Security numbers) for privacy reasons. That was certainly true in Maryland where the state elections administrator formally notified the commission of its rejection Monday in a two-paragraph letter that simply noted that much of the information requested was protected by state and federal law. Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh offered a more damning statement calling the request for personal data “repugnant” and designed “only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote.”
The Republican voter fraud charge is a familiar political gambit, but it’s especially telling that the commission requested protected voter information without first finding out what legal barriers existed in the first place — a classic ready, fire, aim act of stupidity. Or was it? The commission’s request was made by vice-chairman Kris Kobach, secretary of state in Kansas and an Oxford-educated lawyer who allegedly knows a thing or two about running elections in that state. Yet Kansas is among the states declining to provide the information.
… Closer to home, Marylanders got another whiff of this deliberate incompetence with the rather bizarre appointment of — followed by sudden resignation by — Maryland Deputy Secretary of State Luis E. Borunda to the election integrity panel. That a member of the secretary of state’s office might serve on an election panel makes perfect sense if the state in question was Kansas, but in Maryland, elections are run by an independent board, not the secretary of state. The involvement of Mr. Borunda, a former Baltimore County school board member with minimal election experience, simply proved too embarrassing for all involved, including Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who had no role in that appointment, a spokesman insisted.
Full Article: Fraudulent voting fraud – Baltimore Sun.