President Donald Trump’s special commission to investigate alleged voter fraud is asking Connecticut election officials for reams of personal data on all registered voters in the state and got a frosty reply from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. “In the spirit of transparency, we intend to share publicly-available information with [President Trump’s] Kobach Commission while ensuring that the privacy of voters is honored by withholding protected data,” Merrill said in a public response Thursday. Letters from the new commission reportedly went out to all 50 states Wednesday requesting publicly available voter information, and information on “law, policies or other issues [that] hinder your ability to ensure the integrity of elections you administer.” Also, the commission asked for “convictions for election-related crimes” dating to the 2000 presidential election.
In her response, Merrill said her office hasn’t been told exactly what fraud the commission is investigating and said the vice chairman of the presidential panel, Kris Kobach, “has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas.”
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is a national advocate of tougher restrictions on voting rights and immigration. Despite his and Trump’s repeated claims of widespread voter fraud, academic researchers and many Republican and Democratic state election officials say there is no evidence of any significant amount of voter fraud.