A Trump election fraud commission wants voter info; will MN deliver it?

A presidential commission on election fraud is asking states for voter information.

A new Trump administration commission looking into election fraud and ways to guard against it is asking all 50 states to provide information about their voters.

But one day after the request, there's already been some pushback and Minnesota's secretary of state says he's not sure yet if he'll give the commission what they're asking for.

What is this commission?

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was created by President Trump through an executive order issued last month. The panel will report back to Trump with recommendations for how to strengthen elections in the U.S.

The president is adamant that voter fraud is a big problem in the country. Soon after he was elected last fall, Trump asserted that millions of people had cast ballots illegally, although he has not provided evidence to back up that claim.

The new commission is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, who led a conference call with members Wednesday as they prepare for their first meeting on July 19.

The commission also said Wednesday that it was sending a letter to all the states and the District of Columbia, "requesting publicly available data from state voter rolls."

What info ... and will states send it?

The commission is asking for the names of voters, their addresses, birth dates, recent voting history, and any information about their military status or felony convictions, MPR News reports.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon told the network he views the commission with "great suspicion" and said he's not sure yet if he will comply with their request for information.

“When it comes to voting information, that’s private stuff. And it’s really no one’s business except a few people on a need to know basis,” Simon said. “So, when I see a national commission that’s asking for very sensitive voter information, I’m going to think twice, more than twice actually, about whether and how we’re going to respond to that.”

Minnesota is not the only state uneasy about turning over the voter information. California's secretary of state said Thursday he will refuse the panel's request.

Alex Padilla said in a statement the commission "has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally. California's participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the president..."

How big a problem is election fraud?

If voter fraud is widespread in U.S. elections, the evidence of that remains buried.

The issue returned to the headlines this month when the Washington Times and Fox News highlighted a conservative think tank's report concluding that as many as 5.7 million non-citizens may have voted in the 2008 presidential election that sent Barack Obama to the White House.

Fact checkers with the Miami Herald and Snopes are among those who say the report is not valid, though. They say it took a small sample in a questionable study and extrapolated those figures nationally to get a big number.

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