Simon says no. After considering it for awhile, Secretary of State Steve Simon announced Friday that Minnesota is refusing to provide information about its voters to a White House commission looking at election fraud.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent letters to all the states this week, asking for information including voters' names, addresses, voting history going back 10 years, partial social security numbers, and any military service or felony convictions.
The commission was formed last month by President Trump, who has asserted that millions of votes were illegally cast in last year's presidential election, but has not publicly shown any evidence to support that claim.
In a statement Friday Simon said he doubts the credibility and trustworthiness of the commission. According to Simon, the commission has said they plan to make all the information they collect available to the public.
"I will not hand over Minnesota voters’ sensitive personal information," he says, adding that the commission's focus on President Trump's "false and irresponsible claims" distracts from a more serious threat to election integrity: cyber-attacks from foreign governments.
What does the commission say?
The vice chair of the commission, Kris Kobach, told the Kansas City Star Thursday that the info from the states will not be available to the public. Kobach, who is the secretary of state for Kansas, says the data will be stored on secure government servers.
He says the idea is to cross-reference state databases against federal ones. They'll check for things like non-citizens who might be registered in the states or dead people who are still on the voter rolls.
Lots of states saying no
Minnesota has lots of company in refusing to give the commission voter information.
By Friday evening, 24 states had declined, The Hill reports.
One of the most colorful turn-downs came from Mississippi. Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman, a Republican, said in a statement he has not yet received a request for voter info from the commission yet. But Hoseman wrote that if he did get one:
"My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from.
Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our State’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”