Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Thursday he will not turn over California voter information to the election commission created by President Trump.
“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President,” Padilla said. “The President’s commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections.”
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was created by Trump’s executive order after he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton and claimed three to five million votes were cast illegally.
The request for personal data on California voters came from the commission’s vice chair, Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who is known for his hard line views on immigration and calls for a Muslim registry.
“The President’s commission has requested the personal data and the voting history of every American voter — including Californians,” Padilla said. “As Secretary of State, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of our elections and to protect the voting rights and privacy of our state’s voters. I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.”
California voters cast 10.3 percent of all votes in the 2016 Presidential election, the most of any state.
Trump has said repeatedly that he would have won the popular vote except for ballots cast by illegal immigrants and has pointed to California in making this claim.
Padilla vowed to “continue to defend the right of all eligible voters to cast their ballots free from discrimination, intimidation or unnecessary roadblocks.”
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