Gov. Wolf rebuffs Trump voter fraud commission

Gov. Wolf on Friday refused to provide requested voter information to a commission created by President Trump to investigate his unsupported claim that millions of illegal votes were cast against him in the 2016 election.

“I have serious reservations about the true intentions of this effort in light of the false statements this administration has made regarding voter integrity,” Wolf wrote in a letter to Kris W. Kobach, vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Kobach sent a letter this week to the 50 secretaries of state requesting information about all registered voters, including their name, address, date of birth, political party, the last four digits of their Social Security number, which elections they voted in since 2006, military status, and felony convictions. Wolf said the letter Pennsylvania received also requested driver license numbers.

Wolf joined officials from at least 23 other states who have stated they will not fully comply with the commission’s request. The Republican secretary of state in Mississippi said the commission could “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Wolf suggested that Kobach purchase for $20 the state’s publicly available voter data file, which includes some of the same information, such as name, date of birth, address, political party, and voter history. It does not contain social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, military statuses, or felony convictions.

The governor wrote that during the presidential campaign, “then-candidate Trump repeatedly and falsely suggested, without evidence, that there existed widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania and in particular in certain population centers in our commonwealth.”

Wolf, a Democrat, added that “I have grave concerns your request is a mere pretense for pursuing restrictions on the fundamental right of citizens to vote.”

In 2012, then-Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, signed legislation requiring that voters show photo identification at polling places.

The legal battle over that law ended two years later when a state Commonwealth Court judge truck it down, noting that supporters offered only a “vague concern about voter fraud.”

Recalling that decision, Wolf said he has “no interest in contributing to any effort to suppress the right to vote or create unnecessary or unfair burdens for voters.”