EDITORIAL: Maryland Does the Right Thing, Rejects Trump’s Election Commission

Maryland has joined a growing number of states now numbering more than two dozen who have either completely or in part refused to provide information about registered voters following a request issued by President Trump’s recently assembled commission. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, at the behest of Trump who continues to claim, even without any evidence, that voter fraud occurred in the last presidential election, wants states to share their entire voter-roll data. Specifically, they’re asking for the names, addresses, dates of birth, party affiliations, Social Security numbers and voting histories of every potential voter in their state going back to 2006.

Despite his victory in the Electoral College and defeating Hillary Clinton, Trump says he merely wants to prove that between 3 and 5 million undocumented immigrants voted in the 2016 election — votes that helped his opponent win the popular vote.

Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuliffe (D), has already rejected the request, vehemently denying the existence of any efforts of voter fraud in the commonwealth. Now, Maryland’s state Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D), to whom the state elections board sought advice on how to respond to the unprecedented request, has said “No,” describing the commission’s request as “repugnant.”

Frosh says he sees this scheme as an attempt to “intimidate voters and obtain their personal information” and has asked for Gov. Larry Hogan to formally lodge his opposition to the commission’s request and the entire affair. So far, Hogan has remained mum.

Trump may want to validate his fantasy that he actually won the popular vote but it seems both ridiculous and futile as he has no evidence, save notions that exist in his own mind, on which he can stand.

Voting in America has long been one of the most fundamental and heralded rights of U.S. citizens. Many have died in their efforts to secure the right to vote for Blacks, women and others who had once been eliminated from the equation. Without question, the private action of voting must be protected at all costs as it has always been.

No matter what tall tale Trump may continue to spin, we adamantly reject his request as issued by his questionably-assembled commission and join with those state officials across the country who have made the only possible decision: protecting the inalienable rights of their citizens rather than yielding to a witch hunt of the highest proportion.

If Trump wants to improve things as it relates to voting, he should look at the numerous efforts of voter suppression initiated by members of his own party, rather than wasting time and tax payer money hoping to prove that his claims of voter fraud can be corroborated.

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