US President Donald Trump had announced the formation of the Advisory Commission On Election Integrity last May in an executive order and the objective of the commission is to study fraudulent voting practices, for which it needs voter registration data from all states. However, the majority of states have refused to share such information while some have only committed to sharing data that can be done legally.

A roadblock

Following the Presidential elections last year, Donald Trump had alleged that Hillary Clinton beat her by 3 million in the popular vote due to illegal voting.

The President did not have any evidence that could back up his claims at the time. However, the May executive order was the first clear-cut indication from the Trump administration that the President was willing to investigate what he suspected. What seemed like a straightforward probe has turned into a bit of a nightmare since most states have refused to furnish the data that the committee is looking for.

As many as a total of 16 states in addition to Washington DC have flatly refused to entertain the request, while 29 other have agreed to hand over data that can be shared legally. 4 states are still considering their options.The legal position of the different states in this situation varies but personal data remains out of bounds and it is unlikely such information will be shared with the commission.

The President was not happy when the refusals poured in and on 1 July took to his Twitter account to insinuate that the states are trying to hide data that might prove voter fraud.

Colorful responses

Some of the responses from state officials regarding the executive order have been quite colorful, to put it mildly, and it seems like it is highly unlikely that the findings of the committee will find any tangible success.

Mississippi's chief election officer and Secretary of State said, They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from."

On the other hand, Muriel Bowser, the mayor of the District of Columbia stated that the demands of the commission serve no purpose and reassured the residents of DC that the Commission on Election Integrity will not be provided with any private details about the voters.

He went on to say that he will also collaborate with leaders from other states to ensure that voter data is protected. Leaders from other states expressed similar sentiments and Tom Schedler, the Secretary of State of Louisiana said that the whole thing amounts to Federal overreach.