Politics & Government

Grimes again refuses to give Kentucky information to Trump voter fraud panel

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has once again declined to give detailed information about Kentucky voters to a committee President Donald Trump set up to investigate election integrity.

The request, sent from the committee’s vice chair Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, once again asked for detailed voter information including names, addresses, party affiliation, last four digits of Social Security number and voter history from 2006 onward.

“The compilation of every American voter’s information would build a national voter registration database, which is unnecessary to improving our elections, opposite our constitution and state’s rights, and puts voters’ privacy and personal data at risk,” Grimes said.

Kobach pointed out that U.S. District Court denied a motion that sought to prevent the Commission from receiving the voter records, and asked for the information again in light of the ruling.

“Individuals’ voter registration records will be kept confidential and secure throughout the duration of the Commission’s existence,” Kobach’s letter said. “Once the Commission’s analysis is complete, the Commission will dispose of the data as permitted by federal law. The only information that will be made public are statistical conclusions drawn from the data, other general observations that may be drawn from the data, and any correspondence that you may send to the Commission in response to the narrative questions enumerated in the June 28 letter.”

The commission for election integrity was formed following President Donald Trump’s claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election. There is no evidence to support that claim and it has been denounced by both Republicans and Democrats in Washington.

In part due to the controversial nature in which the committee was formed, Secretaries of State from 44 states denied Kobach’s request to some extent.

Trump has been critical of the Secretaries of State who refused to give up the voter data.

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide,” Trump tweeted on July 1.

But the Republican Party of Kentucky has gone after Grimes from a different angle, saying Grimes has overstepped her legal authority by denying the records to the presidential commission on election integrity, arguing that the authority lies with the State Board of Elections, not Grimes.

“Alison Lundergan Grimes is using her office to grandstand and further her political career,” said Tres Watson, the communications director for the Republican Party of Kentucky. “In doing so, she has taken actions in an official capacity that clearly lie outside the powers vested in her as Secretary of State.”

Grimes’ office shrugged off the allegation.

“Not sure what part of ‘chief election official’ in KRS 117.015(2) is unclear to the party,” said Bradford Queen, the spokesman for Grimes.

Daniel Desrochers: 502-875-3793, @drdesrochers, @BGPolitics