Opinion: States should cooperate with Presidential Commission on Election Integrity

    In this Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, right, holds a stack of papers as he meets with then President-elect Donald Trump (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File).

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

    WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Fair and free elections are absolutely key to our democracy.

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order in May forming a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

    Some consider this an effort by the administration to back up the president’s claim that he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election if not for millions voting illegally.

    The administration's stated goal is to fully understand the true amount of voter fraud that occurs in this country.

    “The commission is looking at more than just the 2016 election, it’s looking at the entire issue of voting irregularities and fraud and registration problems,” Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state and the commission's vice chairman, said in a recent interview on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."

    It is important to note that voter fraud goes beyond stealing or miscounting ballots. Intentional improper voter registration is absolutely a type of voter fraud.

    The Commission on Election Integrity has gotten to work and one of its first public actions is drawing scrutiny.

    The commission sent a letter to all 50 states requesting publicly available voter roll data to verify any voter fraud that may have occurred.

    The requested voter information includes:

    • Full name
    • Address
    • Date of birth
    • Political affiliation
    • Voting history since 2006
    • Military service status
    • Criminal record
    • Part of the voter’s Social Security number

    Dozens of states, both red and blue, have pushed back.

    These states say that they either cannot or will not provide all of the information requested. For many states opposing the request, they indicate it would be against their own laws to comply.

    The president responded to these concerns over the weekend by simply asking: "What are they trying to hide?"

    The commission has made it clear that the requested information should be provided only if it is publicly available under that state’s laws.

    The extent of voter fraud in our elections has been hotly debated between the left and the right.

    The president's commission has been established to come up with a factual, impartial answer to that question. The states should do everything within their power to cooperate with the commission and that’s the bottom line.

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