Wyoming Secretary Of State Applauds The End Of Federal Election Commission
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray criticized the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity last summer, and now praised President Donald Trump's decision to end it.
“I was pleased that President Trump signed an Executive Order on Wednesday dissolving the Commission," Murray said in a news release.
Trump created the commission in May because he believed, without evidence, widespread voter fraud was responsible for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's winning the popular vote in 2016.
The White House blamed the decision on numerous states that refused to provide the information. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense," Trump signed the order and asked the Department of Homeland Security to determine the administration's next steps.
Critics saw the commission as part of a conservative campaign to strip minority voters and poor people from the voter rolls, and to justify unfounded claims made by Trump that voter fraud cost him the popular vote in 2016. Past studies have found voter fraud to be exceptionally rare.
"The Commission never clearly stated its purpose or provided any concrete explanation for why it was requesting private voter data," Murray said.
"I’m a lifelong Republican, but President Trump’s creation of the Commission didn’t sit well with me from the get go," he said. "It doesn’t matter who the president is, I am going to safeguard the privacy of Wyoming’s voters from any federal overreach because of my strong belief in a citizen’s right to privacy.”
In July, Murray rejected the Commission's request for Wyoming voter data containing personal information including a list of names, party affiliations, addresses and voting histories of all voters, if state law allows it to be public. The Commission also wanted dates of birth, the last four digits of voters' social security numbers and any information about felony convictions and military status.
He also called the Commission's creation a federal overreach into a matter of state sovereignty.
The National Association of Secretaries of State at its 2017 summer conference approved a bipartisan resolution reaffirming state sovereignty, Murray said.
The resolution said in part "... states are responsible for protecting the integrity of their elections including the secrecy of the ballot, security of their election infrastructures, and sensitive personal information included in the states’ voter rolls…."