Today marks Donald Trump's first Fourth of July in the White House, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, the president has vowed to finally get to the bottom of the nationwide epidemic of voter fraud that, in his learned opinion, prevented him from winning the popular vote during the 2016 presidential election. (You know, because nothing says "I am a grown-up who is capable of higher-order thinking" like winning an election and then continuing to obsess over a literally-meaningless detail of the contest's results for months on end.)
Last week, the White House's newly-created Voter Suppression Hit Squad Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent letters to all 50 states requesting that they provide, among other pieces of information, each voter's political party, the last four digits of their Social Security Number (!!!), and a summary of the elections in which they have participated in the last decade. This Commission, helmed by Kansas Secretary of State and delusional conspiracy theorist Kris Kobach, is a a barely-disguised effort to purge voters from the rolls in the name of solving a problem that, despite the GOP's fondest dreams, simply does not exist.
The federal government has absolutely no business collecting such information, and in a heartwarming act of patriotism, dozens of states have publicly declared that they have no intention of cooperating with this embarrassing farce by releasing anything other than already-public information—if that. And as the number of dissenters piled up, a few enterprising politicians took time out of their schedules to cook up some especially hilarious ways to tell Donald Trump to go kick rocks. Here is Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosch spitting some hot fire on official letterhead:
As Attorney General, I take seriously my responsibility to protect the voting rights and privacy interests of Maryland citizens. I find this request for the personal information of millions of Marylanders repugnant; it appears designed only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote. Repeating incessantly a false story of expansive voter fraud, and then creating a commission to fuel that narrative, does not make it any more true.
Here is Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican and a bona fide American hero, who didn't let the fact that he hadn't even received a request keep him from getting in on the fun. Hosemann matter-of-factly explained that if he were to receive such a request:
My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from.
Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our State’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.
Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Michael Haas took a slightly different tack, slyly inviting Kobach to write a check, just like anyone else requesting that information would have to, if he really wants it that badly.
By administrative rule, the price is $12,500 for the entire statewide voter file, and Wisconsin law does not contain any provision for waiving the fee for voter data.