OPINION — Donald Trump wants the voter registration records for Utah and every other state. Surely nothing could go wrong with that request, could it? If Barack Obama had requested the same information from the states, surely nobody would be suspect, would they?
Trump wants all voter registration information to confirm his prediction that upwards of 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. Surely, Trump must have won the popular vote. Surely, only voter fraud prevented him from winning the popular vote. And, surely, those conniving illegal immigrants and their Democratic Party enablers teamed up to undermine U.S. elections – not Russia, just illegals and Democrats.
Well, of course there is much more to this story. And don’t call me “Shirley.”
Trump’s Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity sent a letter to every state requesting that they release voter registration records. Kris Kobach, the committee’s vice chairman, says it is seeking only “publicly available voter data.” Not any other information.
And that is true enough. The Advisory Committee seeks only what is already publicly available to any other person. It’s not asking for information unavailable to the public, unless the information is available.
The Advisory Committee’s letter requests the following voter data information:
the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in [the] state), [the] last four digits of social security numbers if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.
That list of requests is far beyond publicly available information, and the Advisory Committee knows it. So why ask for unavailable information? Because Trump’s narcissistic personality forces him to. He is sure he is correct about extensive voter fraud and he is out to prove it.
The unavailable information allowing cross-referencing is exactly what he needs to help prove his case. In making this sweeping request of the states he can come back and ask the states to allow the sharing of all data requested when it becomes clear that what data is available is not enough information to ensure the integrity of our elections.
Voter information typically available to the public includes names, addresses, dates of birth and party registrations, hardly enough information to detect vast voter fraud. To really get into voter fraud, you need all of the other information requested. Here is what this game sounds like. This example is straight from the mouth of Kris Kobach:
For example, if a witness testifies before the Commission that a certain person voted fraudulently in a given state, the Commission needs to confirm that such a person even exists on the voter rolls and actually cast a ballot in the relevant election.
That’s just common sense, isn’t it? If Kobach testifies before Congress that widespread voter fraud exists, he would need to know all sorts of information!
That is what the game sounds like.
Here is what the game looks like. Trump wins the 2016 presidential election, but he loses the popular vote. Not only does that loss detract from any call for a mandate, it hurts his massive ego. To remedy both pains, Trump signs Executive Order 13799 on May 11 creating the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity and appoints illegal immigration stalker Kris Kobach, the author of Arizona’s unconstitutional SB 1070, to pursue voter fraud.
The Advisory Committee talks publicly about multiple registrations and dead people voting, but everyone knows the real target: voting by undocumented immigrants. It all kind of has that feel of the Committee on Un-American Activities back in the 1950s.
Back then, communists inside our government were the targets. And Senator Joe McCarthy actually found some communist sympathizers inside the Department of State. But his claim was that the enemy was widespread. Trump now makes a similar point: Foreigners are voting illegally in our elections and they must be rooted out.
As a declaration, it is hard to argue with. Of course we want to know of any illegality! Of course, we do not want our elections compromised by foreigners! So, of course, we must root them out! Well, not Russian hackers, just illegal immigrants.
In all seriousness, the better way to ask a reasonable question about voter fraud is to work with each state and discuss with states how we might better avoid voter fraud. But Trump is not reasonable. He is narcissistic and needs his ego fed.
In this case, there are more than enough nativists, such as Kris Kobach, willing to help Trump uncover the dark-skinned plot to overthrow America. But the rest of us should not buy into this mischief. Examine voter fraud, yes; demonize a group of people, no. Ensure the integrity of our elections, yes; stroke the ego of a delusional narcissist, no.
Paul Mero is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.