US territories excluded from voter data request
In May, President Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate his claims of voter fraud in the most recent presidential election. The commission, chaired by Vice President Pence and vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, issued letters to all secretary of state offices in the US, including the District of Columbia. The letters requested voter data ranging from names and birthdays, to social security numbers and voter history, from the past ten years.
Many states have refused, in part or full, the request, arguing that the election process is a state right and protecting the privacy of their citizens is their first interest. Some who have denied the request outright cite that the commission was created to find proof of President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud is why he lost the popular vote, and was not created following any substantial belief in voter fraud. Others have simply refused to turn over any information that is not public (such as social security numbers) but will turn over public data, like names and birthdays.
Puerto Rico and other US Territories were not included in the request for information by the commission.
Puerto Rico and other US Territories cannot vote in the final November Presidential Election, but are allowed to vote in primaries and caucuses. In the most recent primary, many claims of voter fraud were levied against opposing democratic campaigns (Clinton and Sanders), but nothing was substantiated. One of the strongest arguments supporting voter fraud was a decrease in voting locations from announced numbers to under half, although many others say that there is no proof of fraud, just proof of Puerto Rico being in debt and not having the resources to provide as numerous locations as hoped.