Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address on Feb. 7, 2017

Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address on Feb. 7, 2017

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Tom Wolf: Pennsylvania won’t follow Trump’s demands for voter fraud panel

“We will not participate in this systematic effort to suppress the vote.”

Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address on Feb. 7, 2017

Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address on Feb. 7, 2017

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr
mark

Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf filed a letter late Friday afternoon saying Pennsylvania has joined a list of more than a dozen Democratic and Republican-led states choosing to not provide voter data for an election fraud task force created by President Donald Trump.

“The right to vote is absolute and I have no confidence that you seek to bolster it,” Wolf wrote. “Voter suppression is undemocratic and I will not allow Pennsylvania to participate in this process to further the trend of suppression seen across the country.”

The Trump administration finalized the task force last month, choosing Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach as vice chair. Kobach has been a major supporter of strict voter-identification laws.

Earlier this week, a form letter addressed from Kobach was sent to secretaries of state throughout the country, asking for publicly available roll data. That would include such information as voters’ dates of birth and social security numbers. Even Kobach has said he will not be turning over the information for Kansas.

Wolf’s letter, addressed to Kobach, said he feared the data provided could be shared publicly and not handle securely. He said he would be more interested in hearing about the White House attempting to protect elections from “outside, illegal and international influence,” as well as incorrect information on the internet.

“I have serious reservations about the true intentions of this effort,” he wrote, “in light of the false statements this administration has made regarding voting integrity, the historical suppression of voting rights and the way that such data has been used in the past.”