WASHINGTON – Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Betty McCollum recently joined other Minnesota politicians in speaking out against the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
Klobuchar is leading the resistance in the Senate. Klobuchar, along with 25 other Democratic senators, including Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, are demanding the commission rescinds its request for voter roll data from state election officials.
In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and the commission’s Vice Chairman Kris Kobach, the senators called the “unprecedented request” a voting rights risk.
“This request is unprecedented in scope and raises serious privacy concerns,” the senators wrote. “The requested data is highly sensitive and after recent data breaches and cyber-attacks targeting our election infrastructure, we are deeply concerned about how the Commission will maintain the security and privacy of the data.”
The senators also voiced concerns over a “lack of focus” on foreign cyber-attacks, claiming more than 21 states faced attempted election hacks from Russia in the 2016 election.
“Also troubling is the Commission’s lack of focus on legitimate threats, such as foreign cyber-attacks on our election infrastructure,” the senators wrote. “Therefore, we demand the Commission rescind its request for sensitive voter roll data and refrain from requesting such information in the future.”
McCollum is leading the charge in the House of Representatives, calling the commission a “sham.” McCollum offered an amendment in the House Appropriations Committee to block the use of any federal funds for the commission.
“President Trump’s sham election commission exists to justify his outrageous falsehoods about ‘illegal voting’ and to further the Republican Party’s voter suppression agenda,” McCollum said in a press release. “This commission is an affront to our democracy and a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
“The American people should not have to foot the bill to indulge President Trump’s Twitter rants and conspiracy theories,” McCollum added.
Klobuchar and McCollum are not the only politicians from Minnesota voicing their disapproval with the commission. Last month, in a series of tweets, Franken lashed out at Trump’s “absurd request” for an investigation into potential voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election. Despite his own political history having questions of voter fraud, Franken believes the commission is a distraction, calling voter fraud a “baseless conspiracy theory.”
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon denied the commission’s request for election data. Simon, like Franken, believes the commission is a distraction.
“I have serious doubts about the commission’s credibility and trustworthiness. It’s two co-chairs have publicly backed President Trump’s false and irresponsible claim that millions of ineligible votes were cast in the last election,” Simon said in a statement. “The commission seems to be distracting from the most serious challenge to the integrity of our election system: The threat of cyber-attacks by outside forces, including foreign governments, who seek to disrupt and undermine our elections.”