Critics of the commission also cited fears that the commission was working both to justify Trump's fraud claims and to make it more hard for poor and minority voters to participate in elections.
"If (DHS) were to start investigating these non-existent voter fraud claims, that would be very problematic", said Edgardo Cortes, Virginia's chief election official, who rejected the commission's request previous year for data about voters registered in Virginia. Secretary of State for Mississippi, Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, asked the commission to "fall in the gulf" in response to its July request for voter information.
Hours after abruptly shutting down his controversial election integrity commission, President Donald Trump accused states of covering for illegal voters and again alleged without evidence that widespread voter fraud exists.
Ohio's GOP secretary of state, Jon Husted, was also among almost half the states showing resistance, stressing that confidential information about voters "will not be provided to the commission". He tried to spin Trump's Wednesday decision as simply a "tactical change", noting that the commission's initial findings would be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security for review and any further action.
"President Trump's voter suppression Trojan Horse is finally dead", Toulouse Oliver said. "This commission started off based on a lie".
Forty-four states, as well as the District of Columbia, rejected some or all of Kobach's demands that they turn over information such as the names, addresses, party registrations, and last four digits of Social Security numbers of voters.
"Homeland Security operates very much in the dark", he said.
"The "Election Integrity" Commission's entire objective was to encourage and enable voter suppression", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said in a statement. "System is rigged, must go to Voter I.D".
Starting with Trump's appointment of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as vice chairman of the panel, the commission never got off the ground. The objecting states included many with Republican-controlled state governments. Although states are mandated by federal law to keep public records of voter registration and make them available to federal authorities upon request, at least 15 states refused to comply with the request.