(BALTIMORE, MD, 1/4/18) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR) today welcomed the dissolution of a problematic voter fraud commission that raised concerns about voter suppression and was widely believed to discriminate against minority communities.
Several states, including Maryland, refused to supply voter data. CAIR’s Maryland outreach department thanked that state’s Attorney General Brian Frosh for denying requests to disclose confidential voter information.
Maryland's election commissioner denied the request after Frosh robustly criticized the request as being designed to discourage and intimidate voters, and opined that disclosure of such classified voter information is prohibited by law.
In July 2017, Attorney General Frosh said in a statement:
“The assistant attorneys general representing the State Board of Elections have considered the request to the Board for the personal information of millions of voters and have determined that the requested disclosure is prohibited by law. I find this request for the personal information of millions of Marylanders repugnant; it appears designed only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote.”
“We applaud the principled leadership of state officials like Maryland Attorney General Frosh who blocked voter suppression efforts and helped dismantle this commission by denying its requests for private voter data,” said CAIR Spokesperson Dr. Zainab Chaudry. “As Americans, we must all be free to exercise our right to vote without fear of sensitive information being publicized, collected, or used against us in any way.”
Established on May 11, the ‘Presidential Commission on Election Integrity’ was formed via executive order following Trump’s repeated unsubstantiated claims that he lost the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election due to millions of illegitimate votes.
The commission’s appointed vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, had been successfully challenged in court numerous times over his voter suppression policies.
Civil rights organizations, including CAIR, were alarmed by reports that the commission was headed by individuals who favor voting restrictions rather than expanding access to the polls, and that the commission had a suppressive agenda that would make it more difficult for people to “register to vote, stay registered and cast ballots.”
Among the commission’s first actions was a request to a wide range of information about all registered voters in every state, including partial Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and voting history.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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