Answer Man

Here’s where Illinois stands on Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission

Press Secretary Spicer: President believes millions voted illegally

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer talks about President Trump's belief in voter fraud during a press briefing earlier this year.
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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer talks about President Trump's belief in voter fraud during a press briefing earlier this year.

Q: What has been Illinois’ reponse to the Voter Fraud Commission’s request for voter data?

Kathryn Kessler

A: If you haven’t heard by now, the Illinois State Board of Elections has joined 43 other states and the District of Columbia in turning thumbs down on the newly formed panel’s investigation into alleged irregularities during the 2016 presidential election.

State election officials say the commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, has asked for extensive information on individuals, including names, addresses, birth dates, the last four Social Security digits and voting history back to 2006. But in a letter to Kris Kobach, the vice president of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Ken Menzel said the state cannot comply. Menzel is the Illinois election board’s legal counsel.

“The Illinois Election Code … protects the confidentiality and privacy of voter registration data, limiting its release to registered political committees for political purposes and to governmental entities for governmental purposes, subject to the restriction that voter data not be released to the public. Our letter indicates that any information and voter registration data provided to the commission will be made available to the public. In short, the State of Illinois does not have a publicly available voter roll. Therefore, our agency does not have any material responsive to the commission's request.”

President Trump formed the commission in May, claiming 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants may have been the primary reason why he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million. Critics say there is little evidence of voter fraud and that the commission is an effort to suppress voter turnout by making voter records public.

Today’s trivia

Why did actor Jackie Cooper entitle his autobiography “Please Don’t Shoot My Dog” of all things?

Answer to Sunday’s trivia: So how far above sea level is the Amsterdam airport? Sorry, trick question. Just as Amsterdam itself is about 6 feet below sea level, Schiphol Airport is also below sea level — as much as 11 feet at its lowest point. The name, by the way, comes from Fort Schiphol, one of 42 forts constructed between 1880 and 1920 that made up the Defense Line of Amsterdam, or the Stelling van Amsterdam. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Roger Schlueter: 618-239-2465, @RogerAnswer