An effort to gather voters’ details to prevent alleged fraud has been met with a furious backlash, as states fear an attempt at mass voter suppression

An attempt by Donald Trump’s newly convened commission on election integrity to gather detailed information on the country’s voting population prompted a furious backlash on Friday, as at least 19 states either resisted the request on privacy protection grounds or flat-out rejected it as a backdoor effort at mass voter suppression.

In a letter sent to the states on Thursday, the commission’s vice-chair, Kris Kobach, asked for comprehensive lists including names of voters, addresses, voting histories, party affiliation, criminal histories, military status and more. The letter did not spell out how the commission intended to use this information, but in an interview with the Kansas City Star newspaper, Kobach said he wanted to “quantify different forms of voter fraud and registration fraud and offer solutions”.

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