Trump

President Donald Trump tours the Boeing South Carolina facility in North Charleston with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (left) in February. File/Susan Walsh/AP

COLUMBIA — For now, South Carolina is not sending the voter data requested from all states by a White House commission examining Donald Trump's voter fraud allegations in the 2016 election.

The S.C. Election Commission is weighing options, including possibly meeting with its five governor-appointed commissioners, agency spokesman Chris Whitmire said.

The election commission, which has final say on turning over the data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, received the request on Monday — several days after other states.

The state's response mimics those around the country. No states have agreed so far to comply fully with the request for the entire arsenal of data sought by the White House, including personal, criminal and military background information on voters.

Most have offered voter information open to the public.

Gov. Henry McMaster, an early supporter of Trump's Republican presidential bid last year, believes South Carolina should share state voter information that is publicly available, his spokesman Brian Symmes said Monday.

The state sells some voter information — including names, addresses, voting history and dates of birth. A list of all South Carolina voters can be bought for $2,500.

State law requires the data must be purchased by a South Carolina registered voter. Voter lists cannot be used for commercial purposes.

South Carolina does not make public some of the information sought by the election fraud panel, including the last four digits of Social Security numbers and military service and felony criminal records. The state does not collect voters' party affiliations — another piece of information sought by the presidential commission — but state election histories show if voters chose to cast ballots in Democratic or Republican primaries.

In a short series of tweets, McMaster tried ease concerns of voters who are worried about sharing their information with the Trump administration. The governor stressed the state would not disclose Social Security numbers or whom voters chose in the ballot box.

"Constitution ensures voters ballot choices will always be secret," McMaster tweeted. "Americans have died protecting this freedom."

South Carolina election officials said they did not receive any reports of widespread voter fraud last year. No concrete evidence has been found elsewhere across the country to back the president's voter fraud allegations that he blames for his failure to win the popular vote. Trump received the most Electoral College votes to win the race.

S.C. House Democratic Leader Todd Rutherford questioned Trump's motives Monday and added that, at least, he hoped the state would charge the White House commission for the publicly available voter data like anyone else.

"I'm not sure what the White House intends to do with the information," Rutherford said. "I don't see a need to centralize all this information so the Russians can get a hold of it."

The White House said Monday all 50 states were contacted by the commission. For the most part, the request has riled leaders in other states from both parties, including one from Mississippi who said the commission "can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico." Some are declining to cooperate. 

Trump has grown frustrated at states for not helping fully with his investigation, tweeting over the weekend: "Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?"

Despite the pressure from the White House, South Carolina election officials are remaining more cautious in their response to Trump, who won the Palmetto State handily by more than 300,000 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton. State Election Commission Chairman Bill Way Jr. declined comment Monday.

The election integrity commission letter dated Wednesday was delayed in reaching the proper South Carolina officials. The request for voter data was sent to S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond. His office retrieved the letter Monday and forwarded it to the S.C. Election Commission, which oversees voting in the state. The secretary of state's office in most states runs the elections.

Emma Dumain contributed to this story.

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Columbia Bureau Chief

Shain is Columbia Bureau Chief for The Post and Courier. He was editor of Free Times and was a reporter and editor at The State, The Charlotte Observer and The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News.

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