Secretaries of State in several states, including Secretary William Galvin here in Massachusetts are refusing to cooperate with a federal probe into voter fraud.

It is widely believed that fraud has occurred nationwide in elections big and small for many years, long before the Russians allegedly tried to influence the 2016 Presidential race.  After winning the election President Trump appointed the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to try and ferret out just how much corruption does exist and who is committing it.  Trump, like many others believes that illegal aliens and others who are ineligible  have been able to vote in our elections.

Massachusetts Secretary of State, Democrat William Galvin is having no part of it.  Commonwealth Magazine's on line edition quotes Galvin's spokesman Brian McNiff  as saying, “They’re not going to get it."  McNiff says, “It’s not a public record.”

Commonwealth Magazine reports, "The Commission is seeking information on all registered voters in the state, including their name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, and the last four digits of their social security number."  It says, "The commission is also asking for information on voting history, any felony convictions, information on registration in another state, military status, and whether a voter is living overseas."

McNiff tells the publication, "Massachusetts law specifies that the voter data “shall not be a public record.”  But, according to Commonwealth Magazine, "The statute does provide for the secretary of state, who is the state’s chief election official, to make the file available to political parties, statewide candidates or ballot question campaigns."

The magazine says at least one of the Secretaries has been asked to provide information on what “laws, policies or other issues hinder your ability to ensure the integrity of elections you administer.”  "What evidence there was of voter fraud or registration fraud and what convictions have occurred for “election-related crimes” in the state since the 2000 election, as well as recommendations “for preventing voter intimidation or disenfranchisement.”

Commonwealth Magazine quotes McNiff as saying there has been “very little” voter fraud in Massachusetts and what has been uncovered has been prosecuted.

If the information being sought by the Commission is made available to political parties, statewide candidates or ballot question campaigns than it certainly can be made available to a federal commission looking into voter fraud.

By refusing to cooperate with federal investigators in protecting the integrity of our election process, Galvin and the other State Secretaries are obstructing justice and should be dealt with accordingly.  They should open the records now, unless of course they are fearful of an investigation might uncover.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.