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Lt. governor to turn over only public information to Trump fraud commission

FILE - Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks about the special election timeline to replace U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz in the Gold Room at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 19, 2017. Cox said Friday he will only turn over informatio
FILE - Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks about the special election timeline to replace U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz in the Gold Room at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 19, 2017. Cox said Friday he will only turn over information that's already public to President Donald Trump's commission on voter fraud.
Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said Friday he will only turn over information that's already public to President Donald Trump's commission on voter fraud.

"There is no evidence whatsoever of any voter fraud in the state of Utah," Cox said. He said he's concerned "anytime the federal government gets involved" in state issues.

Utah law requires voter registration records to be public documents that are accessible through a records request, but some personal information is considered protected, including a voter's Social Security and driver's license numbers.

The lieutenant governor said he will not provide the commission with the protected voter information. He said his office, which oversees elections in the state, was surprised by the request for data.

"We had no idea it was coming," Cox said Friday on KSL Newsradio's "The Doug Wright Show." But he said he looks forward to what he called a "great opportunity to the country to see how secure the rolls are in Utah" and "make sure the record is set straight" about voter fraud.

Before and after he was elected in November, Trump claimed the election was "rigged" and suggested there was massive voter fraud involving millions of voters who were not legal residents of the United States.

Cox, who never supported his party's presidential nominee, said after the election that Trump's claims were "dangerous" and eroded public confidence in the election process, "the bedrock foundation of our democratic republic, of our country."

The lieutenant governor said then he was hoping "we can tone down that rhetoric moving forward and stick with the facts and what we know." But in May, President Trump signed an executive order creating his "election integrity" commission.

By late Friday afternoon, at least 20 states had announced they would either not provide protected information or would not comply at all with the commission's request. Wisconsin officials said the commission would have to pay $12,500 for the records.