President Donald Trump establishes Election Integrity Commission to study voter fraud

Posted May 19, 2017

Today, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon released a lengthy statement on President Trump's executive order creating a commission to study alleged voter fraud and voter suppression. "Neither the White House nor Secretary Kobach reached out in any way to the group", Simon said.

The presidential commission is in addition to a voter fraud task force led by Vice President Mike Pence that Trump established in February to investigate balloting in the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump followed through on a pledge to set up a federal panel to "promote fair and honest Federal elections", as backers praised his efforts to rein in voter fraud, while Democratic Party critics said it was nothing more than an effort at voter suppression.

And at least one member says he suspects the President's claims will remain unfounded.

Michael Waldman, president of the New York-based Brennan Center for Justice, said the commission was formed to "find proof of the president's absurd claim" about millions of people voting illegally.

Elections officials in several states, however, reported no instances of widespread fraud.

Former Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders said: "The sole goal of this commission is to propagate a myth and to give encouragement to Republican governors and state legislators to increase voter suppression".

"If the Trump administration really cares about election integrity, it will divulge its supposed evidence before embarking on this commission boondoggle". The American Civil Liberties Union, now suing Kobach's office over a Kansas law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, requested the release of the documents Kobach brought to his meeting with Trump. And liberal voting rights groups are very anxious that this commission, especially with Kobach on it, is going to be used to justify Republican efforts to pass strict voter I.D. laws. "And I fear that it will serve as pretext for the administration's efforts to roll back the voting rights so many fought so hard to obtain". At least three additional secretaries of state are expected to be involved, Bill Gardner of New Hampshire, Connie Lawson of IN and Matthew Dunlap of Maine.

The commission, chaired by the vice president, will "study the registration and voting processes used in federal elections", the document said. "There is no evidence - zero - of widespread voter fraud", said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). "The commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine confidence in elections and identify system vulnerabilities".