Trump Quietly Dismisses Controversial Voter Fraud Commission

07 January, 2018, 09:26 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Facing Scrutiny, President Trump's “Voter Fraud” Commission Shuts Down

The president disbanded the controversial panel focused on "election integrity", blaming a refusal by more than a dozen states to provide what he called "basic information".

In a statement, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeated Trump's oft-made claim of voter fraud, but said that "rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense", Trump had ended the commission and asked the Department of Homeland Security to take up the review of United States election systems.

The former head of President Donald Trump's recently disbanded election integrity commission has charged two people with double voting in Kansas and Colorado during the 2016 election. "The sham commission was a political ploy to provide cover for the president's wild and unfounded claims of mass voter fraud and to lay the foundation to purge eligible voters from the rolls".

Kobach is a candidate for Kansas governor.

On Thursday, Trump turned his attention to stronger voter ID laws.

While dissolving the commission, the administration did not concede the rarity of voter fraud in modern American elections.

Groups that opposed the president's commission were quick to declare victory.

Democrats and voting rights groups were quick to cheer the panel's demise.

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Homeland Security has already been investigating allegations of Russian tampering with voter registration systems in at least 20 states.

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit advocacy group, also welcomed the news, calling the commission "a vehicle launched for the sole objective of laying the groundwork to promote voter suppression policies on a national scale".

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin - who refused to hand over voter information to the commission - said DHS would have to show a legitimate reason for wanting the state's voter data.

The commission was touted by the White House as bipartisan but was led by Vice President Pence and Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has long claimed there is widespread voter fraud by noncitizens despite providing no evidence of any such improprieties and only prosecuting a few fraud cases in Kansas. They included concerns that the commission's ultimate goal was voter suppression primarily targeting the poor and minorities, voter privacy and issues of states' rights.

Trump convened the commission to investigate the 2016 presidential election, after alleging repeatedly and without evidence that voting fraud cost him the popular vote.

Kobach told the Topeka Capital-Journal last week that although the commission's work had been delayed because of the lawsuits, it would meet in January. "The Department of Homeland Security is going to be able to move faster and more efficiently than a presidential advisory commission". She said the Brennan Center has filed lawsuits seeking more transparency from the commission and plans to file a new Freedom of Information Act request about the shift to DHS.

"I am deeply concerned that the work is being shifted over to DHS where it can be done behind closed doors and without the sunshine offered from open public scrutiny", Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, a Democrat, said in a statement Thursday to The Associated Press.

"The Democrats, both on and off the commission, made very clear that they were not interested in determining the scope and extent of voter fraud and, indeed, they were trying to stop the commission in its tracks", Kobach said.

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