Despite Little Evidence Of Fraud, White House Launches Voting Commission


President Donald Trump, who claimed that as many as 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, is expected to sign an executive order Thursday to get to the bottom of his election fraud conspiracy theory.

There's simply no evidence of widespread voter fraud in this country.

White House officials said the commission would include Republicans and Democrats, both current and former state election officials.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity will be led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has aggressively pursued allegations of voter fraud in his state.

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When the White House said a few months ago that it would be forming a commission to investigate voter fraud, some laughed.

Kobach insists that this effort wasn't launched to prove that voter fraud is sweeping the nation: "The commission does not begin with foregone conclusions". When done, they'd report to Trump on relevant policies, and vulnerabilities in voting systems.

Kobach has headed a campaign to require that voters show proof of citizenship when registering, something voting rights groups have fought in court, claiming that it's discriminatory and unnecessary. Improper or fraudulent registrations, voting fraud and voter suppression are among the issues the commission will study, they said. One researcher found only 31 possible instances of in-person voter impersonation fraud-the kind of voter fraud that Republicans cite to justify restrictive voter ID laws-out of over one billion ballots cast in elections from 2000 to 2014. "There is no evidence - zero - of widespread voter fraud", said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

In November, Trump tweeted, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally".

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"This voter commission is a clear front for constricting the access to vote to poor Americans, and - above all - African Americans and Latinos", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of NY, said in a statement. "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".

Brennan Center released a report last week analyzing information from local election administrators in jurisdictions with the highest populations of noncitizens, and its findings counter Trump's claims.

"We have a commission that will be led, for all intents and purposes, by the king of voter suppression, Kris Kobach".

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