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Trump Voting Commission: Another Excuse for Vote Suppression

May 11, 2017

Even Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees that “there is no evidence” to support Trump’s allegations of “voter fraud.” Yet, today, Trump is expected to sign an executive order establishing a commission to investigate these allegations, despite the fact that actual instances of fraud have been statistically proven time and again to be exceedingly rare.

“Our fear is that this commission is being established as a pretext for implementing voter ID laws, purging eligible voters from the voter rolls, cutting access to early voting, and generally making it harder (or impossible) for Americans — and particularly for people of color, low-income Americans, and the elderly — to cast their ballot,” said Page Gardner, president and founder of VPC.

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who is vice chair of the commission, is an expert at executing this playbook. He has long promoted the “ludicrous theory” (without even a shred of evidence) that huge numbers of undocumented immigrants are voting — and then used that theory as an excuse to make it much harder for Kansans to register and vote. Kobach is also the mastermind behind “Crosscheck,” a multi-state effort supposedly to purge the voter rolls of duplicate registrants that, in reality, disenfranchised potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans in 2016.

“Trump’s new commission, which is being led by people who have dedicated their careers to suppressing the vote, is bad for our democracy and one more Trump administration effort to undermine faith in our democracy and system of government,” said Gardner. “Congress should be taking steps instead to restore the Voting Rights Act, and to make it strong enough to stop state officials like Kobach from taking away the right to vote — one of the most precious and sacred duties of citizenship — from any eligible American.”

 

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