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Statement on Pence-Kobach Commission

July 18, 2017

Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the Pence-Kobach commission, Page Gardner, president of the Voter Participation Center, issued the following statement:

“Even before its first meeting this week, the Pence-Kobach Commission has driven thousands of eligible voters in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and other states to deregister.  The intrusive request from the Commission, and the even broader, under-the-radar demand from the Department of Justice, for not publicly available voter data is alarming to any American who values privacy, security and the integrity of our election system.  But our response cannot be to make it easier for them to accomplish their true aim – which is to legitimize policies that prevent eligible voters from participating in our democracy.  The answer is to stay registered, encourage others to register, and to recognize that voting is a powerful act of resistance.

The Commission is filled with people – like Kris Kobach and Hans von Spakovsky — who have a history of erecting barriers for eligible voters and targeting minority voters.  Kobach is involved with several lawsuits about his efforts to suppress voters and we applaud  Representatives Cummings, Conyers, Thompson and Brady for their efforts to remove Kobach from the Commission. The very voters he and the Commission want to purge from the rolls — underrepresented communities of color, single women and young people — are the focus of our registration and turnout work at the Voter Participation Center.  Over a third of these voters are unregistered.  One in three of them who voted in 2016 are projected to drop off and not vote in 2018.  Now, in the face of forces determined to disenfranchise these Americans, we are joining forces with state and national partners to redouble our efforts to ensure the people who make up close to 60 percent of our population are heard and counted, and that our nation is positioned to deliver on the promise of majority rule.”



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