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Talk of Voter Fraud Dominates First Meeting of Election Integrity Commission

July 20, 2017

Pam Fessler and Brett Neely write for NPR:

A presidential commission born of a presidential tweet held its first meeting on Wednesday to look into problems with voting that may undermine the public’s confidence in elections.

But the tweet in question, where President Trump alleged without evidence that millions of people voted illegally last November, hung over the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’s first meeting after Trump made a surprise appearance.

“Every time voter fraud occurs, it cancels out the vote of a lawful citizen, and undermines democracy. Can’t let that happen. Any form of illegal or fraudulent voting, whether by non-citizens or the deceased, and any form of voter suppression or intimidation must be stopped,” said Trump.

The commission has been controversial from its inception. When it was set up in May, it was described as “bipartisan.” But the two leaders — Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — are both Republicans. Kobach and several other members are among the nation’s most vocal advocates of strict voter ID laws and other measures to ferret out and fight voter fraud.

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