‘Election Integrity Commission’ Starts Down a Dangerous Path with Kris Kobach as Vice-Chair

May 11, 2017
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Claims of widespread voter fraud have been debunked by elected officials from both parties

WASHINGTON – Today, media reports indicate President Trump will sign an executive order establishing a commission to review alleged voter fraud and vote suppression in the American election system.

“If there is to be a commission, it should focus on how to make it easier to vote, so citizens can exercise their most fundamental right, rather than on a voter fraud myth that feeds attempts to make voting harder,” said Paul Smith, vice president of litigation and strategy at the Campaign Legal Center. “But the appointment of Kris Kobach, who has a history of stoking fear of illegal voting without evidence, as vice-chair of this commission belies any serious interest in investigating voter suppression or strengthening the integrity of elections. If the commission wants to achieve its stated purpose, it should demand Kobach’s explanation for his involvement in systematic vote suppression efforts. Kobach is a national leader in ‘documentary proof of citizenship’ requirements – requiring voters to provide personal documents such as a passport or birth certificate – aimed at transforming the process of voter registration into a burdensome multi-step process.”

“The rationale for forming this commission was based on a lie by President Trump, who attempted to link errors on voter registration lists to widespread fraud,” said Danielle Lang, deputy director of voting rights at the Campaign Legal Center. “When President Trump made the claim – widely invalidated – that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election, he lost the credibility needed to create a commission that would seriously strengthen the integrity of our elections.”

Countless Republicans, including the Senate Majority Leader, have said there was no evidence widespread voter fraud occurred in the presidential election. Numerous similar “studies” have been completed already—including by Kobach in Kansas—wasting taxpayer money without finding any evidence of widespread fraud. A five-year long search during the George W. Bush administration turned up ‘virtually no evidence of voter fraud,’ according to the New York Times. A study by the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) produced data showing voting records form 2000-2010, which show no link between voter fraud in states and the need for stricter voter ID laws.

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