Trump Administration to Collapse Commission on Election Integrity

Jan 09, 2018, 00:39
Trump Administration to Collapse Commission on Election Integrity

The demise of President Donald Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is a shining example. It was created by the administration as a way to tend to Trump's fragile ego after losing the popular vote in the US election.

Led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Integrity met only twice before its work was bogged down in a series of lawsuits from states across the country.

Trump disbanded the commission on Wednesday, and the White House said DHS would take over the commission's work of investigating voter fraud, which several studies and investigations have shown is not a widespread problem.

In October, Maine Democratic Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap wrote in a letter to the commission's executive director that he had "received utterly no information or updates from Commission staff or leadership about ongoing active research, inquiries for research requests, documents for consideration during future meetings, or indeed any information about whether or not the Chair has plans on convening another meeting".

The pushback to one particularly invasive commission tactic was inspiring. "Indiana law doesn't permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach", Lawson said in a statement released last July.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, made headlines when he told the commission it could "jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from".

The majority of state election officials, including Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, refused to comply, citing that this request was overly broad, a gross federal overreach, and a violation of citizens' rights to have their sensitive, personal information kept private and stored securely. "MS residents should celebrate Independence Day and our State's right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes".

After abruptly disbanding the commission on Wednesday, President Trump did not drop his argument, tweeting Thursday that the voting system "is rigged", and blaming the many states that had refused to provide detailed information on individual voters.

Trump is letting the commission end, but not his preoccupation with its premise. Instead, it said that the job of rooting out voter fraud will fall to the Department of Homeland Security.

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