Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

The Trump administration scraps its voter-fraud commission

The Trump administration scraps its voter-fraud commission

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and the panel's vice chair, has previously said the lawsuits were slowing the commission down.

President Donald Trump abruptly shut down his signature voter fraud commission on Wednesday and instead kicked the issue to the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump won the Electoral College, giving him the White House, but he lost the popular vote to Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. Trump won the Electoral College.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that, "Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense", Trump has signed an order to dissolve the commission and asked the Department of Homeland Security to determine the administration's next steps.

Yet state and local election officials, including some Republicans, said they refused to hand over voter information because of privacy concerns as well as the fact there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Clinton received more than 2.8 million more votes than Trump nationwide.

Democrats and civil rights groups criticized the commission from the start, accusing the administration of using it as a pretext for suppressing minority voters. The intelligence community concluded that the Russian government mounted a campaign to help Trump win, hacking email accounts and spreading false stories.

The White House announced Trump's decision late Wednesday and sent the text of the executive order revoking the May order that created the commission soon after. "Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia".

"The work will continue, but now it will continue in a forum where they won't have a seat at the table, and so really all they've done is taken themselves away from the table", he said of his critics.

On Thursday, Trump turned his attention to stronger voter ID laws. "Their motto is, 'Nothing to see here, '" he said.

Most recently, the commission was sued by one of its own members, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat, who claimed he was blocked from getting information about the group's activities.

Dunlap on Wednesday said Kobach and his allies "were the ones that were stonewalling", saying they had "very definite ideas of what they wanted this commission to come up with". "The Department of Homeland Security is going to be able to move faster and more efficiently than a presidential advisory commission".

Kobach said he intends to work closely with DHS and the White House and expects the bulk of the DHS investigation to be done by midsummer.

Leaders from dozens of states including Democratic-leaning bastions such as NY and Trump-won Republican states such as Texas, either refused to comply with the commission requests completely or rejected them in part citing privacy laws.

A number of voter fraud cases have been recorded over the years, including 742 criminal vote-fraud convictions recorded by the Heritage Foundation since 2000.

The commission, formally called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, has been bedeviled by internal dissension, threats of litigation and the refusal of some states to provide information.

No widespread voter fraud has been shown.

While dissolving the commission, the administration did not concede the rarity of voter fraud in modern American elections. Kobach was one of a few state officials to support Trump's contention of widespread fraud.

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