Brennan Center Reaction: White House Disbands Fraud Commission


Trump has repeatedly alleged that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election, delivering the popular vote to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Trump had chose to disband the commission "rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense". Cory Booker, who called the White House voter fraud panel a sham and introduced legislation to abolish it, welcomed the news that President Donald Trump was disbanding the commission.

In May Trump signed an executive order setting up the commission to investigate those reports.

A White House statement said many USA states had refused to cooperate with the commission. The 11-person commission was even sued by one of its members; Democratic Maine secretary of State Matt Dunlap said he was being denied full access to the panel's records, and last month a federal judge agreed.

Kansas Secretary of State and vice-chair of the commission Kris Kobach said every time an alien votes it cancels out the vote of a USA citizen. He tried to spin Trump's Wednesday decision as simply a "tactical change", noting that the commission's initial findings would be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security for review and any further action. Trump's statement gave no indication what could happen to the sensitive voter files in the commission's possession, which the GAO said number in the tens of millions.

The White House announced Wednesday night that the commission, lead by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, would be dissolved due to state governments not providing information the group had sought.

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Now comes the pressing question: Do Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans actually care about the integrity of the vote? "System is rigged, must go to Voter ID", Trump said.

Most states had issued full or partial denials to the commission's request, which including obtaining voters' names, addresses, birth dates, political party registration and voter history, while also seeking more clarification about how the information would be used.

Voter identification would require voters to provide photo identification at their voting place in order to vote.

The Democrats strongly argued there was no corroborative evidence to ever suggest voter fraud in the country.

The American Civil Liberties Union opposes voter ID requirements, saying they disproportionately affect "low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities". Kollar-Kotelly's opinion states that Dunlap should be given access to documents like a request for voter data sent to US states and meeting agendas.