Yesterday President Trump announced an executive order creating a new voting integrity commission to look into voter fraud and voter suppression, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.
Protecting voter integrity is surely a good thing. And in some pockets, people are cheering the President’s move.
Breitbart News did an exclusive interview with the commission’s controversial vice chair, Kansas’ Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who says this commission will have access to federal data that can shed more light on whether voter fraud is really a problem or not.
”This commission will provide a firm foundation [of] information and facts that are verifiable about the issues surrounding voter fraud,” said Kobach, who Breitbart called “ a long-standing opponent of voters fraud and illegal immigration.”
But voting rights groups and Democrats aren’t exactly lining up to say thank you. Rock the Vote president Carolyn DeWitt put out a statement citing a Federal study that says only 0.00000013% of votes are cast improperly. She stated, “The President wants to make it harder for low-income, minority, and young Americans to vote, and he’s masking his agenda in this new executive order.”
Jason Kander, a 2016 Senate candidate in Missouri and the founder of Let America Vote, said, “the real problem they’re trying to solve is there are certain groups of Americans who are unlikely to vote Republican.”
They also say Kobach is more guilty than anyone of undermining the integrity of elections.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) went with a fire metaphor stating, “Putting an extremist like Mr. Kobach at the helm of this commission is akin to putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department.”
Non-partisan press outlets gave some credence to that claim in their coverage:
The respected McClatchy newspaper chain, when introducing Kobach noted that he “repeatedly made unsubstantiated voter-fraud allegations”
Politico said Kobach is “one of the few people willing to defend publicly Trump’s outlandish claims shortly after the election that a.) “millions” of noncitizens skewed the popular vote toward Hillary Clinton; and b.) ‘2 million, it could be 3 million’ undocumented immigrants with criminal records reside within the U.S.”
This is probably only going to get more ugly.
The American Civil Liberties Union even explicitly asked anyone who has anything to do with voting, be it election administrators, academics and public servants, to refuse to participation with Kobach’s commission and also referred to Kobach as the “king of voter suppression.”