Trump dissolving his commission on election integrity

AP License N  A Created 2017:05:17 13:04:04

"If the president seems fine with that now, then all the better for all of us".

The former head of President Donald Trump's recently disbanded election integrity commission has charged two people with double voting in Kansas and Colorado during the 2016 election.

In a statement, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeated Trump's oft-made claim of voter fraud, but said that "rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense", Trump had ended the commission and asked the Department of Homeland Security to take up the review of U.S. election systems.

"It got to the point where the staff of the commission was spending more time responding to litigation than doing an investigation", Kris Kobach, the Republican secretary of state of Kansas and the commission's vice chair, who strongly supported the president's claims of voter fraud, told the Times. "There is no proof of widespread illegal voting or voter fraud in the 2016 election".

The White House blamed the decision to end the panel on more than a dozen states that have refused to comply with the commission's demand for reams of personal voter data, including names, partial Social Security numbers, voting histories and party affiliations.

Kobach and other Republicans have pushed for state laws requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls or to provide papers documenting US citizenship to register. "The Democrats lost their opportunity, lost their seat at the table, by stonewalling".

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While dissolving the commission, the administration did not concede the rarity of voter fraud in modern American elections. "The Department of Homeland Security is going to be able to move faster and more efficiently than a presidential advisory commission".

But national voting rights and civil rights activists said the commission and Trump's call for new laws is just a pretext to suppress voter participation particularly among the poor, the elderly and people of color. Are they afraid of revealing how deep the rabbit hole goes?

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.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin - who refused to hand over voter information to the commission - said DHS would have to show a legitimate reason for wanting the state's voter data.

In fact, a frequently cited study conducted by Justin Levitt, a constitutional law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, found that there were only 31 credible cases of voter impersonation from 2000 to 2014 out of more than 1 billion votes cast.

The administration formed the commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, in May 2017 and instructed it to investigate "improper voting, fraudulent voter registrations, and fraudulent voting". "No taxpayer dollars should have been wasted on Mr. Trump's voter suppression crusade". "Push hard for Voter Identification!" Before Trump took office, Kobach took a proposal into a meeting with the president-elect laying out ideas for changing federal laws to make it easier for states to impose such requirements.

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