Statement from Demos on Trump “Election Integrity” Commission

Release Date: 
May 11, 2017

Washington, DC – President Trump signed an executive order today formatting a “Presidential Commission for Election Integrity.”  In response to these reports, Brenda Wright, Vice President for Policy and Legal Strategies at Demos said:

“This commission begins with zero credibility and should be recognized for what it is:  a highly partisan and deeply cynical diversion premised on justifying the President’s past lies about illegal voting.  We already know that millions of people did not vote illegally in the last election. Period. The real problem is that too few eligible people are registered to vote and turning out on Election Day – not too many.  This commission is no more than a charade giving cover to baseless claims about voter fraud that will ultimately lead to voter suppression – particularly among communities of color.

“President Trump’s appointment as vice-chair of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach – the “chicken little” of bogus voter fraud claims -- confirms that the commission lacks any legitimacy.  Kobach has a long record of stating false and later de-bunked voter fraud claims, and designed an onerous requirement for documentary proof of citizenship in Kansas that has unlawfully delayed voter registration for tens of thousands of eligible Kansans.  He has a pre-determined agenda of wanting to weaken important protections such as the National Voter Registration Act, which he already put on display during the presidential transition.  As in Alice-in-Wonderland, Kobach already has his verdict, and now wants to conduct the trial.  No one should pretend this commission will be a search for truth.

“We have some 53 million eligible persons in this country who are not even registered to vote, and too many people facing unnecessary barriers to voting, the fundamental underpinning of democracy.  That is the real issue. Demos will continue its long-standing work to remove unjustified barriers to voting and registration, and to fight against dangerous and unfounded claims of voter fraud and the damaging executive actions that result from them.”

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