What the heck is going on with President Trump’s “voter fraud” commission?
A report today in The Guardian suggests that the group, apparently created as part of a strategy to remove tens of thousands of qualified voters from the voter rolls, has either broken down or gone underground.
Matthew Dunlap and Alan L. King, two of four Democratic Party representatives on the commission, report that they’ve had no communication from Vice President Mike Pence, the commission’s chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the vice chair, or commission staffers about the panel’s direction or possible future meetings.
“Here I am on this high-level government committee and I don’t know when the next meetings are or how many meetings there will be,” King told The Guardian. “I am in the dark on what will happen from this point on, to tell you the truth.”
“I am in a position where I feel compelled to inquire after the work of the commission upon which I am sworn to serve, and am yet completely uninformed as to its activities,” Dunlap wrote in a letter to Andrew Kossack, the commission’s executive director.
The Guardian said Kossack has not answered Dunlap’s letter and that neither Kossack nor Kobach has responded to The Guardian’s own requests for information about the commission’s future. The commission last met in mid-September.
Trump created the commission earlier this year after complaining for months that up to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, denying him a popular vote majority as he carried states with more than 300 electoral votes and won the presidency.
There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim; indeed, a series of past studies – led by Republicans as well as Democrats – unanimously concluded that voter fraud is all but nonexistent in U.S. elections.
The Trump commission’s early work has sparked fears that the administration intends to use it to restrict voting. A letter sent by Kobach to state election officials in June asked the states to provide the commission with detailed personal information about voters, including the last four digits of the Social Security number of every registered voter. All but a handful of states declined at least part of the request, citing privacy concerns or state laws that prevent the sharing of such information.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Voting and Elections