For Immediate Release Trump ‘Election Integrity’ Commission “Flawed From the Start” Common Cause Report Finds

Posted on September 7, 2017


President Trump’s ‘Election Integrity’ Commission is a flawed vehicle designed to provide cover for outrageous and unsubstantiated claims made by the President as an excuse for why he lost the popular election a new report from Common Cause, “Flawed from the Start,” documents. When compared to other recent high-profile commissions convened to improve our voting and elections process, the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is unique in that it is heavily stacked with noted vote suppressors.

“Flawed from the Start: The Presidential Commission on Election Integrity” compares President Trump’s voting commission, also known as the Pence-Kobach commission, to previous blue ribbon commissions on elections and voting issues, including the most recent Presidential Commission in Election Administration.. The report finds that the Pence-Kobach commission falls woefully short of past election commissions when it comes to bipartisanship, transparency, and focusing on solutions.

“The right to vote is sacred to Americans, giving each of us a say in the direction of our country and community. But instead of focusing on solutions to modernize our elections and help people vote, President Trump and some of the members of the commission are spreading lies and trying to intimidate voters,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. “That’s not how taxpayer-funded presidential commissions should work. Unlike the Pence-Kobach commission, past election commissions were truly bipartisan and focused on problem solving to improve and strengthen our democracy.”

“The findings in this report should concern every American voter, regardless of party or political persuasion,” Hobert Flynn added. “Protecting the right to vote is a fundamental nonpartisan value in this country, but it has been clear from the outset that findings from this commission will be used to slash voter eligibility and turnout for partisan gain.”

The report and its accompanying website, flawedfromthestart.org, also profiles each member of the current commission, examines the need for and historical usage of presidential commissions, and makes recommendations for future presidential commissions on elections based on the faults of the Pence-Kobach commission. Among the recommendations found in the report are:

  • Presidential commissions on elections should be truly bipartisan and ideologically balanced. While the three elections-focused commissions were chaired by both a Democrat and Republican, Trump’s commission is led by two Republicans who are outspoken supporters of efforts to erect hurdles to make it harder for millions of eligible voters to cast ballots. Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, lead a Republican majority of noted vote suppressors including several members known for pushing voting falsehoods and strict barriers to voting, including Kris Kobach, Hans von Spakovsky, and Ken Blackwell. The Democrats on the commission hardly represent a bulwark of voting rights sdvocates.
  • Presidential commissions should be open and transparent. Any voting commission should abide by basic guidelines of transparency and sunshine in government. The Pence-Kobach commission has failed in notifying the public and making their meetings open to the public, and has also been slow in releasing its documents, doing so only after litigation.
  • Presidential commissions should focus on real issues – and modern solutions. To date, the Pence-Kobach commission has identified little that requires fixing in the elections system. Its focus is a hyped-up fear of illegal voting, despite an abundance of studies demonstrating the lack of a widespread problem.

To view “Flawed from the Start,” click here

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Voting and Elections

Tags: Voting Rights, Registration and Voting Systems

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David Vance National Media Strategist Ph: o: 202.736.5712 c: 240.605.8600 dvance@commoncause.org

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