Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
Americans expect and deserve more from their President than statements urging his supporters to commit a felony by voting for him twice in the coming election. President Trump’s repeated requests to his followers to commit felonies are felony crimes themselves because he is inciting the commission of those crimes. And if the last several years have taught us anything, it is that some Trump followers will do virtually anything Trump recommends including taking unproven, unapproved, and potentially dangerous medications he has recommended for COVID-19.
The Department of Justice needs to make absolutely clear to the public that what the President is encouraging his supporters to do is to commit a felony punishable by jail time. This cannot be the cable news fumbling of Attorney General William Barr trying to not to offend the President by excusing his urging of Americans to commit crimes. States have laws and processes in place to ensure every eligible voter can cast only one ballot. The laws are strict though in places they are selectively enforced. Crystal Mason, a black woman in Texas, is still in jail serving a five-year sentence for voting in 2016 when she did not know she was ineligible in the state because of a prior felony conviction. By contrast Terri Lynn Rote, a white woman from Iowa, received two-years probation and a $750 fine for a felony conviction for attempting to vote twice for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
What President Trump is suggesting his supporters do is not only nonsense, but it is also a felony meant to undermine the integrity of our elections. You cannot test election integrity rules by breaking them any more than you can rob a bank to make sure your money is safe.