Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Trump's voting commission descends further into farce

Trump's voting commission descends further into farce

A staffer for the conservative Heritage Foundation came out in very strident terms against the appointment of any Democrats or "mainstream" Republicans to President Donald Trump's bogus "voter fraud" panel, according to an email the Department of Justice released Tuesday.

Another panel member, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, also criticized Kobach's New Hampshire claim. The country needs to draw those individuals into the process - through automatically registering citizens to vote, perhaps, or simply conducting elections on weekends.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: When the president's commission first met in July, Vice President Mike Pence, the chairman, had some reassuring words.

"Today's meeting makes it clear that the real goal of President Trump's sham voter commission is to the lay the foundation for voter suppression efforts", said Sewell stated in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

The commission got off to a rough start, sparking a national uproar in June when it requested that state election officials provide the commission with sensitive and highly personal information like voter names, dates of birth, party affiliation, partial Social Security numbers, criminal history and voting history over the past 10 years.

"Strangely, the issue of Russian tampering in our elections has not been a focus of the commission". Many of those voters were likely out-of-state college students who are still eligible to vote.

Of the voters who registered on November 8 using out-of-state driver's licenses, 5,313 of them neither had a state license nor registered a motor vehicle nearly 10 months later. He cited the fact that thousands of New Hampshire voters used out-of-state licenses as ID previous year and have yet to update those licenses. "There are many steps that Congress and states can take to make voting easier and expand citizen participation". "A big college town".

"You hear stories of dead people voting, you see people coming from MA into New Hampshire, you see democrats in my district with 13 people or 10 people registered at that home when you know they only have 2 kids, somethings wrong", he said.

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Kander said the commission was borne out of the president's claim that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election, costing him the popular vote. He is also a paid columnist for Breitbart, recently alleging that thousands of out-of-state voters cast ballots in New Hampshire, tipping the 2016 results to Hillary Clinton. Do the math, Kobach urged: The result is 5,313 fraudulent voters in New Hampshire.

For a problem that critics say doesn't exist, Americans seem to have a lot of stories of voter fraud or the potential for it.

Ken Block, a researcher for ex-White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon's watchdog group, the Government Accountability Institute, shared with the commission a study he conducted that claims there were almost 40,000 instances of double-voting in last year's election.

"What I'm saying is that the arguments Kobach presents about fraud in New Hampshire - and I recognize the significance of what I'm about to write - should have been too far afield even for Breitbart", writes Washington Post's Phillip Bump.

But under New Hampshire law, resident college students and other "domiciled" voters who spend most of their nights in the state can choose to vote there, even if they have driver's licenses from their home state.

That's all very disturbing to people like Tammy Patrick, a former Arizona election official who served on another election commission, one appointed by President Obama. The Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate said in the article that it appeared the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race - in which Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte was narrowly defeated by Democrat Maggie Hassan - "was stolen through voter fraud". Guess what else? Election day is in November, when they would be at school.

The idea didn't impress Mr. Dunlap, who said harnessing the gun system to handle voter checks would be "a sterling example of the laws of unintended consequences".

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