Trump creates commission to investigate voter fraud News
Trump creates commission to investigate voter fraud

President Trump signed an executive order [text, JURIST] on Thursday launching a commission to investigate allegations of voter fraud and suppression. Vice President Mike Pence will head the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity along with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach [official website], a voter identification advocate with a tough stance on immigration. The panel will consist of about a dozen election officials from both parties and will be tasked with finding vulnerabilities in the system such as fraudulent voter registration. During his campaign, President Trump repeatedly made unfounded claims [Fortune report] of voter fraud, insisting the election was “rigged” against him. After the election, he maintained that voter fraud had taken place by asserting to congressional leaders that had there not been “millions of illegal votes” [WP report] he would have won the popular vote against Hilary Clinton. The White House has yet to provide documentation backing up President Trump’s claims.

Several states have enacted statutes to address voter fraud, often by setting a stricter requirement for what type of ID is necessary to be allowed to vote. Some have argued [JURIST commentary] however, that having stricter voter ID laws will not improve the integrity of elections. In April US District Judge Nelva G. Ramos found [JURIST report] that a controversial Texas voter ID law was passed in part with discriminatory intent. In February Texas officials claimed [JURIST report] hundreds of people were allowed to improperly cast ballots in the recent presidential election, evading the state’s stringent voter ID law, by signing affidavits in lieu of showing their photo ID. Also in February Democratic Federal Election Commission (FEC) [official website] member Ellen Weintraub [official profile] in a statement [JURIST report] urged President Donald Trump to present evidence of his claims of extensive voter fraud in New Hampshire. In January the US Supreme Court [official website] declined [JURIST report] to hear an appeal by Texas seeking to revive the state’s voter identification requirements. In April 2016 the Arizona Superior Court dismissed [JURIST report] a lawsuit alleging voter fraud during the 2016 primaries. In January the US Supreme Court refused to hear [JURIST report] a lawsuit about a Texas voter ID law, that would limit IDs that could be used to vote to seven specified government issued IDs.