From: A Reader In North Carolina [Email him]
There is a simple way to put to rest the recent kerfuffle surrounding Trump’s assertion that “millions” of people illegally voted in this year’s presidential election: announce the appointment of a presidential commission to investigate the issue.
Trump’s opponents are up in arms because, according to them, there is no evidence for his claim of illegal voting. This is true up to a point: voter fraud has not been an object of rigorous, independent study at the national level and so no one really knows the scale of illegal voting. But it is also disingenuous: as Hans Van Spakovsky points out in the interview quoted by Brenda Walker, “our whole voter registration process is pretty much based on an honor system”. While massive voting fraud has not been proven, there are ample reasons to believe it may exist.
Appointing a presidential commission to study the issue would have two benefits. In the short term, it would take the heat off Kris Kobach, the potential DHS nominee who many reports identify as the source for Trump’s claim, while simultaneously putting Trump’s critics on the defensive as they would be hard-pressed to publicly resist the appointment of such a commission. In the longer term, it would help resolve the now perennial controversy over voter fraud. Best of all, should the commission find that there is indeed evidence of large-scale fraud, it would give new life to the movement for voter ID laws across the country.
See a previous letter from the same reader.