In charge of fixing the voter mess is the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was set up to examine how many votes are ineligible and what might be done to make elections more honest.
The pushback by some states to hand over public records to the commission has been intense. Democrats have apparently decided on privacy concerns and the claim that no voter fraud has been proven as talking points against the reform measure. Virginia’s D-Governor Terry McAuliffe refused to co-operate, saying, “This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November.”
Voter fraud does happen: the question is how common it is. Last November, Hans Von Spakovsky (co-author of Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk) opined in a Breitbart interview that “We know for a fact, from all kinds of different reports we’ve had and cases, that there are non-citizens registered and voting all over the country.” On June 19, the Washington Times headlined, Study supports Trump: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes.
The vice-chair of the commission, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach reflected on the scope of the problem in his remarks at the opening session on Wednesday:
KRIS KOBACH: I’ve often thought that at the very foundation of our republic are really two bedrock things — the American Constitution and the faith and reality that our elections are conducted fairly. If you take away either of those two things I believe that our republic cannot stand for long.
So for a long time there’s been lingering doubt among many Americans about the integrity and fairness of elections, and it’s not a new issue at all. If you look at the polling data, it goes back decades. Public opinion has been consistent on this, in that there is a substantial number of people who wonder if our elections are fair. A 2014 survey showed that only 40% of voters thought elections were fair to the voters which indicates that 60% either did not think so or were undecided.
We owe it to the American people if you take a hard dispassionate look at the subject. . . .
For example in my state of Kansas we’re engaged in litigation right now defending our proof of citizenship requirements at the time of registration, and we engaged in extensive fact-finding for the federal courts involved and have discovered 128 specific cases of non-citizens who either registered to vote or attempted to register to vote. . . .
You can watch a longer video (1 hour 13 minutes) on C-SPAN where the members of the commission discuss ideas of what they would like to investigate.
The long-standing support for voter IDs shown in polling may reflect the public’s suspicion about voting integrity as well as a basic desire for fairness:
Vice-Chair Kobach wrote on Wednesday about how the commission is moving along through the obstacles placed in front of it.
Kobach: A Victory for Public Information, Breitbart.com, by Kris W. Kobach, July 19, 2017
On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied temporary restraining orders (TROs) sought by the ACLU, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and others. The plaintiffs were attempting to prevent the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, of which I am Vice-Chair, from having its first meeting on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Fortunately, the federal judges rejected the TRO requests. In a well-reasoned, 24-page opinion, the District of Columbia federal judge explained why the plaintiffs’ claims that the meeting would violate federal law were unlikely to prevail.
On Wednesday, the Commission met and launched its fact-finding mission. President Trump himself addressed the Commission members, highlighting the importance of the Commission’s work.
The Commission is a bipartisan body dedicated to collecting factual information and providing advice to the president about the integrity of the voting process and reporting that information to the American people. But the ACLU and the Lawyers’ Committee don’t want that information-gathering to begin. They, along with groups like Common Cause and the NAACP, have filed a total of seven lawsuits to thwart the Commission’s work.
The ACLU and allied groups on the Left have long used the tactic of litigation to achieve policies that they could not accomplish through the legislative process. But with this latest onslaught of lawsuits they have taken their litigation approach to a whole new level – they are attempting to prevent the president from receiving advice and prevent the American public from gaining information. They are literally trying to stop the Commission from doing its work.
What information are they so determined to keep under wraps? Facts that show the extent of voter fraud in this country. Among the facts presented at the first meeting was a list of 938 criminal convictions for election crimes, almost all after the year 2000. So much for the claim that voter fraud doesn’t exist.
This tactic of attempting to stop a commission through litigation is unusual. There were 28 presidential advisory commissions established under President Obama and 24 presidential advisory commissions under Bush. None were besieged by a flurry of lawsuits like this. And only a very small number faced any litigation at all.
For example, in 2013 President Obama formed the Presidential Commission on Election Administration to study lines at polling places and other issues. There were no lawsuits from conservative groups to stop the commission from doing its work. Indeed, I was a witness who provided evidence to that commission about how we kept wait times to a minimum in Kansas.
Although a few States like Kansas have done extensive research on voter fraud, most States have not. Never before has there been a nationwide effort to analyze voter fraud and other threats to election integrity. And the ACLU and the Lawyers’ Committee wants to do everything they can to make sure that no such analysis occurs.