USA

Trump to create panel to study voter fraud, suppression

Trump to create panel to study voter fraud, suppression

The objective of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, which will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, is to investigate Trump's belief that there was widespread voter fraud in the November 2016 election.

The commission, established by executive order, is the upshot of Trump's unsubstantiated claim shortly after taking office that more than 3 million undocumented immigrants illegally voted in November's election.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump signed an executive order to create the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

The White House has pointed to Kobach's investigation of voter fraud cases in Kansas as evidence that he supports the president's claims.

New Hampshire officials have said there was no evidence of major voter fraud in the state.

Remember, this was around the time Trump praised the now fired Comey for launching an investigation into Clinton's emails.

Even before it was formally announced, news of the commission's launch met with a cascade of criticism from voting-rights and other organizations. Vice President Mike Pence will head the group, called the "Presidential Commission on Election Integrity".

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The secretary of state championed Kansas' proof-of-citizenship requirement as an anti-fraud measure that keeps noncitizens from voting, including immigrants living in the US illegally.

"The commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of federal elections and provide the president with a report that identifies system vulnerabilities that lead to improper registrations and voting", Sanders said.

Following the orders signing, Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, saying the comission is "clearly meant to accelarate the vile voter supression efforts" across the country. "I am not certain what more the White House could do to signal its utter disregard for the democratic process in this country", said Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).

Mr Trump won the presidency with an Electoral College victory despite losing to Mrs Clinton by almost three million votes.

The panel is nothing but a pretext for disenfranchising Americans, said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

Many state election officials are also anxious the commission will divert attention from other serious concerns, such as aging equipment and the threat of hacking. Calling Kobach the "Javert of voter fraud" after the hyper-moralistic cop in Les Miserables, the editorial continued mockingly, "Keep this up, sir, and you may yet prove that of the 1.8 million registered voters in the state, the number of those who have perpetrated this crime is in the double digits".

It didn't take long for Democrats to blast the President's decision to set up this election fraud review, as they charge Republicans are simply looking for ways to suppress the votes of their political opponents.


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