Wednesday, January 03, 2018

President Ends His Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

From the White House:

Executive Order on the Termination of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

Issued on: 

This was called from the start by some, "the Advisory Commission on Election Fraud" and "on Voter Suppression" by others.

It was suspect from the beginning with Vice President Pence as chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach serving as vice-chair. The ACLU has four suits against Kobach claiming in one 
"“Secretary Kobach continues to seek ways to confuse and obstruct voters in Kansas. His flagrant disregard of the court’s findings means that Kansans still face unnecessary barriers to voting. We’re asking the court to immediately block the temporary regulation and to ultimately end this dual system once and for all,” said Sophia Lakin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project."
The Democratic Secretary of State of Maine, a member of the commission, was suing the commission.  Governing reports:
The suit alleges that the commission's chairman, Vice President Mike Pence, and vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, are in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which prohibits the body from excluding commissioners from deliberations and information. The Executive Office of the President is also a named defendant, as the office is staffing the commission and maintaining its records. 
"Since the Sept. 12 meeting, I have received no correspondence from the commission other than to acknowledge receipt of my information request" of October 17, Dunlap said in a prepared statement. "Clearly, there is information about this commission being created and discussed, but I have no access to that information and it has not been provided upon request."
One of the commission's staffers was arrested for having child porn on his phone.

There were lots of reasons to not even create this commission in the first place.  Objective studies of voter fraud said this Republican talking point was a non-issue at best, an attempt at voter suppression at worst.

Jennifer Ruben wrote at the Washington Post back in September  that the Commission should be shut down.

But it's not like Trump administration to back down and quit because its critics tell it to.  Was it the likelihood of losing the suits?  Maybe.

I'm guessing that the Republicans wanted to have a federal commission that could make their recommendations for voter suppression under the guise of preventing voter fraud.  But it was getting too difficult.  Locking out the Democrats resulted in the lawsuit which they were likely to lose.

And since they couldn't conduct their business privately as a federal commission, they've decided to go back to secret meetings and scheming to do their dirty business of finding ways to keep Democrats from voting.

And how much did all this cost the taxpayer?  I can't find anything on that.

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