Trump creates panel to investigate voter fraud

Posted May 13, 2017

Sen. Patrick Leahy says that a commission assembled by President Donald Trump to investigate the integrity of US federal elections has "zero credibility" and is being led by an "extremist" who is also a "birther". She said the commission would lend legitimacy to state efforts to enact discriminatory voting laws.

"Further, it's extremely hard to see how Trump's proposed commission can be objective and impartial given Secretary Kobach's leadership role".

Leahy's statement was a response to news that Trump assembled a "Commission on Election Integrity" to review voter fraud and voter suppression in federal elections.

The 15-member panel is also charged with pinpointing vulnerabilities "that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting".

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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. Trump won that election through the Electoral College, but did not win the popular vote.

Voting experts and many lawmakers, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, have said they haven't seen anything to suggest that millions of people voted illegally.

Trump, who took office in January, has said there was widespread voter fraud in the November election.

Good government groups and public officials across the country are slamming the panel, formed through an executive order, as a freaky and nefarious attempt to root out pervasive voter fraud that has not been proven to exist.

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Trump has publicly expressed frustration with Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional probes into the issue, and sparked a political firestorm on Tuesday when he fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey.

"He fired the person investigating a real threat to election integrity, and set up a probe of an imaginary threat", Waldman said, referring to the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

Mr Kobach advised Mr Trump's transition team and has been a leading GOP proponent of tighter voting regulations.

After the announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union said it had filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information on what the Trump administration was using as the basis for its voter fraud claims.

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