Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission found little to no voter fraud, and a Democrat who served on the commission says it was “the most bizarre thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
As Yahoo News reports, in May 2017 Trump, via executive order, created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The president has repeatedly claimed “millions of people” voted illegally in 2016, and that he would have won the popular vote (which he lost by three million votes) were it not for all of the illegal voting. He created the Commission with the intention of getting to the bottom of voter fraud, in order to “promote fair and honest Federal elections.”
The committee met twice, in secret, and promptly shut down in January of this year without finding any evidence of widespread voter fraud.
As the Independent reported at the time, Trump’s goal of uncovering widespread voter fraud via the commission failed to pan out. As Trump put it, the commission shut down because of lack of cooperation from the states. Specifically, the administration demanded voter records from all 50 states; many refused and filed lawsuits in response. One such lawsuit was filed by committee member Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s Secretary of State.
Dunlap said the commission started with a flawed premise and was intended to validate that flawed premise.
“These assertions appeared aimed at that pre-ordained objective: ratifying the President’s statements that millions of illegal votes were cast in during the 2016 elections.”
According to PolitiFact, there is absolutely zero evidence that there is, was, or ever has been widespread voter fraud. What’s more, the claim that three million illegal votes were cast in 2016 seems to have originated from conspiracy theorist and talk-show host Alex Jones.
The world’s largest streaming service Spotify has removed podcast episodes of American far-right radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones https://t.co/h8MyOp6vHX
— Raw Story (@RawStory) August 4, 2018
As for his time on the Voter Fraud Commission, Dunlap claims that not only was the commission flawed from the beginning, the Trump administration was less than cooperative. Specifically, Dunlap says the administration received 8,000 documents from 20 states concerning voter fraud, but the commission wasn’t allowed to see them until a federal judge ordered Trump to hand them over.
“We had more transparency on a deer task force than I had on a presidential commission.”
As it turns out, those documents did seem to indicate some voter fraud. However, rather than uncovering evidence of millions of illegal votes, it found closer to about 8,400 instances of double voting in 2016.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who along with Vice President Mike Pence chaired the commission, insists that those numbers justify harsh voter I.D. laws, despite not showing evidence of millions of illegal votes.
“For some people, no matter how many cases of voter fraud you show them, there will never be enough for them to admit that there’s a problem.”