Trump launches commission to investigate voter fraud

(CNN) When the White House said a few months ago that it would be forming a commission to investigate voter fraud, some laughed.

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.

The commission's mandate, according to the executive order, is to "study the registration and voting processes used in federal elections" and submit a report to the president.

By making Kobach a co-chair for this commission, Trump has announced its actual goal: to impose new strict requirements for voting and registration under the guise of "election integrity". He was involved in the writing of Arizona's SB 1070, a law (even after being mostly struck down by the Supreme Court) that allows police to ask individuals for proof of citizenship if there is a "reasonable suspicion" they are in the country without documentation.

"I doubt that Kris Kobach will find any more voter fraud nationwide than he did in Kansas, but unfortunately I do expect that he will use this platform to attempt to suppress voter registration and participation across America", said John Gibson, chairman of the Kansas Democratic Party.

The commission will include two Republicansand two Democrats.

Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The President has said several times that there were between 3-5 million illegal votes in 2016, but he has not offered up - the White House has not offered up - his backers haven't offered up any evidence to support that claim.

In February, Mr Trump claimed he would have also won New Hampshire if it had not been for voters bussed in from outside the state.

Kris Kobach led restrictive voting initiatives that targeted minorities and perpetuated voter suppression, the not-for-profit legal advocacy group said.

A report by the non-partisan Brennan Center found that most reported incidents of voter fraud are "traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices".

"As Bernalillo County Clerk for ten years, and now as Secretary of State, I'm intimately aware of the challenges of running fair and accurate elections".

Not only did the Rutgers prof urge educators to turn their back on Trump's commission, but she went on to propose they create their own working group to present alternate facts to Trump's effort.

Nearly immediately after his victory, Trump said that millions of people had voted illegally and deprived him of a popular-vote victory.

"This order is a step in the right direction in response to widespread concern about failures in our election systems that can lead to fraud and other irregularities."

MCEVERS: A lot of people have been pretty skeptical of the president's claims that there've been voter fraud.

"We can't take for granted the integrity of the vote", Pence said.

Trump has asserted he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election had it not been for illegal votes cast. And they're eager to see what the commission comes up with.

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. Who votes-and more broadly, who counts-is one of the most contested questions in American politics.

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