(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Liberal groups spewed cries of outrage Thursday as President Trump announced he would create a commission to examine the integrity of voter systems in the United States.
Conservatives have long claimed that vote fraud is a widespread threat in various jurisdictions across the country. Liberals have long said vote fraud is virtually nonexistent, but that voter suppression is rampant.
A group called Asian Americans Advancing Justice called the commission a “pretext for finding ways to intimidate and suppress voting in communities of color, particularly among Asian American, African American, and Latino voters,” and “nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to curtail drastically the legitimate voting rights of Americans.”
Likewise, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law accused Trump of citing “unfounded claims of voter fraud” and said he “is trying to create a distraction from actual threats to our democracy, such as ongoing voter suppression and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.”
The president and executive director of the Lawyers Committee is Kristen Clarke, an Obama campaign donor who while working for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund reportedly urged the Justice Department to drop its voter-intimidation case against two New Black Panthers who wielded nightsticks outside a Philadelphia polling place.
The Lawyers Committee and other groups blasted the selection of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as vice-chairman of the new commission, with Dale Ho of the ACLU calling Kobach “the king of voter suppression” and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, blasting Kobach as an “enemy of American democracy.”
And the League of Women Voters, long ago having moved from a neutral outfit to a liberal one, issued a release saying “Commission members’ views on elections are well known and have been discredited as political ideologues with dangerous agendas. This is part of a wider effort to suppress the vote, keep certain politicians in power, and undermine our elections by spreading falsehoods.”
(Ideological case in point: Earlier this spring the League had celebrated the temporary collapse of the Republican health care bill by claiming somehow that “millions of lives [will be] saved” because of the bill’s apparent failure.)
Kobach is a hard-liner against illegal immigration and a well-known advocate of strict voter-identification requirements. Despite numerous attacks from liberal groups during his first term in office, he was re-elected statewide in Kansas in 2014 with a huge, 19-point margin.
Conservatives say that plenty of vote-fraud already has been proven, and that plenty more goes either uncaught or unprosecuted. The Heritage Foundation is compiling a massive data-base of vote-fraud convictions (in this story, look about halfway down to a link to the PDF), and the Public Interest Legal Foundation has kept tabs on both conviction and on documented abuses (of one kind or another) ignored by federal officials, usually under the Obama regime.
Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky and National Review’s John Fund have written two editions of a book and numerous articles detailing numerous problems with ballot security across the country – including the time that voter registration material was mailed to a dead goldfish named Princess Nudelman.
Conservatives thus largely welcomed the new commission, but generally did not cheer it anywhere nearly as vigorously as liberal booed. Typical of the reserved-but-hopeful response was that of Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, who said this could be a good opportunity for “a serious effort to research the issue, present an honest and balanced picture of the status quo, and offers realistic and effective measures for states to implement to secure the voting process.”
The president’s new commission is supposed to analyze all this information in a neutral, verifiable manner, and compile data usable for reformers. With Kobach as vice chairman of the commission and Vice President Mike Pence as its chairman, liberals have cried foul, but the overall commission is designed to be bipartisan, with two Democratic statewide officeholders (the Secretaries of State of New Hampshire and Maine) on board as well. Most commission members have yet to be named.