Trump’s Voter Suppression Commission Peddles Lies in New Hampshire
September 13, 2017
On Tuesday, Kris Kobach convened Trump’s voter suppression commission in New Hampshire. Kobach’s attempt to legitimize Trump’s false claims about voter fraud failed miserably as panelists were unrepresentative and lacked credibility.
Not representative of America: All 12 people who gave testimony at Trump’s voter commission meeting were white men.
CNN: “All 12 people scheduled to deliver presentations to President Donald Trump's voting commission at St. Anselm College here Tuesday are white men. That's a problem, the panel's critics say, because the day's lineup appears designed to fuel many commission members' desire for restrictive voting laws — including voter identification requirements, strict limitations on same-day voter registration and more.”
Heritage Foundation revelations: A commission member from far-right think tank, the Heritage Foundation, lobbied the Justice and urged the Justice Department to exclude experts, Democrats, and “mainstream Republicans,” and then lied about doing so.
The Week: “Member of Trump's voter fraud panel pushed to exclude all Democrats, moderate Republicans, academics”
New York Times: “On Tuesday, the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group, released an email obtained under the Freedom of Information Act in which a Justice Department employee was urged to push Attorney General Jeff Sessions to create just such a commission. […] It expressed alarm at rumors that the panel would include Democrats and “mainstream Republicans and/or academics.”
Mother Jones: “Jessica Huseman of ProPublica asked von Spakovsky after the commission’s second meeting, on Tuesday in New Hampshire, whether he’d written the email, and he denied having done so. But the Heritage Foundation confirmed on Tuesday evening that von Spakovsky was the author, telling Dell Cameron of Gizmodo, ‘The views expressed in the email are his own.’”
Other members of the commission repeatedly called out Kobach for parroting conspiracy theories.
Union Leader: “[New Hampshire Secretary of State] Gardner took advantage of the forum to defend the results of the 2016 election against accusations of fraud in the wake of voting statistics released last week by Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper. After Jasper reported that more than 6,500 voters used out-of-state identification to register, Kobach published an opinion piece on breitbart.com suggesting that fraudulent voting cost Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte the election for U.S. senator. ‘You questioned whether our election as we have recorded it is real and valid,’ Gardner said to Kobach, ‘and it is real and valid.’”
Bangor Daily News: Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap “accuses leader of Trump’s voter fraud panel of making ‘absurd’ claims.”
Off the deep end: John Lott, a widely discredited pro-gun activist, was given a prime spot on the panel to present his “patently absurd” idea to require the same background checks required to buy firearms to vote.
Mother Jones: “There are about 33,000 gun deaths each year in America. Between 2000 and 2014, there were just 31 documented cases of voter impersonation. But as President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission kicked off its second meeting on Tuesday, a conservative economist suggested that voters be subject to the same background check as gun purchasers in order to assuage Republican concerns about voter fraud. […] Lott is not new to controversy. His studies suggesting that increased gun ownership reduces crime have been touted by the National Rifle Association for two decades. Fellow academics have questioned his findings, and David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, has called his conclusions ‘erroneous.’”
Washington Post: John Lott’s background check 'idea is ‘patently absurd,’ according to Adam Winkler, a constitutional law specialist at UCLA. ‘Given the previous criticism of the background check system by John Lott, and the fact that the structure of voting regulation is entirely different than the regulation of guns, it's hard to believe this is a serious proposal.’”