Voter fraud fraud
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is already better known as the voter fraud commission, owing not only to its explicit mission but also to the fact that so many of its members, including its chairman, Vice President Mike Pence, and vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, are on record as subscribing to or defending President Donald Trump’s unfounded view that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in last fall’s elections. In fact, the real fraud is the commission itself.
Kobach, a Republican running for governor of Kansas, professes indignation and phony puzzlement over the jaundiced eye that Democrats, voting rights experts and some Republicans have aimed at the panel.
Yet how could it be otherwise, given that Kobach himself has for years made a political cottage industry of his (repeatedly debunked) claims of fraud in Kansas and national elections? If ever a federal commission embarked on a “study” with a predetermined outcome, this is it.
Even before holding its first meeting, the commission has been subjected to the contempt it deserves. At least 44 states, plus the District, have said they cannot or will not comply with all or part of the commission’s request for extensive information on voter rolls, including partial Social Security numbers and party affiliation of registered voters.
And while the commission is also charged with studying voter suppression, it includes no members who have focused on that problem, despite the fact that federal courts have repeatedly intervened in recent years to slap down efforts at suppression in states, mainly led by Republicans, including by Kobach in Kansas. The real threat to election integrity is paltry voter turnout in national elections, which has not reached 60 percent since the 1960s.