Voter fraud fraud

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

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.

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