Judge blasts vot­ing panel after it failed to dis­close pub­lic files

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — Fed­eral District Judge Colleen Kol­lar-Kotelly tore into Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s voter com­mis­sion for reneg­ing on a prom­ise to fully dis­close pub­lic doc­u­ments be­fore a July 19 meet­ing, or­der­ing the gov­ern­ment to meet new trans­parency re­quire­ments and elic­it­ing an apol­ogy from ad­min­is­tra­tion lawyers.

Kol­lar-Kotelly said the Elec­tion In­tegrity Com­mis­sion re­leased only an agenda and pro­posed by­laws be­fore its first meet­ing last month at the White House com­plex.

But once gath­ered, com­mis­sion­ers sat with binders that in­cluded doc­u­ments the pub­lic had not seen, in­clud­ing a 381-page “data­base” pur­port­ing to show 1,100 cases of voter fraud, from the Her­itage Foun­da­tion, and also a list of pos­si­ble top­ics to ad­dress from the panel vice chair­man, Kansas Sec­re­tary of State Kris Kobach.

Kol­lar-Kotelly said the panel’s ar­gu­ment was “in­cred­i­ble” when it said it did not be­lieve doc­u­ments pre­pared by com­mis­sion­ers for the July meet­ing had to have been posted in ad­vance.

The com­mis­sion has roiled states with a sweep­ing re­quest for the vot­ing in­for­ma­tion of more than 150 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers. Trump cre­ated the com­mis­sion in May after re­peat­edly sug­gest­ing mil­lions of il­le­gal vot­ers cost him the pop­u­lar vote against Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Kol­lar-Kotelly di­rected the com­mis­sion to de­tail what doc­u­ments it be­lieves are sub­ject to dis­clo­sure ahead of its next meet­ing, sched­uled Sept. 12 in New Hamp­shire.

The hear­ing came in a law­suit filed by the Lawyers’ Com­mit­tee for Civil Rights Un­der Law that is chal­leng­ing the com­mis­sion’s com­pli­ance with fed­eral open gov­ern­ment laws.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.