At last, vot­ing com­mis­sion to meet next month

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY DAVE BOYER

President Trump’s com­mis­sion on voter fraud and sup­pres­sion likely will hold its first meet­ing next month after a “painstak­ingly” slow vet­ting of its mem­bers, one of the panel’s co-chair­men said Tues­day.

Kansas sec­re­tary of state Kris Kobach said he ex­pects the com­mis­sion to meet in Wash­ing­ton some­time in the sec­ond half of July to be­gin its work. Some com­mis­sion mem­bers have com­plained of not hav­ing heard any­thing about a timetable since be­ing ap­pointed weeks ago.

“The wheels have been turn­ing for sev­eral months now. It’s just the process of get­ting mem­bers through the clear­ance hur­dles is painstak­ingly long,” Mr. Kobach told The Wash­ing­ton Times. “We have al­most all of our com­mis­sion­ers through the ap­proval process, but we still have a few more re­main­ing.”

Mr. Trump cre­ated the Elec­tion In­tegrity Com­mis­sion in May after claim­ing that for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton re­ceived mil­lions of il­le­gal votes from nonci­t­i­zens to help her to win the pop­u­lar vote, while she lost to Mr. Trump in the Electoral Col­lege, which ac­tu­ally de­ter­mines the pres­i­dency.

The bi­par­ti­san com­mis­sion, which will have 12 to 15 mem­bers, is co-chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. The panel in­cludes state elec­tions of­fi­cials such as Maine Sec­re­tary of State Matt Dun­lap, for­mer Arkansas state Rep. David Dunn, In­di­ana Sec­re­tary of State Con­nie Law­son, and Mary­land Deputy Sec­re­tary of State Luis Borunda.

Mr. Kobach said com­mis­sion staff who are em­ploy­ees in the ex­ec­u­tive of­fice of the president have been gath­er­ing elec­tion data and pre­par­ing for the first meet­ing while the back­ground checks of com­mis­sion mem­bers con­tinue.

“What many peo­ple may not rec­og­nize is that, when you’re ap­pointed to a pres­i­den­tial com­mis­sion, it’s as if you are ap­pointed to a job in the ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Mr. Kobach said. “You have to go through the same FBI and IRS back­ground checks.”

As the com­mis­sion slowly gears up, op­po­nents are work­ing to dis­credit and counter it. The Lawyers’ Com­mit­tee for Civil Rights Un­der Law said it has started us­ing its “elec­tion pro­tec­tion hot­line” (866-OUR-VOTE) to ac­cept com­plaints about the president’s com­mis­sion or “any re­sult­ing voter sup­pres­sion” from the panel’s ac­tions.

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