Trump, after killing his 'voter fraud' commission, calls for new ID laws

Trump, after killing his 'voter fraud' commission, calls for new ID laws

President Donald Trump abruptly shut down his signature voter fraud commission on Wednesday and instead kicked the issue to the Department of Homeland Security.

"Many mostly Democrat States refused to hand over data from the 2016 Election to the Commission On Voter Fraud".

Trump signed an executive order late Wednesday disbanding the election integrity commission, saying he didn't want to waste taxpayer money fighting with state governments over their voter data.

The tweet came in response to President Trump's decision on Wednesday to dissolve his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established last May to investigate allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election.

But national voting rights and civil rights activists said the commission and Trump's call for new laws is just a pretext to suppress voter participation particularly among the poor, the elderly and people of color.

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and the panel's vice chair, has previously said the lawsuits were slowing the commission down. "Push hard for Voter Identification!"

Groups that opposed the president's commission were quick to declare victory.

"It is no surprise that a commission founded on a lie of widespread voter fraud proved to be a fraud itself", said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, who had refused to comply with the commission's request for voter data.

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Neither the commision or the White House ever produced evidence to substantiate Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud. System is rigged, must go to Voter I.D.

"He has a right to access documents that the commission is considering relying on in the course of developing its final recommendations", U.S. District Jude Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her ruling last month, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.

"The President's Election Integrity Commission was a vehicle launched with the singular goal of laying the groundwork to promote voter suppression policies on a national scale", said Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Trump, who won the electoral college but lost the popular vote, repeatedly alleged he lost the peoples' vote because of voter fraud. "It was a change in tactics", Kobach told USA TODAY. While the Lawyers' Committee applauds the demise of the Commission, it is concerned that the President's attempt to transfer the effort to the Department of Homeland Security will lead to the same unlawful and unconstitutional result.

Kobach said he intends to work closely with DHS and the White House and expects the bulk of the DHS investigation to be done by midsummer.

"We mounted successful litigation against the administration that exposed its failure to abide by federal transparency requirements and vowed to keep fighting until the commission was terminated", said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She also said the department is going to face similar obstacles in seeking information from the states.

"The Democrats, both on and off the commission, made very clear that they were not interested in determining the scope and extent of voter fraud and, indeed, they were trying to stop the commission in its tracks", Kobach said.

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