President Trump announced Tuesday he had disbanded the voter fraud commission and moved its work to the Department of Homeland Security because of resistance from the states, he said.
“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action,” the president said.
This was “good news for Americans who care about fair elections in the United States,” according to the Los Angeles Times. But shifting it to Homeland Security meant Trump “won’t let go of the issue, the greatest immediate danger to voting rights seems to have passed.”
The Washington Post wrote that the commission couldn’t function because it was bogged down in lawsuits and that the change represented a slap in the face to the president himself. The paper also wrote impetus for the commission – Trump’s claim he may have won the popular vote if not for the illegal ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election – was baseless, unproven and unworthy of being investigated.
Trump disbanded the commission because it had “become mired in multiple federal lawsuits and faced resistance from states that accused it of overreach,” the Post’s John Wagner wrote. The decision was “a major setback” for Trump, and the commission had been created “in response to his claim, for which he provided no proof, that lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 because of illegally cast ballots.”
The Associated Press wrote that the commission had been disbanded amidst “infighting, lawsuits and state officials’ refusal to cooperate.”
Critics “saw the commission as part of a conservative campaign to make it harder for poor people and minority voters to access the ballot box, and to justify Trump’s claims of voter fraud,” the AP wrote. “Trump has repeatedly alleged, without evidenced, that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election.”
Critics also “viewed the commission as part of an attempt to distract from the ongoing investigations into Russian election meddling and potential collusion between Moscow and Trump campaign aides,” although the AP did not share what one has to do with the other. It then supplied three more quotes from Democrats, one an academic, hammering the commission.
Newsweek focused on the future but addressed the same issues.
“In his announcement, the president, who has claimed (but never proven) that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election, instructed the Department of Homeland Security to ‘determine the next courses of action.’”
This set off “an orchestra of new warning bells, with critics concerned the commission might continue its work without the transparency of open meetings and records laws.”
It then quoted Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, who sued to obstruct the commission’s work rather than supply the public records requested, on exactly what is at stake here.
“Homeland Security could by rule do everything that most progressive people would fear happening to elections: Registration deadlines. Voter ID requirements. Restrictions on absentee balloting. Proof of citizenship.”
Trump’s voter fraud allegations are unproven, according to the media, but its reporters still cheer attempts to acquire proof. It calls for transparency from the commission but applauds states that defy requests for public information. It mocks efforts to determine if non-citizens vote, even though this is clearly illegal.
It identifies as threats measures such as registration deadlines and voter ID requirements. And then it says conservatives threaten electoral integrity.
As Christian Adams, a member of the commission said, “Foes of election integrity lost their seat at the table. Now the important work of improving the integrity of the election process will be done by people who believe in election integrity, not by those who seek to preserve vulnerabilities in the system.”