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07 January 2018, 09:25 | Terri Saunders
John Hanna AP
The president disbanded the controversial panel focused on "election integrity", blaming a refusal by more than a dozen states to provide what he called "basic information".
Trump created the commission in May 2017 after he continued to insist that as many as 5 million votes were cast illegally in the November 2016 presidential election where he bested Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"As Americans, you need identification, sometimes in a very strong and accurate form, for nearly everything you do...except when it comes to the most important thing, VOTING for the people that run your country". It is quite another thing for that agency to divert its attention to the pursuit of discredited theories of widespread voter fraud, with the intent of stopping eligible voters - disproportionately minority voters - from voting.
Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit advocacy group, also welcomed the news, calling the commission "a vehicle launched for the sole objective of laying the groundwork to promote voter suppression policies on a national scale".
Trump won the Electoral College, giving him the White House, but he lost the popular vote to Clinton by nearly 3 million votes.
"It's telling that even in his announcement to its long overdue demise, President Trump continues the false narrative that there is 'substantial evidence of voter fraud", Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said January 3.
He followed that up with another tweet asking Americans to "push hard for voter identification". The White House blamed the disbanding of the commission on individual states which refused to share voter data with his commission, saying, "Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action".
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The commission he empaneled set out to counter such imaginary voter fraud, demanding from state governments detailed information about voters.
Kobach told the Topeka Capital-Journal last week that although the commission's work had been delayed because of the lawsuits, it would meet in January. Democrats said they feared commissioners would seek ways to make voting harder, especially for African-Americans, Hispanics, and poor people.
The Department of Homeland Security will reportedly assume the functions of the commission. We intend to continue to fight for his right to access to the commission's secret communications.
Perez said it's still unclear what role DHS can play in voter issues.
The Lawyer's Committee brought one of the lawsuits against the commission past year.
"I am deeply concerned that the work is being shifted over to DHS where it can be done behind closed doors and without the sunshine offered from open public scrutiny", Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, a Democrat, said in a statement Thursday to The Associated Press. It was Kobach who sent a letter to states in June seeking information from their voter rolls. "I think it is highly improper to use DHS to further the failed and misguided attempts of the commission".
She called Trump's order a "major victory for every activist who has called out this sham commission for what it is".
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