Trump to Order Commission on Fraudulent Voting in Elections

  • President has presented no evidence for election claims
  • Trump has repeatedly blamed popular vote loss on fraud

President Donald Trump, who has claimed without evidence that his opponent won the popular vote last year because of fraud, signed a directive Thursday establishing a commission to examine improper voting and voter suppression in federal elections.

The presidential commission will be led by Vice President Mike Pence and include current and former secretaries of state and election officials appointed by Trump, including Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a well known advocate for reduced immigration, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The commission, which will have as many as 15 members, will provide a report on voter irregularities by 2018. Trump said in February, after his unsubstantiated claim about illegal votes in the election, that he would establish a voter fraud task force led by Pence, but there has been no public action or report by that task force.

Although Trump won a majority of the Electoral College votes that determine the winner of the presidential election under the U.S. Constitution, Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million ballots. Trump has repeatedly claimed that her tally was inflated by voter fraud, including by undocumented immigrants who aren’t eligible to cast votes. State election officials across the country, including Republicans, have disputed his claim.

Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the commission, saying it will likely lead to more barriers for minority and low-income voters.

“This voter commission is a clear front for constricting the access to vote to poor Americans, and -- above all -- African Americans and Latinos," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, said in a statement.

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