May 11, 2017 – In response to reports that Donald Trump will launch an election commission designed to pursue unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the United States, Diallo Brooks, Director of Outreach and Public Engagement at People For the American Way issued the following statement.
Donald Trump has lied about Mike Flynn. He’s lied about the crowds at his inauguration. He’s lied about wiretaps on Trump Tower. And now he’s continuing to push his lies about widespread voter fraud.
For years, Republicans have pushed baseless and widely discredited talking points claiming that thousands or tens of thousands or millions of illegal votes are cast in every election. Study after study and investigation after investigation have shown these claims to be pure fiction, yet Republicans repeat them anyway in order to justify voter suppression schemes that make it harder for poor people, students, and people of color to cast ballots. These policies have nothing to do with protecting our democracy and everything to do with helping Republicans win elections.
Now Donald Trump is creating a commission led in part by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leader of the nativist anti-immigrant movement whose policies in his own state caused nearly 20 percent of voter applications to be rejected or suspended. But creating a commission can’t turn a myth into a reality: this is simply new packaging for the same old attacks on voting rights.
The Trump administration’s claims about voter fraud have exactly the same credibility as his other debunked conspiracy theories: none whatsoever. Everything about this new commission should be judged in that light.
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy. www.pfaw.org