President Trump has put a lot of focus on voter fraud since becoming president. He felt voter fraud was enough of an issue to create a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to help eliminate voter fraud across the country.
Democrats have been hopeful that Trump’s commission to investigate voter fraud would get blocked in the courts. Yet in a surprising turn of events, a federal court judge refused to grant the temporary stay and sent them packing. (via The Hill)
The ruling came down Tuesday when Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court of Columbia refused the appeal of Democrats to put a temporary restraining order on Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was created in May to investigate instances of voter fraud and voter suppression. The executive order was born out of Trump’s allegations that millions of illegal immigrants had voted in the election which granted Hillary the popular vote.
Vice President Mike Pence, Head Chairman of the commission said, “We can’t take for granted the integrity of the vote” and that we needed to “review ways to strengthen the integrity of elections in order to protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote, because the vote is the foundation of our democracy.” (via APNews)
The commission seeks to investigate vulnerabilities in the voting system, such as common clerical errors or potential exploits, and to identify any instances of voter fraud such as the votes of illegal immigrants, deceased persons, or false identity claims. One method they hope to utilize is requiring detailed information on each voter to verify the veracity of their identities and eligibility to vote.
Yet Democrats have been critical of the formation of the commission, maintaining that no evidence of voter fraud exists and the panel is merely a means for Republicans to commit voter suppression against Democrats.
Senator Bernie Sanders has been very critical of the commission, echoing many of these claims, saying, “The sole purpose of this commission is to propagate a myth and to give encouragement to Republican governors and state legislators to increase voter suppression.”(via APNews)
Yet small scale instances of intentional voter fraud have been surfacing.
In a report recently released by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative non-profit that researches political issues, it was determined that 47 states have had evidence of voting fraud. Within their Voter Fraud Database is a catalog of fraud, such as a non-citizen being elected to a city council seat in Connecticut, two men voting twice in Nebraska, and an illegal immigrant successfully registering to vote in Alaska.
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There has also been suspicious activity in Colorado when state officials volunteered to provide the detailed information on voters and hundreds withdrew their registrations.
Though there hasn’t been any evidence of millions of instances of voting fraud, fraud does occur. Despite the claims of Democrats, there have been proven cases of individuals working to rig the election. Even though what’s been found might not be on a large scale, the fact fraud does occur suggests a need to double check the voting system and find weaknesses for abuse.
Hopefully this ruling rejecting the Democrats’ plea for a restraining order will send the message that voting fraud is a serious concern and needs to be investigated. It should also be examined whether Democrats are opposing the investigations because of their “oppose anything Trump related” agenda, or if they’re worried the commission will find something they don’t want found.