January 4, 2018

Facing Scrutiny, President Trump’s “Voter Fraud” Commission Shuts Down

Statement by Michael Latner, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (January 4, 2018)—President Donald Trump has ended an advisory commission he established to investigate “voter fraud.” The commission’s closure is welcome news, but it shouldn’t be cause for complacency, as the administration is still targeting voting rights, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Below is a statement by Michael Latner, associate professor of political science at California Polytechnic State University and a Kendall fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“This commission was established under totally false pretenses and operated with a profound disrespect for transparency and the public interest. Its clear goal was to introduce new restrictions on the right to vote. The commission was even being sued by some of its own members for refusing to provide them with information. What’s more, the commission paid no attention to real issues with election integrity, like the security of voting machines.

“There is no evidence for President Trump’s indefensible claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election, and no honest investigation could have produced such evidence. This commission should never have existed in the first place, and it’s gratifying to see it shut down in the face of pressure from the public and state governments.

“However, the fight to defend voting rights is not over. Kris Kobach, the vice chairman of the now-defunct commission, has promised to continue his ‘investigation’ through the Department of Homeland Security. Using the resources of a federal agency to try and justify false claims of widespread fraud is deeply disturbing—an affront to both science and democracy. We need to stay vigilant and make sure the president’s outlandish claims aren’t used as a weapon against the right to vote.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.