Fraud claim sets tone for meeting

Marie Harrington
September 15, 2017

Kobach believes, as Trump does, that millions voters are casting ballots illegally and is on a rampage to crack down by cancelling voter registrations nationwide.

The President's Advisory Commission is collecting information from each state in an attempt to compile statistics on alleged Voter Fraud. Voting advocates were concerned earlier this year after the department sent out a request to 44 states asking for information about compliance with federal voter purge requirements on the same day Kobach, vice chairman of the commission, sent a letter to election officials in 50 states asking for voter data.

Trump formed the commission to support his professed belief that his presidential opponent a year ago, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, won millions of votes from people who were not authorized to vote, had not properly registered as voters or voted multiple times.

"The claim is that the commission will meet and then they will recommend things like photo ID or some other election security measure".

"There's your leap in the logic. The commission does not have the ability to do a Jedi mind trick on a state legislature and force them to adopt anything", he said, the AP reported.

But ironically, the commission is probably doing more to undermine confidence than the rumor itself, with Kobach pushing conspiracy theories through a national megaphone.

Kobach added yesterday that there's a "high possibility" the commission he helps lead will make no recommendations once it completes its work.

Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, wrote: "It has always been reported, anecdotally, that out-of-staters take advantage of New Hampshire's same-day registration and head to the Granite State to cast fraudulent votes". That means they now live in the state and intent to stay for a definite period of time. In-person voter fraud-cases of people intentionally voting in elections in which they are not entitled to participate-is a minuscule, if not nonexistent, problem in the United States.

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The meeting will include a statistical review of decades of elections and a discussion of whether fraud has reduced citizens' trust in the fairness of elections - a timely topic, as an allegation of fraud in New Hampshire by one of the commission's leading members has dominated the runup to the session.

He was referring to an op-ed that Kobach, the commission's vice chair, penned for Breitbart last week claiming he'd found "proof" that out-of-state voters had taken advantage of the state's same-day registration to cast illegal votes. Kobach had said "it appears" that's why Democrat Maggie Hassan won her U.S. Senate seat in November.

"We often get complaints that there are out-of-state students voting, but it is legal in New Hampshire to have a MA driver's license or MA plates on your cars, and paying out-of-state tuition to the university, and still be eligible to vote because you are domiciled in New Hampshire, meaning you spend most of your nights here", he said. We may never definitively know how Republican efforts to discourage Democratic votes affected the outcome of the 2016 election.

When the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was established four months ago, Kobach asked authorities in every US state to turn over complete records of everyone who voted in those jurisdictions, with full personal details - a demand that was immediately rejected by the states, nearly unanimously.Complaints and concerns that states used to justify their refusal to cooperate with Kobach's investigators included the threat of computer hacks, and equally widespread concerns about the federal government amassing too much personal information in one database.

Reminded that he used the word "proof" in his opinion piece, he said, "I think when you have 5,300 cases, it's virtual proof that at least one of those individuals probably didn't stay".

"That is something that we all need to stay focused on", Gardner said.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, one of the Democrats on the panel, backed up Gardner, calling Kobach's assertion that someone not updating their driver's license is proof of voter fraud "a reckless statement". Primarily, you have a right to vote. "Driving is a privilege", he said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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