In an attempt to distract from his own investigation, Trump announced a new commission dedicated to looking into claims of voter fraud, which he has yet to offer a single piece of evidence in support of. Ironically, spearheading this commission to oversee election integrity is Vice-President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, both of whom have a history of endorsing and implementing voter suppression tactics in Indiana and Kansas respectively.
Governor of Indiana, Pence directed state police to raid the Indiana Voter Registration Project offices one week prior to the state’s voter registration deadline, confiscating more than 45,000 voter registration forms. That was a targeted attack on the mostly African American voters who were stripped of their right to vote.
Voter fraud is a non-issue in our country; its voter intimidation and disenfranchisement that are the actual threats to democracy.
On the other hand, Kobach, who helped author Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB1070 law has been marred with civil rights lawsuits left and right. During his tenure as Kansas’ Secretary of State, Kobach has systematically attempted to make voting difficult- and nearly impossible – for individuals by introducing legislation, like the Secure and Fair Elections Act [SAFE Act] that’s sole purpose is to create additional voting requirements for newly-registered voters. He has further disenfranchised Spanish-speaking voters by providing false voter registration deadlines in the Secretary of State’s Spanish-language voter guide.
A “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity” chaired by two members who are voter suppressors themselves sounds like something straight out of an Orwell novel. We cannot allow our democracy to be undermined by those who think voter intimidation and disenfranchisement are permissible nor those who would rather waste resources chasing after smoke-mirrors instead of increasing voter registration and participation efforts. The truth remains that it is more likely for someone to be struck by lightning than for someone to have committed voter fraud. Voter fraud is a non-issue in our country; its voter intimidation and disenfranchisement that are the actual threats to democracy.
Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva serves in Arizona’s Third District. He also serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as a long-standing member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.