By: Agence France-Presse
President Donald Trump launched a extremely controversial investigation into election integrity Wednesday, with a requirement that reluctant US states flip over data about voters.
“This commission is tasked with the sacred duty of upholding the integrity of the ballot box and the principle of one citizen, one vote,” Trump mentioned in launching the panel on the White House.
“Every time voter fraud occurs, it canceled out the vote of a lawful citizen and undermines democracy. You can’t let that happen.”
The panel was arrange after Trump made unsubstantiated claims that his lack of the popular vote in the November elections was brought on by voter fraud.
Democrat Hillary Clinton received the popular vote by a margin of three million ballots, however didn’t win the state-based Electoral College tally that decides US elections.
“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump claimed in a November 27 tweet that prompted widespread outrage.
Experts say there may be little proof to help the concept that voter fraud is a major drawback.
On Wednesday, Kris Kobach, the person Trump appointed to lead the panel day-to-day, threw his credibility into query by additionally showing to query the election outcome with none proof.
Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, advised MSNBC that “we may never know” if Clinton received the popular vote, or if Trump received the electoral school pretty.
Trump’s critics say the panel is canopy for an assault on voting rights. In protest, many states have refused to hand over data to the Republican-led fee, some saying their state legal guidelines forbid them to achieve this.
“I’m pleased that more than 30 states have already agreed to share the information with the commission, and the other states, that information will be forthcoming,” Trump insisted.
“If any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they’re worried about,” Trump mentioned. “There’s something. There always is.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, a rights advocacy group, has initiated a sequence of authorized challenges.
“The Trump administration are launching a nationwide assault on voting rights,” mentioned Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s voting rights venture.
“Asking for particulars on each single voter in the US is deeply alarming and raises important privateness considerations.
“States are right to balk at turning over massive reams of personal information in what clearly is a campaign to suppress the vote.”
Rights teams and Democrats have lengthy accused Republicans of making an attempt to suppress the votes of poor and black voters — who have a tendency to vote Democratic — through onerous ID and registration necessities.(AFP)