Donald Trump Orders “Election Integrity” Commission Headed by Architects of Voter Suppression

Donald Trump Orders “Election Integrity” Commission Headed by Architects of Voter Suppression


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Voting rights activists are expressing alarm
after President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating a Presidential Advisory
Commission on Election Integrity. The move comes after Trump repeatedly claimed
that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in November because between 3 [million] and
5 million people voted illegally. No evidence has ever been presented backing
up his claim. On Thursday, Deputy White House Press Secretary
Sarah Huckabee Sanders unveiled the plan for the new election integrity commission. DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS:
I’d like to announce the president also just signed another executive order establishing
the bipartisan Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. … The commission will review policies and
practices that enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of
federal elections, and provide the president with a report that identifies system vulnerabilities
that lead to improper registrations in voting. AMY GOODMAN: Civil rights groups and several
Democratic lawmakers denounced the election integrity commission, suggesting it’s designed
to perpetuate the myth of voter fraud as a pretense for new policies that will make it
harder to vote—policies such as voter ID laws, eliminating early voting and prohibiting
same-day voter registration. Particularly worrying to voting right activists
is the selection of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the vice chair of the commission. Kobach has pushed for the strictest voter
identification laws in the country and advocated for a proof-of-citizenship requirement at
the state and federal levels. Meanwhile, a new report has called into question
whether President Trump would have actually won Wisconsin during the 2016 presidential
election without the state’s strict voter ID law. The study, published by the progressive advocacy
group Priorities USA, says the law suppressed the votes of more than 200,000 residents,
the majority of whom were African-American and Democratic-leaning. President Trump won only about 23,000 more
votes than Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin. Well, for more, we’re joined by Ari Berman,
senior contributing writer for The Nation, where he covers voting rights. His recent piece is headlined “Trump’s Commission
on ‘Election Integrity’ Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression.” Explain why, Ari. ARI BERMAN: Well, I think it’s—first off,
it’s important to note this is not an election integrity commission. This is a voter suppression commission, because
there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud to investigate. Everyone who’s looked at this, including
Trump’s own lawyers, during the recounts in Michigan and other states, have said that
the election was not tainted by fraud. So the only reason to do this and the only
reason to announce it this week, other than to soothe Trump’s ego, other than to distract
from the news about Comey and Russia, is to perpetuate the myth of voter fraud in order
to lay the groundwork for policies that will suppress the vote. AMY GOODMAN: So, explain what the commission
is all about, how it came about, what its history is and what exactly it’s going to
do. ARI BERMAN: So I guess you could say the roots
of it happened after the election, when Trump startled everyone by saying that he would
have won the popular vote except for the fact that millions of people voted illegally. He has subsequently tweeted this. He subsequently said it. He’s provided no evidence for these claims. And so, it’s an attempt—just like what
he said about wiretapping. There was no evidence of it. Then he calls for an investigation. And so, basically, he manufactured this issue. There was no evidence. And now we have an entire presidential commission
designed to investigate it. There’s going to be taxpayer money. Some of the heaviest hitters in the Republican
Party are part of this commission. And I think it’s easy to just dismiss it
as another laughable thing that Trump is doing to try to distract from the news, but the
real worry here is that they’re going to say all of these outlandish things about voter
fraud. It’s going to have the veneer of a presidential
commission, and then they’re going to say, “Oh, by the way, there’s all this voter
fraud, and now we should pass strict voter ID laws. We should pass proof-of-citizenship laws. We should cut early voting. We should purge the voting rolls. We shouldn’t just do it in the states where
it’s already happening; we should do it on the national and federal level, as well.” So, the president the United States endorsing
a policy of voter suppression is absolutely chilling. AMY GOODMAN: So, as you said, in January,
President Trump called for this major investigation of voter fraud, as he continued to falsely
assert he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because 3 [million] to 5 million unauthorized
votes were cast in the election. So, ABC anchor David Muir questioned Trump
about those claims. DAVID MUIR: When you say, in your opinion,
millions of illegal votes, that is something that is extremely fundamental to our functioning
democracy—a fair and free election. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Sure, sure, sure. DAVID MUIR: You say you’re going to launch
an investigation into this. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Sure, done. DAVID MUIR: What you have presented so far
has been debunked. It’s been called false. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. Take a look at the Pew reports. DAVID MUIR: I called the author of the Pew
report last night. And he told me that they found no evidence
of voter fraud. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Really? Then why did he write the report? DAVID MUIR: He said no evidence of voter fraud. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me. Then why did he write the report? DAVID MUIR: So, I guess I’m—
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: According to Pew report—then he’s—then he’s groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters
that grovel when they want to write something that you want to hear, but not necessarily
millions of people want to hear or have to hear. AMY GOODMAN: So that’s Donald Trump. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach defended
Trump’s unfounded claim that millions of people illegally voted, supposedly costing
Trump the popular vote. This is Kobach being questioned by reporters. SECRETARY OF STATE KRIS KOBACH: I think the
president-elect is absolutely correct when he says the number of illegal votes cast exceeds
the popular vote margin between him and Hillary Clinton at this point. REPORTER: What tangible evidence is there
that that actually happened? SECRETARY OF STATE KRIS KOBACH: Well, this
is the problem with aliens voting and aliens registering. There’s no way you can look on the voter
rolls and say, “This one’s an alien. This one’s a citizen. This one’s an alien.” You—once a person gets on the voter rolls,
you don’t have any way of easily identifying them as aliens. And so you have to rely on post-election studies,
like the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, where you get data from aliens themselves
saying, “Oh, yeah, I voted.” It does appear that aliens do vote in very
large numbers. AMY GOODMAN: That was Kris Kobach back in
November, right after the election. Ari Berman? ARI BERMAN: So, all of the available evidence
shows that voter fraud is a very small problem in American elections, and that noncitizens
voting is an even smaller problem in American elections, because just think about it, Amy. If you’re a noncitizen and you vote, you’re
risking deportation. You’re risking a felony. You’re risking never being able to vote
again if you become a U.S. citizen. So, all of these things are a huge risk to
somebody. And people who are here either illegally or
here legally but are noncitizens, the last thing they want to do is vote and get deported. So, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Just the numbers that we have show that in
the 2016 election, The Washington Post found only four documented cases of voter fraud
out of 135 million votes cast. It was 0.000002 percent of total votes. State-based reviews since then have found
at most a few hundred alleged cases of voter fraud, not millions. In Kansas, Kris Kobach is the only secretary
of state in the country with the power to prosecute voter fraud cases. He’s only convicted nine people of voter
fraud since 2014 out of 1.8 million registered voters in that state. He’s only convicted one noncitizen of voting. So, if this problem was as widespread— AMY GOODMAN: Didn’t that citizen—did they
vote for Trump? ARI BERMAN: There was a different noncitizen
who voted in Texas, not knowing that she was unable to vote, because usually this is what
it is. If you’re a noncitizen and you vote, it’s
usually because you believe you’re qualified, because you have documents like a green card
or like a driver’s license, and you believe that you’re part of the political process. And they may ask you at the DMV, “Do you want
to register to vote?” And you say, “Yes.” But it’s nothing nefarious here. There was another case of someone who voted
twice in Iowa—for Donald Trump—because she believed his claims that the elections
were going to be rigged. So, I’m not saying this never happens, but
it’s a very, very, very small problem. And usually it’s human error, not some sort
of massive conspiracy underway.


65 thoughts on “Donald Trump Orders “Election Integrity” Commission Headed by Architects of Voter Suppression

  1. this is just Bulls&*&… sounds like someone is fearing 2018… and is trying to block people from voting

  2. I wouldn't be surprised if these alt right, tinfoil, asshats are talking about extraterrestrial aliens rather than foriegn people

  3. Gerrymandering doesn't instill confidence in the system either. I like the idea of candidates campaigning inside correctional facilities before pandering to the masses too, but I don't think they get rights which also isn't right (in my opinion). I don't agree with our laws. The government, federal and state alike, are hypocrites like everyone else.

  4. No evidence is needed… if the media can present Russia story without evidence, then Trump can do whatever he wants!

  5. and no evidence had been presented that russia hacked our election but libs are running around screaming like it is fact . See how that works libs.

  6. Perpetrating the myth of voter fraud will allow more voter suppression. This is disgusting. Your president is disgusting. Another attack on democracy by a narcissistic madman hell-bent on destroying America.

    We just had a provincial election in British Columbia (Canada). The campaign lasted 3 weeks, we had ads in the radio and TV encouraging us to go vote, 3 days of advanced voting, MORE polling stations were opened because 4 yesrs ago people had to wait 15mins in line, on election​ day the polls were open 8am-8pm, BY LAW your work MUST give you time off to vote if you cannot vote in any other way, and finally, and all you need to vote is either your ID OR your voter card that is mailed out a month before election. Our election really opened my eyes as to how blessed we are in Canada and I am very grateful. Its not perfect, but we do not actively supress citizens from voting. I honestly wish all Americans the strength to get through your crisis

  7. wtg america…. voter rights are now being taken away…
    its almost laughable … trump is ridiculous

  8. I have know problem with this ,this way we know people aren't committing vote fraud,just check department of justic website and you can read people who got caught for voter fraud.

  9. ACLU's Fact Sheet on voter ID laws: https://www.aclu.org/other/oppose-voter-id-legislation-fact-sheet
    It seems to me that the solution is making state photo ID's free if they are required by the government for anything. Adding mobile ID teams would only take a DMV car and photographer, right?

  10. I consider myself socially liberal and pretty liberal in other areas as well, but I don't really see how asking for proof of identification at the polls is suppressing people's right to vote.

  11. Russia "hacked' the election. But the election was not "tainted by fraud." etc etc
    everything this nebbish says is a lie including and and the.

  12. His also asking the FBI chief replacement Officially announcement Loyalty to Trump first before to country

  13. There is far more evidence of voter suppression in the 2016 election (which enabled his win) than voter fraud, of which only FOUR documented cases exist. As in all things Trump, blame it on someone or something else to distract from the real issue.

  14. McMaster has been thrown out and the nut racist is back, the rump wants to do as much damage to the nation before he is impeached

  15. trump wants to convince more people to vote for him based on all the people he claims voted for him that did not. trump must of got this one from the usps . the old lost in the mail .

  16. Ari! Berman you are a Yiddishkeit Revolutionary Communist subversive why do cling to your Jewish utopian LIES? Voter Suppression is a meme with no truth or reality; you're Revolutionary seal makes me go vomit! Cosmopolitan elites like you feel it is justified to falsify the White vote because in your Distorted Leftist mind we are a Facsist Nation! And you LIE to advance the revolution! You belong in GITMO You TRAITOR!

  17. Why isn't Trump focused on the people who DIDN'T vote? Following his logic, there are tons of Trump voters out there who just couldn't get to the polls. No, this is just straight up racism.

  18. Trump is such a lair. Illegals avoid Goverment buildings as much as possible… they don't risk themselves just to cast 1 vote…

  19. great now hes going to control elections… why does this appear more and more like a dictator removing all the protections the people have against dictatorial rule.

  20. His rhetoric is so full of irony. Chants of "lock her up" in regard to Hillary… Let's see if he can dismantle the rule of law before he finds himself behind bars.

  21. Amy Goodman why don't you ever interview conservatives? are you only tolerant of one side only? if so your no real journalist. Just a complete hack in my personal opinion.

  22. Just what we need! An entire commission to find the 5 million boogey men and women/"bad hombres" who voted against Trump in an election he won. Our tax dollars are being used to soothe the feelings of this man-baby. America is turning into a third world country, slowly but surely.

  23. I wonder when an interviewer will finally say to the president "No sorry Sir but you are delusional and a pathological liar. This never happened."

  24. She lies right off the bat…..Trump never said REPEATEDLY that Hillary won popular vote because of illegals.
    He said it once. In a tweet. She is lying and this news outlet sucks already

  25. k trump dude. trump. you cant just say shit. with no proof. show us proof. go ahead. i double dare you to. i don't get why trump would just be cool with spewing bullshit with this whole russian thing going on. i mean out of everything with the trump russian allegation there is no proof that trump is involved with russia. sure there were guys in the white house that have been outed. but these guys have been in the game since at least 2010. under obama. thats not trumps fault yet the media is acting like it means trump is putins plant. so you got that going on and your now claiming hillary only got as far as she did because of illegal voters. with no real proof no evidence no noting. just gonna come out and say that. fucking idiot politicians man.

  26. side note im a canadian here. i dont get why america doesnt require proof of citizenship for voting. like why? they dont even require an id. how is that a good idea? in canada you show up with a government id or a drivers license or something. its not hard to get one if your a citizen.

  27. Sarah, you've decided to help them suppress poor people's right to vote? Your ambition has outstripped your honor?

  28. As a poll worker in Philadelphia for the special election on March 21 I can sware an oath on any forum that voting theft is real!!!
    Registrars who claimed voters locations had been changed, voters being made to wait while intimidating conversations by party officials went on less than 5 feet from the coting booth.

  29. Trump and his Republican friends have phantom pain. See it as it is. A pure distraction from the real policy and its consequences for the American people and democracy in the US.

  30. Trump and the Republicans I hope they get everything they wish for… because when they and they got a lot of it now. not only America but the world can finally take a deep breath and say it's going to be tough but we will get rid of all minorities especially immigrants especially those from the Middle East because we never did nothing to them sorry I didn't mean to say we… but he does not realize this ain't… Leave it to Beaver days… America is the strongest country in the world… I hate tell him the bad news… there are more non-white in this world and you can sure argue the point but you're wrong I would say half white people in the world and with all the so-called minorities. or aliens whichever you prefer. would rather fight and die just to make them miserable.. and let them realize greed and hatred never gets you anywhere except to look over your shoulder.. because like a rat that is cornered . like most animals rodents or whatever… of course you know what happens then. …. I guess my suggestion is this instead of building planes bomb nuclear weapon submarines… this should have been working on the Starship Enterprise… all this technology is for s*** until one can develop gravity on a Starship technology is. BULLSHIT!!…. and let's hear it for pro-life… I would think they would be glad to give abortions out for free after all who has more kids… and will not stop having kids.. and the Elite garbage might say they need to have more kids however more kids means more problem.. 5 kids and at least one or two of them will repel so please have more kids….. oil changes will be dumped in the river car batteries will be dumped in the river trash will be dumped all over even in your neighborhood even around the White House paint muriatic acid and even human feces will be splattered all across the world streets wiped on Government .. Authority building door knobs… terrorism in its most radical form has nothing to do with pipe bombs enjoy your money and greed hypocrisy and belittlement of those you deem inferior.. the ones you believe are not smart enough…. it won't be me cuz I could give two s** I'm old it will be the ones of all the generations to come I thank you. 4 trying to make America great again… please remind me when it was great at least for all people… could you guess where George Washington and the early so-called political figures invented democracy it sure wasn't the Europeans.. what would Jesus do.. not the things the so called these fake fundamentalist Christians would do… no that's why I love Trump and especially the vice president and I can't even call him by his name the so so-called Speaker of the House…. karma is a b***… so stop thinking your s** don't stink… may God bless Humanity because the world is f*** have a nice day

  31. How long will it be before they make laws saying you have to make a certain amount of money in order for you to vote?

  32. Not true. Only recount resulted more votes for Trump, and evidence of HS vote tampering. Instead of doing something about voter suppression, she used those very tools, to force her way in as the DNC candidate. It's hilarious how selective your views are!

  33. its like apartheid with 10% ruling the rest that type of stress will make me put the tool to your chest -imortal technique

  34. Computer VOTE fraud is the problem! LEGITIMATE votes cast for one candidate are changed to another by rigged computers. The fraud is difficult to prove, counting and re-counting the cast votes just repeats the cheats! The fraud is hidden in the machines. Votes can be "bled" off to third party candidates, or even for the prime rival of the targeted candidate.

  35. Trump has no credibility or integrity. He, his family and WH administration will forever be under Trump's shadow of corruption.

  36. Hey Trump? Shove this joke of an "election system"! Integrity of our vote? Isn't present. Manipulating our votes? Is present. I'll pass. No more conniving me. Enough of media and politicians lies. I'm through. You, supposed left and right? You've missed the boat!

  37. Why must you insult minorities, implying that they are incapable of obtaining an I.D.? It's so insulting. America should welcome any election integrity investigation. We have seen the amount of actual 2016 votes, much higher than the actual voters registered in SEVERAL cities/states. That's a huge problem. We want every vote to actaully MATTER.

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