As some of you may know the Miller News Service back in May covered the unveiling of the Trump Administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (see story President Trump Signs New Executive Order on Election Integrity Commission).
Over this 4th of July weekend, people from both major political parties have attacked the commission; numerous news organizations have reported on how many states are against the Election Commission. The states we know who are against it include California, New York, Virgina, Kentucky, and Mississippi. President Trump responded to this on his Twitter account this past Saturday (July 1st, 2017 saying “Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?”
Alex Padilla, secretary of state for California then responded to the President saying on Twitter “Hiding? Nope. Fear?@realDonaldTrump using voter fraud lies to justify voter suppression. Stop investigating Americans. Focus on Russia.” The non-partisan Election Integrity Project, Inc. or (EIP) which was formed in December 2010 responded to Secretary Padilla’s comments in a press release said, “Secretary Padilla states that he does not want to “legitimize already debunked claims of massive voter fraud.” California’s Election Integrity Project (EIP) asks not only when, where and how did the “debunking” take place, but more importantly, why protest an opportunity to conclusively prove through third party investigation his assertion that there is no election fraud in California? What does the Secretary have to hide?” Linda Paine, EIP’s President also replied to Padilla’s Twitter comments saying, “Though Secretary Padilla appears uninterested in ensuring the integrity of elections across the state,” and that EIP, “will continue our ongoing effort to ensure the cleanup of the state’s poorly-maintained voter list.” For the past six plus years, EIP’s organization has submitted over 80,000 bad voter registrations to county officials in California and the states former SOS Debra Bowen. In the November 2012 elections, EIP alone deployed more than 2100 trained poll observers in more than 600 precincts in 21 counties in the state of California and recorded over 1,700 instances of voter irregularities.
EIP’s research and past findings have found but are not limited to:
- In the year 2013, the Election Integrity Project, Inc. submitted a list of 60,000 voter irregularities to the LA County Registrar. That is twice the rate of suspected illegitimate registrations of every other county in California.
- All 4,680+ LA County polling locations in the November 2014 election did not have the Vote-by-Mail (VBM) indicator next to VBM voters, making it possible for people to vote twice. EIP volunteers and a whistleblower alerted headquarters of the resulting chaos in the polls.
- 2015 legislation (AB1461 – New Motor Voter) makes it possible for noncitizens to register and vote in California without fear of prosecution.
- EIP Incident Reports revealed that chaos in the polls is, in part, due to unmaintained voter rolls that are filled with duplications, deceased, and other illegitimate registrants. It is probable that enough of those registrations are being “stolen” by opportunists to sway local and even statewide elections.
- In 2015, the California Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights reviewed the research of the Election Integrity Project, Inc., and determined that a public hearing was warranted. On August 28, 2015, EIP provided extensive documentation of the issues taking place in California voter registration databases and polling locations across the state.
- In EIP’s latest statewide report, they detailed the observations of approximately 1,000 in the November 2017 election, records 4,324 polling places across 15 counties in violation of federal law, state law or local procedures. Over 3,000 of those violations appear to be the result of ineffective or inaccurate training of officials.
In evidence provided to the Miller News Service by EIP, they say, “If California’s course is not corrected through legal intervention, the electoral processes in the rest of the states, which are already far from acceptable, are vulnerable to inexorably follow the California path. In fact, many of the strategies used to transform California, such as defiance of state and federal laws and passage of others of questionable constitutionality, are even now being implemented in states across the country.”
Even before the president’s tweets some government officials who are against the commission spoke out; Mississippi’s Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican has not yet received a request from the commission but if he did his response to them would be, “They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” he said. “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”
Some of you may ask why is President Trump get so much hostility from people within his own party? In the case of Mississippi Secretary Hosemann may have a reason for his distrust of the commission; back in 2014, there was a federal court case filed against his state regarding a U.S. Senate primary. The group who filed the lawsuit is called True the Vote; they had sued Mississippi seeking information just as the president’s commission wants to do, Secretary Hosemann fought against True the Vote’s request and won in court.
Democrats have also refused to comply with the data request after a letter from Kansas’s Secretary of State and the commission’s vice chairman Kris Kobach which request’s people’s names, party affiliations, addresses, voting histories, felony convictions, military service and the last four digits of Social Security numbers for all voters. Democrats said, “it invades privacy by requesting a person’s information and is based on false claims of fraud.” One Democrat New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner defended Secretary Bobach’s saying that he “expected that many states would only partially comply because open records laws differ from state to state.” and “If only half the states agree, we’ll have to talk about that. I think, whatever they do, we’ll work with that.” He also admits that some of his constituents contacted him saying that “they didn’t want Trump to see their personal information.”
The letter that Secretary Kobach has sent to states requesting information for the Commission provides a list of issues that states could “contribute” their “views and recommendations throughout this process,” which includes:
1. What changes, if any, to federal election laws would you recommend to enhance the
integrity of federal elections?
2. How can the Commission support state and local election administrators with regard to information technology security and vulnerabilities?
3. What laws, policies, or other issues hinder your ability to ensure the integrity of elections you administer?
4. What evidence or information do you have regarding instances of voter fraud or
registration fraud in your state?
5. What convictions for election-related crimes have occurred in your state since the November 2000 federal election?
6. What recommendations do you have for preventing voter intimidation or
7. What other issues do you believe the Commission should consider?
Secretary Kobach also address’s the privacy issue in the letter saying “Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission (Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity) will also be made available to the public.”
One state who will be cooperating with the commission will be Oklahoma, they will provide nearly all the commission’s request, except Social Security numbers which Bryan Dean, spokesman for the Oklahoma State Election Board says, “That’s not publicly available under the laws of our state,” and that,”Oklahoma’s voter rolls are provided to political campaigns, the press and other groups that ask for it.”
The election integrity commission is giving states until July 14, 2017, to respond to their findings and recommendations.
Keep reading the Miller News Service for future developments on this story.
Source: Election Integrity Project; Associated Press
© 2017 Miller News Service