by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
John Fund muses at National Review Online about Democratic opposition to a new Election Integrity Commission.
Last Thursday, President Trump announced the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate voter irregularities and fraud as well as charges of voter suppression in America. The hysterical criticism of his move lays bare the ideological conflict of visions raging over efforts to improve our election systems.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper declared the notion of a commission “a white power grab” designed to reduce minority voter turnout. It said that appointing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to be vice chairman of a group examining election integrity was “like Hitler asking Goebbels to help put out the Reichstag fire.” …
… Few people believe that Trump’s estimates of illegal votes paint a realistic picture of the issue, and he offered no evidence for his claim. But if he’s wrong, what is the harm of having the first serious national look at just how big the problem might be? If liberal critics are right that voter fraud doesn’t exist save for trace elements, then the commission will come up empty-handed. …
… Indeed, smart liberals are already moving away from the mantra that “there is no voter fraud” to a more nuanced position. They know that it’s likely that if Kobach and his fellow commissioners allow states to examine federal databases of permanent legal aliens, holders of temporary visas, or alien filers of tax returns, they will probably find people who are illegally registered to vote — and voting. Kobach told me in an interview that states have tried to run those databases against their own voter-registration lists for years, but the Obama administration turned down all their requests. “Such a study has never been done before,” he told me.