The Spectacular Failure of Trump’s ‘Election Integrity’ Commission

According to President Donald Trump, millions of people voted illegally in last year’s presidential race. And now he’s prepared to prove it. Or he would be, if everyone would just hand over their social security numbers.

President Trump faces a whole lot of issues, but rather than focus on the mess that is his attempted Obamcare repeal or the ongoing litigation of his Muslim travel ban, he has fixated on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. In a sign that his popular vote loss continues to weigh heavily upon him, the president has continued in his vow to “investigate” alleged voter fraud with a commission to analyze voter data.

Needless to say, this effort has gone about as well as anything the Trump administration has attempted so far in his term. In other words, it’s an unmitigated disaster.

The “voter integrity” panel, led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, made its first significant move by demanding extensive voter data from every state in the nation. The information requested included the names of registered voters, their party affiliations, their personal voting histories, addresses, birthdates and even partial social security numbers.

The demands were so extensive that a privacy group filed a lawsuit to stop the data requisition.

“In the complaint, filed Monday by the Electronic Privacy Information Center in federal court, the Washington, D.C.-based group asks the court for a temporary restraining order to halt the collection of personal voter data,” reports the Kansas City Star. “In a statement posted on its website, EPIC said ‘that the Commission’s demand for detailed voter histories violated the Constitutional right to privacy.’ The group said that ‘by seeking to assemble an unnecessary and excessive federal database of sensitive voter data from state records systems, (the commission) violated the informational privacy rights of millions of Americans.’”

Even without the lawsuit, though, it doesn’t appear that the commission will receive too much voter data. So far, the vast majority of states have told the president — and his commission — that it’s just not going to happen.

According to CNN, 44 states have said they would either not provide the requested information or will only provide some of the data Kobach seeks.

“[T]he commission, which is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, seemed to misunderstand voter privacy laws nationwide,” CNN reports. “Every state that responded to the commission’s letter said it could not provide Social Security numbers, for example. Others said they consider information such as birth dates and party affiliations to be private. What’s more, Kobach asked states to supply the information through an online portal. Many states have rejected this specific request, noting that the commission should file a voter information request through established state websites, as any other party would.”

The information probe has now become so mired in bad publicity that even Republicans are searching for ways to duck out of it.

“Maryland’s deputy Secretary of State has resigned from a controversial Trump administration panel probing alleged voter fraud in last year’s presidential election,” the Baltimore Sun reports. “Deputy Secretary of State Luis E. Borunda, a former Baltimore County school board member, informed the Hogan administration Monday that he resigned from Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, according to Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer.”

It’s not a stretch to assume this may be the first of many such resignations. After all, the idea that the panel would actually find any real and significant instances of “fraud” are slim at best.

“What this Kobach Commission is doing is offering a conclusion in search of a problem. Trump has repeatedly made clear that he believes 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election,” writes pundit Chris Cillizza. He adds, “By creating this commission by executive order in May, Trump is hoping that he can retroactively prove that he’s right about the existence of massive voter fraud. If past is prologue, Trump will be out of luck.”

Like Obamacare replacement, building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and a ban on Muslim immigration, the “voter integrity” commission is just another Trump administration policy failure. No wonder the GOP is already seeking out ways to abandon ship.

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77 comments

Amanda M
Amanda M10 months ago

As a Maryland resident, I applauded when our officials flat-out refused to give Twitler's minions not just our voter information, but our confidential information as well! As far as I'm concerned, this "voter election integrity commission" (an oxymoron if ever there was one) can go jump in the Bay! This is nothing more than an ill-disguised attempt by them to find ways to sabotage our voter system, weed out the Democrats and Independents, and find new ways to suppress the votes against the RRR!

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JT Smith
Past Member 11 months ago

The only way the words "Trump" and "integrity" belong in the same sentence to describe Trump at all is when the phrase "has no" is the only thing between the words "Trump" and "integrity".

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heather g
heather g11 months ago

Well, people aren't playing very nicely on their response to this article. All I can say is that I agree with the statement in the heading of this article.

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Sebastian J
Sebastian J11 months ago

I guess the rants are played out.
For those who refused to vote for Hillary (alternatively: vote effectively AGAINST trump)'because they belied "Hillary was just as bad."

Well , I imagine they would've said the same if it were Adolf Hitler she was opposing.

No, While I am not thrilled with Hillary, she is not and never was "as bad" as that thing we now have to call "President "

the republicans continue to support Trump and control every aspect of the government. The democrats need to take control of At Least one house of congress for the sake of putting some checks on the madness and protecting our Nation and the planet.

Let's hope the non-Hillary voters can make the great sacrifice of voting for the STRONGEST opponents , to the republican slate in 2018, even if some be those "no better than Trump " Democrats

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE11 months ago

The comments are so interesting.

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Richard A
Richard A11 months ago

Dear Brian F. . . . Please show me where I have posted a rant about Russia. Please show me where I have made whining posts about anything.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E11 months ago

@ Roberta G
"Forgive him because he knows no better way" !!! :-)

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Roberta G
Roberta G11 months ago

Brian F...you inadvertently penned a good description of your comments when you wrote..." you constantly have to remind us of how shallow you are in your constant substance less rants." I didn't realize you were so self-analytical!

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Mrgaret G
Margaret G11 months ago

David F. seems to imply that Senator Franken’s election as Senator from Minnesota was obviously fraudulent. Has David forgotten that there were recounts of that election? If there were fraud, it certainly could not have been obvious

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Patrice Z
Patrice Z11 months ago

There is no voter fraud. There has only been massive voter suppression. Let's hope states do the right thing and protect voter information.

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