Donald Trump disbands voter fraud commission

Trump claims the dissolution of the commission is due to a lack of cooperation from “many states”

By Nicole Karlis

Senior Writer

Published January 3, 2018 8:17PM (EST)

 (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to officially disband the voter fraud commission.

“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry," a White House statement said. "Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission.”

The commission, which goes by the official title of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, was created last May by Trump to lend legitimacy to his false claim that he would have won the 2016 popular vote if not for undocumented immigrants. Vice President Mike Pence served as the chair of the commission, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach served as the vice chair.

The demise of the commission may have started a few months ago though. As Salon reported in November, the commission was sued for excluding Democrats. Matthew Dunlap, the Secretary of State of Maine who was on the commission, said the commission’s “superficial bipartisanship” had “been a facade."

"Despite diligent efforts to gain access, Secretary Dunlap has been, and continues to be, blocked from receiving Commission documents necessary to carry out his responsibilities," Dunlap claimed in a complaint filed in federal court.

Dunlap went on to argue that his denial of access to the commission's work was directly a result of the fact that he is a Democrat, arguing that "Secretary Dunlap and the other Democratic commissioners have been excluded from the Commission’s work."

Dunlap reportedly raised the issue last October too when he wrote a letter to executive director Andrew Kossack insisting to be informed as to when and how the panel conducted its work.

Opponents and activists are calling this a victory. Marge Baker, vice president of People For the American Way, said in a statement, “good riddance to bad rubbish.”

“This is a major victory for every activist who has called out this sham commission for what it is,” Baker said.

By Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon, specializing in health and science. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Donald Trump Matthew Dunlap Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity