Voting Rights Advocates Ring The Alarm Over Trump’s ‘Sham’ Elections Panel


Publish Date:
May 11, 2017
  • Sneed, Tierney
Talking Points Memo
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Before President Trump had even signed an executive order creating his long awaited “Elections Integrity” Commission, prominent civil rights groups and voting advocates were calling it a “sham,” a “distraction” and “a thinly veiled voter suppression task force.”

For them, the tells were the Republicans he had picked to lead it, the coded language in the order itself, and the President’s own unsubstantiated and reckless claims that “millions” had voted illegally in the 2016 election.

“It so beyond the pale. What can you say at this point?” said Nate Persily, who served as a senior research director for President Obama’s Presidential Commission on Election Administration. “There are a lot of serious academics who have done a lot of work in this area. Let’s see if any of them staff the commission.”

“I think they’re going to recommend national legislation,” said Persily, who is now an election law professor at Stanford Law. “Why do this unless that’s what you’re going to do.”

“It should be no surprise that the election commission will not be looking at how proposed remedies will lead to eligible people not being able to cast ballots,” Persily added. “That is certainly a bigger problem than ineligible people casting ballots”

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