By Russ Feingold
Reader Supported News (7/8/17)
President Trump and Vice-President Pence’s “election integrity” commission is unequivocally declaring war on voters — and right now, two prominent Democrats are helping.
The commission recently sent a letter to all 50 states requesting the very same data that Republican state governments have used to create hyper-partisan gerrymandering and enact restrictive voter ID laws across the country.
This commission is laying the groundwork for nationalized voter suppression. It is completely illegitimate and will harm our elections.
But the presence of the secretaries of state for Maine and New Hampshire on this commission — both prominent Democrats — is making it look bipartisan. And that gives it a greater chance of succeeding. We can’t allow that to happen.
Nationally, the Democratic Party is gaining support as the country’s demographics become increasingly diverse. The Republican Party has known for several years that its best tactic to cling to power is not to build a party worth supporting, but to deny participation in the political process to Democratic voters.
So Republicans have been suppressing voters state-by-state for years. And now that they control the White House, they’re trying to do it nationally.
By agreeing to participate in this commission, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) and New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner (D) are helping.
But don’t take my word for it. National voter suppression expert and co-chair of the commission Kris Kobach even went on CNN this week to tout the commission’s bipartisan credentials. We have to make it clear this commission doesn’t have legitimate support from both parties.
When people are denied participation in the political process, it undermines the legitimacy of our elections — and ultimately undermines the legitimacy of our government itself. We must not let President Trump suppress legitimate votes.
Thank you for standing up for our democratic legitimacy today.
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
Speak Out Against Republican Attack On Our Right To Vote
Demand Progress (7/9/17)
Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity issued a national order, asking all 50 states to hand over the birth dates, street addresses, last four digits of social security numbers, and political affiliations of all registered voters.1
This “election integrity” commission is led by notorious proponents of discriminatory voter ID laws and false claims of voter fraud – really, it’s an obvious attempt to push through nationwide restrictions on voting.
As of now, 20 states have outright refused to hand over any voting data to the commission, and 25 more have said they’d only submit partial data.2
But this is far from over. We need every secretary of state in the country to know that if they stand up to Trump’s voter suppression effort, the American people will have their backs.
Trump and his cronies in the Presidential Advisory Commission of Election Integrity like to rely on thoroughly debunked data about “voter fraud.” But let’s be clear, voter fraud is incredibly rare, if it happens at all.
Ignoring the real threat to our elections
If there was any confusion about whether this panel is really about “election integrity,” it’s ignoring the very real problem of foreign interference in our elections to focus on the imaginary problem of widespread illegal voting.
Trump doesn’t need our personal voting data to solve problems that aren’t really there. Instead, he’s re-paving a path built by many hardline Republicans to make it harder to vote. History shows us that voter restrictions disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color.3
Harsh voter restrictions also erode democracy, making it easier for demagogues to stay in power without being beholden to serve actual constituents’ needs.
If you were already afraid of a Trump-inspired American dystopia, just imagine what he’ll do with our personal voting data.
Some states, like Virginia, Mississippi, Minnesota, and California, have outright refused to follow through on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’s request.4 While they’re leading by example, your state could be next to stand up for your privacy and deny this invasive request on our personal voting data.
Thanks for taking action,
Reuben and the team at Demand Progress
1. Take Care Blog, “All Your Voter Data Are Belong to Us,” June 30, 2017
2. The Nation, “The Trump Administration’s Voter-Suppression Plans Are Backfiring Badly,” July 5, 2017
3. Vox, “Trump’s “election integrity” commission wants every voter’s name, party ID, and address,” June 30, 2017
4. CNN, “Forty-four states have refused to give certain voter information to Trump commission,” July 5th, 2017
How The Failed Trump Effort To Create ‘National Voter Database’ Could Actually Help GOP Dominate Future Elections
By Steven Rosenfeld
Many people who believe in expanding voting rights are marveling at the clumsy bid by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for doing the one thing that was guaranteed to deeply offend almost every top state election official—demanding they fork over their detailed statewide voter files to create a national voter database.
Looking beyond the buffoonish politics of the moment exposes the darker reality of what Kobach is really up to.
Before Kobach’s attempted data grab—which as of Thursday, 41 states said no way to—he was already known throughout the small world of state election administrators and lawyers as an unabashed vote suppressor and white nativist, helping groups to file numerous anti-immigrant lawsuits and author anti-immigrant laws. So it didn’t surprise many election insiders when he sent out a letter, as chair of Trump’s “election integrity” commission, demanding copies of their statewide voter databases, post-haste, including data that’s protected, like Social Security numbers. …