When the DC Council unanimously decided to pass emergency legislation recently to block the newly formed Election Integrity Commission — which met for the first time last week — from examining voter lists within the district, council member Charles Allen, who sponsored the emergency legislation, said in part that the issue of vote fraud was a “myth.”
“The District of Columbia will not be party to this blatant effort to intimidate voters. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud to support President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims,” Allen said. “The myth of voter fraud is a distraction at best and at worst an intentional effort to justify laws to suppress votes — especially those of minority and elderly voters.”
This is a part of a larger narrative the left is developing as the Commission begins setting its agenda: vote fraud is a myth; the Commission will suppress votes and make it harder for Americans to get to the polls; the character of all the members is in question; the Commission wants to publish all voters’ personal information or at the least store it in a federal database; and the outrageous claims go on and on.
Of course, these typically histrionic responses seem even more overwrought in light of the fact that the Commission has only just begun to determine what their work will entail. Vice Chair Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, sent a letter to the states requesting their help by asking them to send already publicly available voter information. That request was quickly spun by progressives as an attempt to spy on American voters via their public information. The Commission, they say, needs this information to carry out their real agenda of suppressing votes.
Yet Kobach has already been quoted as saying the Commission, which has Democrat members as well as Republican, will be addressing the issue of voter suppression and looking at laws that impede access to the polls as well as addressing other forms of systemic fraud.
As to the characters of the members, Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the Commission, and all other members have respectable reputations; and each was afforded the opportunity Wednesday to explain what they think ought to be addressed, rather than the more ominous — and also quickly developing — narrative that they have nefarious and pre-determined ends already in mind.
Ultimately, the pushback from liberals sounds more like obstructionism of the type the Democrats have been engaged in since President Trump was elected, most visibly by attempting to block almost every single one of his judicial appointments, beginning with newest SCOTUS member, Justice Neil Gorsuch.
The fact is, just as Gorsuch was a good and worthy choice for the Supreme Court in contradiction of the left’s outcry, so the Election Integrity Commission will be tackling an issue that is very real and pervasive despite the story the left is spinning.
Heritage Foundation scholar John Malcolm’s piece in The Daily Signal entitled, “Some States Have No Interest in Fighting Voter Fraud” (7/11/17) makes the case that vote fraud is not only a very real issue, but that it is serious enough to pose an existential threat to one of the basic freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution: the right to vote.
“This is not just a crime against our electoral system, but against American citizens,” Malcolm writes. “Every fraudulent ballot that is cast negates the vote of a legitimate voter, effectively disenfranchising that voter.” The Heritage Foundation’s voter fraud database now contains 1,071 proven instances of voter fraud.
It’s unfortunate then that the response to something so fundamentally proper in a Democracy as maintaining integrity in the US electoral system should be met with such venom.
In a weird turn of events, liberal Democrat leaders have suddenly rediscovered the concept of federalism and have begun to craft the narrative that this request to the states for help study is somehow a predecessor of centralizing policy. It is not. The Commission, as clearly stated in their foundational order, is a study group only tasked only with making suggestions.
Equally unfortunate is that, true to form, progressive groups, ringing the bell of civil liberties and privacy concerns (something they’ve also only recently remembered to embrace. Remember Obama’s use of the National Security Agency to violate the 4th Amendment?) have begun to get litigious, filing lawsuits alleging privacy violations and improper protocol in regard to sensitive personal data.
It’s absurd, of course. The fear-mongering over what the Commission is trying to do — which is, simply and literally, examine states’ voter processes and publicly available rolls in an attempt to make sure only legal votes are cast and counted — is so extreme that it makes one wonder just what on earth Democrats are frightened might be discovered.
Perhaps what they fear is what The Republican National Lawyer’s Association and The Heritage Foundation have both discovered through their respective vote fraud databases which document hundreds of cases of proven vote fraud: the myth of vote fraud is no myth at all.