Kansas election chief charges 2 more with voter fraud

Chion Wolf  WNPR

Chion Wolf WNPR

Voting rights advocates and some state election officials cheered President Donald Trump's announcement that he was disbanding his election fraud commission, but their celebration could be short-lived.

A White House statement said that "many states had refused to provide the commission with basic information relevant to its inquiry".

Critics also viewed the commission as part of an attempt to distract from the ongoing investigations into Russian election meddling and potential collusion between Moscow and Trump campaign aides.

He has claimed, without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. They are among 15 people to be charged since Kobach obtained the authority to prosecute voter fraud cases in 2015.

He dissolved his controversial commission on the issue Wednesday night, claiming that there was "substantial evidence" of wrongdoing without offering any.

The commission he empaneled set out to counter such imaginary voter fraud, demanding from state governments detailed information about voters.

He said in a Thursday tweet that the neighbors" communications about the possibility of Pyongyang sending atheletes south for next month's Olympics were because he was "willing to commit our total "might' against the North". "Push hard for Voter Identification!"

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President Trump disbanded the commission just days before a deadline for detailing how it meant to proceed.

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit advocacy group, also welcomed the news, calling the commission "a vehicle launched for the sole objective of laying the groundwork to promote voter suppression policies on a national scale". "Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action". For example, a study by the University of Wisconsin revealed the state's voter ID law stopped or inhibited some 23,000 people from voting in the 2016 election. It was Kobach who sent a letter to states in June seeking information from their voter rolls.

Dunlap on Wednesday said Kobach and his allies "were the ones that were stonewalling", saying they had "very definite ideas of what they wanted this commission to come up with".

Rosenberg said that the commission might have gotten away with imposing restrictions on voting rights if not for the watchdog demands of civil rights activists over the commission's activities.

"Trump's "'Election Integrity' commission was built to encourage and enable voter suppression", tweeted Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., top Democrat in the House.

A precinct worker checks a voter ID at the Bermuda precinct for the US presidential election in Dillon, South Carolina, November 8, 2016. The commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, had requested details such as voters' names and party affiliations, birth dates, felony conviction records, voting histories for the past decade and the last four digits of all voters' Social Security numbers.

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