President Trump officially disbanded what was left of his so-called “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity” yesterday. The commission’s main act during its tenure was to attempt to procure voting information on millions of registered voters, including Granite Staters. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH) successfully prevented New Hampshire’s Secretary of State from sharing electronic voter information from the centralized voter database with this so-called commission. Over two hundred Granite Staters came out in vocal opposition when the commission held its second meeting at St. Anslem’s in September.
Devon Chaffee, executive director of ACLU-NH, had this reaction to the news of the commission’s dissolution:
“The dissolution of this commission reaffirms what Granite Staters have known all along, and that is that New Hampshire conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud here. This commission proved to be a distraction to the real issues facing our electoral system. Now that this distraction has been rightfully disbanded, we can focus on action that will actually secure our electoral system and protect our voter data from hacking and tampering. This must include ending New Hampshire’s participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which continues to imperil the security and accuracy of NH’s voting rolls. The ACLU-NH looks forward to working with legislators to end New Hampshire’s participation in Crosscheck and to secure our electoral system.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen appeared pleased that the commission was disbanded but chastised Republicans for their continued attempts to suppress the vote.
“The President’s decision to dissolve this commission, once again, reaffirms the lack of evidence for widespread voter fraud,” said Senator Shaheen. “This commission was established to sow doubt regarding election outcomes and help lay the groundwork for voter suppression efforts. And while this commission has been suspended, unfortunately, voter suppression efforts continue unabated. Republican politicians, in both Washington and Concord, should focus their efforts on appealing to eligible voters rather than purging them from the rolls.”
The announcement to disband the commission comes after months of silence, scandals and reprimands by federal judges on top of pending litigation filed against it by its own members. The commission paid New Hampshire a visit in September, preceded by Kobach accusing Granite Staters of voter fraud with no evidence. The commission, of which New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner was a member, also requested private, personal voting information from all 50 states. Most states declined, but Sununu agreed to send it along to the leak-happy commission.
NHDP Chair Ray Buckley had this to say about the announcment:
“New Hampshire got played. It’s an absolute shame that this sham commission tried to drag the First in the Nation primary state’s sterling reputation through the mud as Governor Sununu nodded his head in support. It’s embarrassing that Sununu and the Secretary of State’s office went along with this commission’s request for voter info, putting Granite Staters’ safety at risk in the process. It’s despicable that the commission tried to discredit legitimate Democratic wins with zero evidence.
As we said from the outset, this commission was designed to undermine integrity in our election system and create the pretext for Republican voter disenfranchisement legislation. To that end, it succeeded in pushing through voter suppression law SB3, the first law of its kind in the Trump era and creating the pretext for HB372, a poll tax bill that passed the New Hampshire Senate today. The fact that President Trump dissolved this commission is proof that it was nothing more than a partisan tool. Hopefully Governor Sununu and any others supporting the commission are more cautious next time before engaging in Trump’s reckless efforts to wield his office to disenfranchise voters.”
Jason Kander, the former Secretary of State from Kansas and President of the Let America Vote coalition summed up the announcement perfectly:
“President Trump created his sham voting commission to substantiate a lie he told about voter fraud in the 2016 election. When he couldn’t come up with any fake evidence, and under relentless pressure, he had no choice but to disband his un-American commission. President Trump won’t stop lying about voter fraud, or end his assault on voting rights, but today is a good day for democracy. Good riddance.