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President Trump Disbands Sham Voting Commission

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.

NH Voting Rights Coalition And Activists Demand Trump’s ‘Sham’ Election Commission Be Dismantled

Advocates call for ‘Hands Off Our Ballots’

MANCHESTER, NH – The New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights – a broad range of progressive organizations and leaders fighting to advance voting rights – call for President Donald Trump’s ‘sham’ Election Integrity Commission to be dismantled following a day-long hearing focused on creating barriers to exercising American’s right to democracy – voting.

The commission’s meeting heard testimony from “election experts” and academics urging for the implementation of a background check system similar to the one used for handgun ownership falsely comparing physical safety and the ability to exercise one’s right to democracy. A background check system is just another ploy to create barriers to voting for the citizens of the United States.

“The jig is up. The commission meeting showed us clearly that it is not – and has never been – focused on expanding access to the ballot and ensuring every American has a right to vote,” said America Votes New Hampshire Political Director Michael O’Brien. “This is an orchestrated attempt to block access to the ballot and we demand New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner step down from the Election Integrity Commission. If Gardner continues on the commission after today, then he is agreeing that he does not support every eligible voter in New Hampshire and across the nation.”

Ahead of the hearing meeting, more than 200 grassroots local New Hampshire activists and advocates showed up to say, “Hey hey, ho ho Trump’s sham commission has got to go.

“The election commission meeting was designed to undermine America’s confidence in our elections and justify voter suppression,” said Executive Director of the ACLU New Hampshire Devon Chaffee. “The commission is co-led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who the ACLU has successfully sued numerous times over his voter suppression policies. Through American history, propaganda about illegal voting has been used to push unnecessary restrictions, like background checks, on the right to vote. But attempts to shrink the voting power of everyday people is the true threat to our elections. We should be doing everything we can to encourage, rather than hinder, participation in our democracy.”

Across the country, advocates and activist fear Trump’s Election Integrity Commission is taking us backward as a country, not forward.

“It saddens me that in today’s age, we – as an entire community – are still facing many of the challenge of 1965,” said President of the Greater Manchester NAACP Rev. Eric Jackson. “We continue to be deeply saddened that our secretary of state, who is suppose to represent the interest of all Granite Staters, continues to create barriers to vote through his participation in Trump’s Election Integrity Commission.”

“President Trump’s commission is not about election integrity – it’s about disenfranchising voters so that he can win this next election,” said President of Let America Vote Jason Kander. “Trump’s commission is undermining faith in our democracy by spreading misinformation and injecting partisan politics into election administration. The commission shouldn’t exist, plan and simple. We should be doing everything possible to make election free, fair and accessible because when more people vote, our democracy is stronger. Let America Votes is glad to join our New Hampshire partners in protecting elections from bad policies of the Trump administration.”

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